One of the most common questions I get is, “what is a healthy snack?”
I think smart snacking can sometimes mean the difference between a successful diet and a not so successful diet…
Those tempting 3pm or evening snacks can sometimes be the downfall of an otherwise balanced and nutritious diet plan. My number 1 tip is to consume protein rich snacks to keep your going, without breaking your diet balance!
Every snack, and meal for that matter, should include a serve of protein. Healthy protein consumption is correlated with maintaining a healthy weight, energy levels, muscle health and overall well-being including improved immune function.
There is no point in having a snack of just carbohydrates alone. All this does is increase your blood sugar levels, giving you a short burst of energy, before you’re hungry again in an hours time. So the key is to always include a lean source of protein in every meal along with a healthy balance of whole grains, fresh fruit/vegetables and healthy fats throughout the day. Too much of anything aint’ good…remember that!
What’s so good about protein?
* Protein keeps us fuller for longer, we like that!
* Curbs sugar carvings (next time grab a protein snack instead of the sugary treat, and see how you feel!)
* Helps build muscle mass which increases your metabolism
* Supports healthy insulin function (stabilises blood sugar levels)
How much protein a day?
The average recommendation is 0.8-1g of protein per kg of your body weight (e.g. 60kg woman should consume approx 48-60g of protein a day). This amount does vary depending on your physical activity requirements or fitness goals.
120g lean chicken or red meat = 20g protein
100g fish = 25g
100g canned tuna = 25g
1 cup cottage cheese = 20g
1 egg = 4g
1 small tub natural yoghurt = 13g
25g raw almonds = 10g
Choose the right protein snacks
* 20 raw almonds or 8 raw walnuts
* 1/2 cup Natural Greek Style yoghurt with 1tbs LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond meal)
* Carrot & celery sticks with homemade hummus or cottage cheese
* Homemade protein balls
* 1 small tin of tuna
* 1-2 boiled eggs
Eating 2 eggs for breakfast has shown to increase weight loss by 65% compared to a purely carbohydrate breakfast like toast.
I regularly make my own hummus to keep in the fridge, along with some vegetables I can easily cut up for a snack like carrots, celery, cucumber or capsicum. Plus hummus is great to have handy as a healthy dressing on salads or accompaniment.
Homemade Hummus Recipe here