The Importance of Healthy Snacking

We all have different ideas on what exactly constitutes a snack, kan? And I believe many of us might considered any foods other than 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as a snack. Basically, snack is a small portion food eaten in between main meals AND it should provide substantially fewer calories than main meals. Calorie is the keyword there.

Meaning to say, we don't consider a cheeseburger as a snack okey? When I said, "lepas minum Herbalife shake, in between main meals boleh snacking, tak ada masalah" that doesn't mean you can happily start munching on fries, chips, sodas or other kind of junk foods. Those are dead foods and obviously they don't provide real nutrients to your body. SEKALI SEKALA ok lah kot, but hello, for people who currently on diet, keep that away from your list, please. Choose something from the healthy side such as fruits, veggies (ahhh so cliche) or if not, whole grains, high fiber foods and healthy drinks.

Very few jugak yang replied, "takutlah snacking in between morning shake and lunch or between lunch and evening shake, takpa ka? tak gemok?" No it won't, unless you go feed yourself with something that is high in fats and sugars. The keyword here again is calorie; do calorie count. Remember I ajar macam mana nak kira calories? Yes, you should adjust the number of calories that you eat at every meal time (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) so that your total daily calorie intake remains adequate and matches your daily need.

CONTOH (ni for those yang consume Herbalife shake ok? Say for a lady, yang BMR only ngam-ngam 1300).
Breakfast - 250 (also assuming bancuh guna low fat milk)
Healthy Snack - 150
Lunch - 600 (nasi putih, ikan, sayur)
Healthy Snack - 100
Dinner - 200

See? Calories intake cukup. It is always important to ensure a healthy well-balanced diet containing the right amount of calories. Well of course, additional regular physical activity is very much required if you have big number of kg to shed off. Keep in mind that we dont want flabby muscle but a tone muscle, hence physical activity and exercise play a major role to this.

Sometimes we wonder, "why some people can eat quite frequently but never seem to gain weight?". Chances are: (1) they really have high metabolic rate (probably constantly on the move, doing a lot of physical activities) than those on sedentary mode, or (2) the time bomb effect: HIDDEN OBESE. Go google.

Basically a healthy snack should provide about 200 calories or less, and should contain a combination of fuel sources. It is also important for us to look for a snack that contains hunger-fighting protein and some heart-healthy unsaturated fat (like those in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, oils, avocados and olives). Avoid snacks that are nutrient-poor, meaning they provide calories but little to no beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Now, why snacks?

  • Provide energy (sustain energy boost throughout the day, ease hunger pangs).
  • Prevent overeating later the day (indirectly helps to reduced sugar and fat intake).
  • Keep metabolism rate reviving.
  • Healthy snacks are great sources of vitamins and minerals.

Finally, below are among my favorite snacks which first, low calories (below 150kcal, infact most of it below 100 pun) and second, contain high fiber, vitamins and minerals and third, minimal sugar and no saturated fats. :)

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