Why are snacks so important to our health? The usual diet, including 2-3 dense meals per day, is not physiological. Our distant ancestor-gatherers could rarely get much food at a time. For hundreds of thousands of years, the body has adapted itself to frequent but small calorie intakes — the root is here, a handful of berries are there. The volume of our stomach is small – only about 0.5 liters in an empty state, like a small bottle of mineral water. But we regularly force him to stretch, eating more than necessary, simply because we have enough time to get hungry between two meals. As a result, we need more and more food each time to feel the feeling of fullness. Overeating not only harms the figure. It greatly complicates digestion and slows down metabolism.
You need to eat about 5- 6 times a day, and 2-3 of these 6 meals should be small snacks. You can make a light brunch between breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea – between lunch and dinner, and also eat something useful for 1.5-2 hours before bedtime, so as not to toss and turn in bed, dreaming of a sandwich. However, do not replace main meals with snacks.
Healthy snacks are foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Their caloric content is relatively low, however, they provide long-term energy replenishment, improve digestion, promote the growth of muscle tissue.
Speaking of snacking options in an active working life with schedules without breaks for a full meal, first of all, I would like to list the categorically wrong options to satisfy hunger and explain why.
For snacks that are not suitable:
– products from fast food;
– Cookies, candy bars, corn sticks, and other products in rusting packages are “dry” products that lead to dehydration of the body, dysfunction of the biliary system, which causes a decrease in efficiency, lethargy, and fatigue;
– fatty foods: redfish, caviar, fatty meats – these foods will be able to digest as much as possible with the most active work of the digestive organs, which happens only at the main full meal;
– coffee! It blocks the biliary system and disrupts digestion. It can be used no earlier than 30-40 minutes after a meal;
– nuts in their pure form is a rather dry product, very concentrated in nutrient composition and, when used as a snack, can cause cholestasis (stagnation of bile in the biliary tract). Alternative – nuts in combination with juicy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
Short about sandwiches
If you are accustomed to sandwiches, then just accept as a fact that the classic bread + meat sandwich is unacceptable. These products are extremely difficult to digest when consumed at the same time.
The alternative is a sandwich with bread, cottage cheese, and vegetables.
I understand that you are now horrified because the above are the most popular options for quickly satisfying hunger during a crazy working day.
But there is good news. Alternative, healthy options exist. And in order to provide yourself with a useful supply during the day, you need to identify only a few rules.
The best time for a snack is 10:00-11:00 and 16:00-17: 00.
A big break between lunch and dinner (more than three hours) can cause severe hunger and overeating in the evening.
The main rules for a healthy snack:
- Having a favorite lunch box;
- The snack may consist solely of light carbohydrates if before the main meal there are no more than 1-1.5 hours. Why: During this time, there will not be a drop in the blood sugar content, the blood will not have time to “get hungry” and the repeated sensation of hunger will appear closer to the main meal. This is the easiest and not “annoying” snack!
What to eat:
– Absolutely any fruit (1-2 pieces);
– berries (up to one cup);
– fruit smoothies (up to 300 ml);
– pre-soaked dried fruits (and only this way!) – 6-7 pcs .;
– organic bar with nuts and dried fruit.
If more than two hours before the main meal, the snack can no longer consist solely of light carbohydrates, since they will provoke a quick sugar jump and its fall in the blood. As a result, re-feeling hunger after a short period of time will have to “chew on” something again. This threatens to deplete the reserves of the pancreas, the risk of developing diabetes in the future.
What to eat:
In this case, only the “paired” snack will be correct, which will ensure a smooth output of carbohydrates into the blood – light carbohydrates + protein. For example:
– yogurt + fruit / berries;
– cottage cheese + fruit/berries and other sour-milk dishes – cheesecakes, casseroles;
– You can have low-fat cheese (Adyghe, for example) with vegetables.
If before the main meal three hours or more, add complex carbohydrates
What to eat:
– savory cottage cheese casserole;
– a combination of vegetables and whole-grain cereals that do not require long cooking (enough to steam with boiling water for 20-30 minutes.) – buckwheat, flax porridge. But NOT muesli: they contain a large number of simple carbohydrates, sugars, and often unnatural additives;
– You can include black chocolate in snacks (not separately!), But not more than 25 grams.
