With more time been spent at home in recent months the tendency to snack has been said to be on the rise. In the past, the concept of snacking has been perceived as negative involving over indulgent “treats” however, that doesn’t have to be the case. Scientific studies have observed that healthy snacking, i.e. on nuts, may be affective for appetite control and may help you stop reaching for over calorific food at meal times – it’s just knowing how to snack the right way[2,3].
Healthy Snacking Tips
As said, snacking does not have to be negative. The term snacking simply means something you eat in between your main meals but, when thinking about your daily snacks it’s important to consider a few things.
Where will you be when those hunger pangs strike? If you’re at home, it’s likely you will have something healthy you can reach for to curb those cravings but, if you’re out and about it’s important to take something healthy with you so you’re not tempted to raid the office vending machine with an unhealthy option. It will depend on several factors, such as the physical activity you practice, so when thinking about your snacks think about what you’ll be doing that day and how to adapt your snacking habits to your daily routine.
So, What Should You Snack On?
In our previous article, we discussed the benefits of a plant-based diet, where vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins, legumes and nuts should take over a the main part of your diet. Snacks can be a great way to get those extra portions of the abovementioned food groups into your daily routine. A sliced carrot with a dollop of home-made hummus can be a healthy option. And, the best part, hummus can be made with a variety of nuts such as cashews, macadamias, walnuts and peanuts all containing unsaturated fats, considered as ‘good fats’ which have been showed to help lower bad cholesterol and therefore prevent against heart diseases. When thinking about healthy snacks don’t forget to include nut butters too.
Why Do Nuts and Dried Fruits Make for Such A Great Snack?
Nuts and dried fruits make excellent snacks for many reasons. For one, they have a very interesting nutritional profile. They contain many nutrients including fiber, unsaturated fats, vegetable protein, vitamins and minerals which may help reduce overall hunger which in turn may stop you reaching for unhealthy sugary snacks.
Not only this but each different nuts and dried fruits may provide you with distinctive health benefits. For instance a study, which was published in 2018, showed that snacking on almonds may help decrease LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels in just eight weeks. Another project, also looked at the benefits of eating an afternoon snack of pistachios compared to that of biscuits and voilà, after a month, research observed that nutrient intakes such as vitamins B1 and B6, copper and potassium were significantly higher in the pistachio group. Now, there are some reasons to add them in to your snacking habits!
As well as providing a delicious handful of essential nutrients, nuts and dried fruits can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory snack perfect for whatever your taste buds fancy. Plus, however you fancy them, they are easy to take with you when you are on the go making sure you’ve always got a healthy snack to hand.
If you’ve got any easy snack recipes with nuts and/or dried fruits share them with us over on our social media channels.
 Snacking on the rise during COVID-19 lockdown: https://www.kantarworldpanel.com/global/News/Snacking-on-the-rise-during-COVID-19-lockdown Hollingworth, S., Dalton, M., Blundell, J. E., & Finlayson, G. (2019). Evaluation of the Influence of Raw Almonds on Appetite Control: Satiation, Satiety, Hedonics and Consumer Perceptions. Nutrients, 11(9), 2030.
 Fantino, M., Bichard, C., Mistretta, F., & Bellisle, F. (2020). Daily consumption of pistachios over 12 weeks improves dietary profile without increasing body weight in healthy women: A randomized controlled intervention. Appetite, 144, 104483.
 Tindall, A. M., Kris-Etherton, P. M., & Petersen, K. S. (2020). Replacing Saturated Fats with Unsaturated Fats from Walnuts or Vegetable Oils Lowers Atherogenic Lipoprotein Classes Without Increasing Lipoprotein(a). The Journal of nutrition, nxz313. Advance online publication. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz313