Snacking is a common habit to either keep hunger at bay or prevent you from walking around like a zombie at work! While most people snack, the question many people ask is if snacking is actually good for your health, and if so what snacks should you be eating? With snacking being such a controversial topic it’s important to talk about why exactly plant-based snacking can be a healthy part of anyone’s diet, and why you actually should be snacking every day!
Why is Plant-Based Snacking Healthy?
Contrary to popular belief, snacking may be healthier than you think, it all depends on what you decide to snack on!
So, why is plant-based snacking healthy? Enjoying nutrient rich snacks during the day can keep blood sugar levels stable, prevent you from becoming ravenous later on in the day, and can even give your metabolism a kick in the butt!
Now, with that being said not everyone needs to snack, in fact, some people get by just fine having three large balanced meals during the day. However, most people feel the need to chow down on something during that 11 am or 3 pm hour. The great news is that there are healthy options to keep you on your healthy eating track.
If you are a hardcore snacker and are looking for ways to ramp up your healthy eating style, here are ten plant-based snacking guidelines you must live by!
#1: Focus on Protein: Face it, there’s a ton of junk out there, and most of the sugar you see today is seen in the form of packaged carbohydrate-rich snacks. The things is that while high carb snacks may give you that boost of energy initially, you will experience an inevitable crash and burn later in the day. To prevent this, focus on plant-based protein at every snack. Try snacking on some nuts and seeds, nut butter and toast, banana and peanut butter, or even a homemade granola bar.
#2: Get Your Fats in: Just like protein, healthy fats are needed for healthy snacks as well. Instead of carb loading look to healthy fats to keep you full. Try adding some coconut oil to your smoothies, slicing up an avocado, or enjoying a small salad with a handful of olives. Fats will keep you full much longer than carbs.
#3: Get in the Kitchen: Snacking doesn’t mean you have to purchase junk from the grocery store. If you have a food prep day, set aside a little extra time to whip up some homemade hummus, vegan guacamole, or salsa. Pack these as an on the go snack, and you not only have a nutritious option but a cost effective one too!
#4: Plan Ahead: When you eat plant-based there may not be as many healthy options available for you when you are out and about. However, don’t fear! Simply plan ahead, and pack yourself some on the go snacks, so you never go hungry!
#5: Make a Homemade Energy Bar: Believe it or not, making your own granola bars is far easier than it may seem, and a whole lot healthier and way more delicious than those store bought options. All you need is a handful of pitted dates, some raw cashews, and whatever other nuts and seeds your heart desires. Blend the ingredients up in a food processor with a little pure maple syrup, and you have yourself a high fiber super delicious plant-based snack bar.
#6: Embrace Fiber: As you have probably heard for many years, fiber is a requirement for a healthy diet. Luckily eating plat-based means you have many opportunities to increase your fiber intake. Use snacks as a way to increase your intake even more. Try adding ground flaxseeds, berries, and rolled oats to your smoothies. You can even make a homemade granola which is super convenient and really yummy!
#7: Drink Your Snacks: Drinking as in drinking a homemade juice, or smoothie that is. Snacking on nutritious smoothies or juices is an excellent way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake and ultimately increasing your alkaline rich food intake as well. Focus on leafy greens, and toss in some berries for the perfect balance. You now have a super nourishing snack to get you through the mid-day slump.
#8: Focus on High Energy Foods: Instead of reaching for that cup of joe in the middle of the day, reach for your snack bag. Focus on high-energy foods such as nuts and seeds, coconut, beans, and even quality plant-based protein powders to get you through your day.
#9: Indulge if Necessary: You’re probably thinking you read that wrong, but you didn’t! Indulging once in a while is ok because restricting your diet can lead to a binge. Instead, if you’re craving chocolate, have it! Just make sure it 70% dark chocolate or higher and only have a square or two.
#10 Get Superfoods in When You Can: Whenever you get the chance to add a superfood to your diet, do it, your health will thank you for it. Make some chia pudding, and add in some goji berries, blueberries, or hemp seeds to your snacks whenever possible.
Snacking can be healthy, fun, and still delicious. Try following these ten plant-based snacking guidelines to keep your body healthy, your taste buds happy, and keep you on the healthy track!