Six Easy Ways to Choose a Smart and Stabilizing Snack
Written by Whitney Stuart, MS, RDN, CDE
Your midday snack could be the reason you swim (or sink) through your afternoon to-do list! Snacks, when made out of nutritious and balanced ingredients, can maintain our blood sugar levels. They help avoid feelings of lightheadedness, a lack of energy, midday moodiness, and even that hangry feeling!
When it comes to snacks, it’s great to incorporate a fresh fruit or veggie, but sometimes that is not possible when you’re sitting at your desk or running errands. This is when it’s important to have prepackaged snacks on hand that are not only quick and easy to grab, but are made with wholesome ingredients that provide sustainable fuel. Skip the vending machine options and plan ahead by having some tasty favorites on hand! With these six smart snacking tips, we are able to stabilize your blood sugar and help eradicate that 3 o’clock crash!
1. Read the nutrition label!
What are the macronutrient (protein, fiber, and fat) contents of the snack in hand? A quick snack of chips or candy, which is made up of only fast-digesting, blood sugar skyrocketing carbohydrates, is guaranteed to leave you hangry in less than an hour. That immediate spike of energy is quickly followed by a crash. More on this under #3!
2. Be wary of sneaky packaging
Many brands are guilty of using pretty packaging that distracts from the less than ideal ingredients and actual nutrition of the product. Rather than getting frustrated and reverting to an overly processed and packaged snack, I want to help you decipher what makes a snack smart AND stabilizing.Compare the big, bold claims with the ingredients and nutrition breakdown on the back. Smart snacks should come from reliable and honest brands, such as Munk Pack, who’s nutrition info is straight to the point! Leave those sneaky brands behind.
3. Leave the Lonely Carb Club
This concept is mastered by every Whitness Nutrition patient. A lonely carb, such as a Nature Valley granola bar or bag of Lays, raises blood sugar quickly and then follows with a crash. A lonely carb is only going to provide a quick source of energy, but won’t do long term good for your body. Instead, pair your carbs with fat or protein to keep your blood sugar steady. This strategy keeps you energized and feeling full longer. If you’re craving a savory snack, go for corn tortilla chips with guacamole or hummus. If it’s a sweet you’re craving, grab some almond butter with a banana, or even make some protein muffins smeared with peanut butter. Need something quick and easy? Keep reading to learn about my new favorite snack bar.
4. Prevalence of Ingredients
The order of ingredients determines their prevalence in the product. If you notice your snack starts with the ingredients sugar, corn syrup or maple syrup, you have collateral to put that snack back on the shelf and deem it a lonely carb. If you are choosing a premade or pre-packaged snack, look for the ingredients list to start with whole food sources, like Munk Pack nut based keto bars or almond flour crackers. If the last few ingredients are those like organic sunflower oil or natural preservatives, that’s more beneficial than being in the beginning of the list.
5. Fuel with (real) fiber!
Did you know that fiber slows and improves digestion for more consistent blood sugar levels? A fat + fiber snack ensures low blood sugar and sustained energy you need to continue hustling throughout the day. Pairing healthy fats, such as nut butter or guacamole, with a banana or baby carrots is a great example of two fat + fiber snacks on the go.
6. Whoa! Sugar Alcohols, who dis?
Sugar alcohols are one of the largest culprits of modern digestive issues, especially when consumed in large amounts. Common sugar alcohols end in the suffix “-tol” which makes them easy to identify. Some common ones you’ve probably seen are erythritol, maltitol and sorbitol. Sugar alcohols are indigestible by our bodies, and get stuck in the large intestine, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Avoid these and look for items made with fewer, high quality sweeteners, such as maple syrup, allulose, dates or honey.
Don’t stress, difficult snacking endeavors are over!
Munk Pack is a real food based snack brand that creates low-sugar, low-carb snack bars in a delicious variety of flavors. Munk Pack has created a variety of snack bars that appeal to those who follow a keto, gluten-free and plant-based lifestyle, but the best part? These snack options also work well for the diabetic community, with 1g of sugar or less per serving and no more than 3g of net carbohydrates per bar. These are the perfect option for a low-glycemic, fat and fiber snack to fuel your afternoon!
The typical granola bar on the market is full of high-fructose corn syrup and minimal sources of healthy fats for sustainable energy. These snack bars, made primarily of nuts, seeds and natural sweeteners, provide a much better option. You get a variation of fat, protein and fiber through Munk Pack keto bars. You’ll avoid blood sugar level spikes and get a steady source of energy that Chewy Bars could never touch!