5 Things That Make a Healthy Snack
The mid-afternoon snack attack is real! Come 3 pm, it’s not uncommon to find yourself reaching for that bag of chips in the breakroom or the candy bar in your bag. Unfortunately, neither of these fall into the category of a healthy snack. Sure, they may sound like good snacks to eat as far as your taste buds are concerned, but they won’t do any favors for your overall satiety levels.
Healthy snacks are the ones that taste great and make you feel good. Whether it’s in the form of healthy food to snack on like carrots and hummus or a healthy snack bar, a healthy snack will be one that leaves you feeling full, energized, and satisfied.
There are several nutritional elements that make up a healthy snack. We’ve broken them down into our 5 top to help set you on the right path.
1. Look for Snacks High in Protein
If you’re looking for what makes a snack healthy, a good thing to review is how much protein it has. Snacks high in protein are known for keeping you fuller for longer. In a 2012 study, University of Missouri researchers found that women in physically healthy condition who ate snacks high in protein (24 grams of protein on average) were more satiated than those who consumed less. High protein snacks come in many shapes and forms, including plant-based protein snacks with pea protein, nuts, and seeds.
2. Choose Low Calorie Snacks
Another factor that makes a snack healthy is its caloric content. The ideal healthy snack will be between 150 to 300 calories. Any less and you run the risk of being hungry again within a few hours or less. Any more and your healthy snack may be inching towards becoming a meal.
3. Pay Attention to Fat Content
Not all fat is bad, but if you’re looking to find the healthiest snacks to eat, it is important to monitor how much fat is in them. A general rule of thumb is to keep your overall fat intake below 35% of your total daily calories. Of course, some fat is a necessary component of every healthy diet; if possible, aim to get your fats from plant sources like nuts and seeds. Be wary of foods that promote low fat content but are packed with sugar or other fillers. Try to avoid trans fats like partially hydrogenated oils and saturated fat, which are commonly found in animal products.
4. Prioritize Low Sugar Snacks
Whether you’re purchasing healthy snacks from the store, online, or making them on your own, it’s important to be cognizant of the amount of sugar in them. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that men keep their daily sugar intake at 9 teaspoons or less and that women limit their daily sugar intake to 6 teaspoons or less. While this doesn’t bode all that well for your candy bar habit, the good news is that you can easily swap that out for a nutritious, low-sugar snack bar from Munk Pack that tastes just as good, if not better! Both our Keto Granola Bars and our Keto Nut & Seed Bars contain just 1g of sugar or less. How about that for healthy snacking!
5. Opt for Snacks with Minimal Salt
When perusing the aisles of the supermarket looking for healthy snacks to buy, be wary of those high in sodium. The recommended amount of daily salt intake is between 1,500 to 2,300 mg, but the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. A healthy snack should contribute less than 10% of your daily salt consumption.
Final Thoughts: Snack Mindfully
The healthiest way to snack is to do so mindfully. Consider the timing of your activities and plan your snacks around them. The best time to reach for a healthy snack is before you become ravenous, not after. This will help prevent you from going towards those less-than-healthy (but super tempting!) snack foods.
When you eat your yummy snack, enjoy it! Sit down and relish the flavors and textures. Notice how you feel before, during, and after.
All of these tips are designed to set you on the right path for healthy snacking. Find your favorite healthy snacks here at Munk Pack. We never compromise taste for nutrition. Low in sugar, gluten-free, and plant-based, our snacks are intended to empower people to lead active, healthy lifestyles on the go. Enjoy healthy snacking with us today!