When it comes to healthy eating, snacks can be among the trickiest things to get right, because many of the available options have limited nutritional value. From crisps to biscuits, it’s all too easy to reach for the carb, fat and sugar-heavy choices, especially if you’re out and about and feeling peckish between meals, since the unhealthier options also seem to be the easiest to find.
What’s more, even some snacks labelled as being low in calories or ‘healthy’, like cereal bars, can turn out to be loaded with sugar. So you can easily (and quickly) derail your sensible eating plans.
However, if you choose wisely and plan ahead, snacks can form a healthy part of your diet.
Is snacking good for you?
According to Harvard University, the jury is out on whether light bites between main meals have a positive impact on nutrition and health. But health organisations worldwide typically advise limiting snacks which are heavy on saturated fat, sugar and salt.
However, in the gap between meals, during which blood sugar levels often dip, snacks can provide a vital energy boost. They may also help prevent overeating at the next meal by curbing appetite. Equally, if you choose the right snacks, you’ll give your body important additional nutrients.
Harvard also reports that snacks provide at least a tenth of our daily calories, with most of us consuming two a day.
What should I be enjoying between meals?
The NHS has some sensible recommendations for swapping that Danish pastry for a slice of malt loaf or fruited teacake. Other ideas include a banana-topped bagel, plain popcorn or rice cakes, or lower-sugar yoghurts.
Certainly, these aren’t bad ideas. But you could go even further and stick to wholefoods when grazing – i.e. unprocessed stuff which hasn’t been altered or treated in any way.
Ideas for these snacks include:
- Carrot or cucumber sticks
- Apples and bananas
- Celery with natural peanut butter
- Raisins, seeds and nuts plus other dried fruit
- Plain microwaved popcorn
- Cherry tomatoes
Choose wholefood snacks from Ganesha
At Ganesha Wholefoods, we offer a great range of snacking options, including items sold in bulk and from top brands. Browse our line-up of healthy treats to have between meals, including whole prunes and almonds, walnuts, dates, seeds, figs, whole Brazil nuts, cashews, crystallised ginger, organic sultanas, honey and more. We also sell 100% cocoa and herbal teas to go with your snacks, allowing you to enjoy the perfect elevenses.
Browse and order from our online store or visit on of our shops in Sidmouth, Axminster and Honiton if you’re passing. We’re always happy to chat and provide inspiration for snacking that will help you to stay healthy.