The advice we heard as children was wrong. We were told to eat 3 meals per day. And throughout our adult lives we have made it worse by skipping breakfast, having a small lunch and overindulging for dinner. This is a great way to kill your metabolism and make it far harder for our bodies to burn calories properly throughout the day. Eating like this puts our bodies into a starvation mode where it starts storing everything as fat. To prevent this, learn to eat snacks throughout the day.
Thankfully there are many healthy snacks available. Rather than wandering up and down the snack and junk food aisles of the local grocery stores, head to the produce section to find a great selection of snacks on the go. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables are some of the best snacks available.
Whether you shop at a supermarket, a produce market, a farm stand, a farmers’ market, or online chances are you have access to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. A few that you can eat just by grabbing them off the shelves and giving them a quick rinse are apples, pears, peaches, grapes, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and baby carrots.
Some snacks that require a bit more planning but are still easily portable are those that may need to be peeled or cut into smaller pieces. Carrot or celery sticks are a great snack if you want a crunch. Cucumbers do not necessarily have to be peeled but are generally best when sliced. Hass cucumbers, the long and skinny ones, make a great snack. Bananas, oranges, and even grapefruit can be portable snacks.
Then there are the snacks which take some time to plan ahead but are worth the effort! Try frozen grapes if you want a cool and refreshing snack on a hot day. Toasted chickpeas are a crunchy choice if you want to include some beans. In fact, chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus. Hummus is a healthy spread which also contains tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and possibly other flavors depending on your taste. It makes a great dip for many vegetables including cucumbers and celery or whole grain crackers or pita chips.
One of the most portable snacks is a bag of nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, and Brazil nuts are just a handful of healthy and easy to find nuts that can make a healthy snack. Remember that these can be higher in fat so you may want to control the portion size. Nut butters also can make a great snack. Almond butter is one of the most common alternatives to peanut butter. You can use these nut butters as a spread for celery, apples, and whole grain crackers.
When considering healthy snacks, learn that the most important strategy is to avoid those “middle aisles” of the grocery stores. Those processed foods are rarely ever healthy snacks. Focus more on the all natural whole foods available in the produce aisle or in the bulk section with the nuts. Whether you want an apple, a carrot stick, celery and almond butter, or a little hummus there are many healthy options for snacks on the go.
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