Nutrition really is the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy life. It goes a long way toward lowering the risk for heart disease and improving overall health.
Healthy Snacking and Weight Loss
Avoiding extreme hunger increases the likelihood that you’ll pick the healthy snack rather than raiding packets or pastries in between meals or overeating at dinner.
We recommend our clients to eat small meals every three to five hours and that they resist the urge to over eat. The easy part is the frequent meals. The hard part is keeping them small. Mediterraneans as a culture are used to big meals.
Another key is to keep healthy snacks on hand. The best way to avoid eating food that you shouldn’t is to not keep any around. For the same reason you’re not supposed to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, you may buy a lot of stuff you really shouldn’t.
Control Your Cravings
Blood sugar dips three to five hours after you eat. Eating small, frequent snacks keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar. Hunger can throw your body into famine mode, which slows metabolism and makes it easier to pack on the kilos.
Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and legumes are satisfying and are packed with the nutrients, fiber, and protein your body needs, and they guard against sugar highs and lows, so you are less likely to succumb to your sweet tooth or whatever your dietary Achilles’ heel may be.
Healthy Snacking and Energy, Mood, and Brain Boosters; Food is Fuel
Nutrient poor, sugary snacks such as candy bars are like fuel that runs hot and flames out. They give you a quick jolt of energy that is followed by a crash that can leave you hungry, cranky, sleepy, and unable to concentrate.
Healthy snacks are more like slow-burning fuel that helps you keep going all day. Having several snacks a day helps banish that post meal sleepiness that comes from consuming too many calories at one sitting. If you include protein in your snack, you’ll derive an extra mental boost. Protein-laden food like fish, meat, eggs, cheese, and tofu contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness.
Many of us naturally reach for carbohydrates when we’re feeling down because they help lift our mood by boosting the brain chemical serotonin. While processed foods like plain bagels and cookies give a quick high, it’s followed by a sharp low. Good-for-you fruit sugars, honey, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and many vegetables lift mood and battle fatigue without the roller-coaster effect.
Smoothies are very nutritious and offer you a wealth of nutrients. Many people find it difficult to eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for good health. Smoothies can help you eat plenty of fresh produce because you can blend many different varieties together in one glass. One smoothie can contain two or three servings of fresh fruits or vegetables, which can help you eat plenty of these nutritious foods. Smoothies also encourage you to eat a larger variety of fruits and vegetables because you can add new types that you may not have tried before.