Snacks after 5 pm should not contain simple carbohydrates and sugar, as they are easily converted into fatty tissue.
When there is absolutely no time and opportunity for a bite to eat, you should always carry herbal tea with you (permissible packaged, but better than pharmacy production), ideally already brewed in a thermos or thermos mug. This drink will protect against the stagnation of the biliary tract, calm down hungry stomach cramps, and forced “hunger” will not harm you.
Sometimes I can allow myself to have a healthy light pie or cake, but in the first part of a day, as a brunch. Can be some cookie, but do not forget, even if it is healthy and light, it does not mean you can eat half of the cake or 6 cookies right away. Only one little snack is enough and will not make any harm. I do not eat these types of snacks every day too.
Here are some recipes for you.
1. Nutritional Bars with Dried Fruits
1 cup of oatmeal;
1 handful of dried fruit;
2-3 slices of grated dark chocolate;
⅓ cup of milk;
1 tablespoon honey;
1 tablespoon of olive oil;
salt and cinnamon to taste.
Separate all dry and liquid ingredients separately. Combine both mixtures and mix well to a thick homogeneous mass. Spread the dough in a layer of 5–7 millimeters on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Send to an oven heated to 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut the hot dough into candy bars, turn them over and leave for another 5-7 minutes in the oven.
To diversify your snack, dried fruit in bars can be replaced or supplemented with nuts, pumpkin seeds, berries, chopped bananas, or other fruits.
2. Berry Pudding
100 g of oatmeal;
200 ml of natural yogurt;
berries to taste;
vanilla, cinnamon, or cardamom to taste.
Mix oatmeal, favorite spices, and yogurt. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, simply add berries, coconut, nuts, or dried fruit.
3. Nut cookies
2 glasses of nuts (preferably hazelnuts or almonds);
350 grams of honey;
½ tsp salt;
4 egg whites;
Vanilla to taste.
Crush the nuts with honey in a blender to a fine crumb. Beat the whites with the salt, then gradually add the peanut mixture and vanilla, continuing to beat. Put the mixture on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in an oven preheated to 160 degrees until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
4. Berry Parfait
150 ml vanilla yogurt;
150 grams of corn flakes;
150 grams of berries.
Put berries in a high glass of berries, yogurt, and flakes, observing equal proportions. Just a few minutes, and your delicious, bright, and slightly snack is ready.
5. Banana and Apple Smoothie
In the evening, prepare a set for a smoothie – a banana, an apple, half a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of cinnamon, a glass of milk (yogurt or kefir) and send to the refrigerator. In the morning you just have to mix all the ingredients.
6. Yogurt with nuts and seeds
Grind in a blender with natural yogurt seeds, nuts, dates. You can add on top any other ingredients to your taste, such as raspberries, blueberries, or coconut shavings. Clean the finished dish in the fridge, and then enjoy a beautiful and nutritious snack.
7. Baked apple with cinnamon
The advantage of baked apples is that in the process of their preparation is saved a maximum of useful substances, minerals, and vitamins. First of all, it is potassium and iron.
1 teaspoon honey;
a pinch of cinnamon.
Remove the apple core, fill the well with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for 15–20 minutes. Optionally, you can add raisins, walnuts, or fill the apples with cottage cheese and fruits.
8. Banana dessert
Just cut the banana into two halves, and top with natural yogurt, coconut, granola, and some honey. It is a very simple, but tasty and healthy snack.
9. Polenta with orange
This low-carb meal is rich in vitamins A and C, making it an excellent source of keratin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Polenta is often served cold, which means that it can be cooked the night before.
300 g polenta;
100 g butter;
300 g of cane sugar;
100 g of white sugar;
1 vanilla pod;
2 tablespoons of Anglesea cream;
10 g of ginger.
Knead the polenta, cane sugar, eggs, butter, and half the vanilla pod until smooth. Fill with dough on ⅔ a form, greased with butter, and bake for an hour.
Melt white sugar in a pan with the remaining vanilla. Add peeled and sliced oranges to the melted caramel and remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle with spiced ginger for piquancy.
Put caramelized oranges with ginger on the cooled cake and decorate with Anglesea cream.
10. Soy smoothie
In a blender, blend 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice, 100 g of tofu cheese, and 1/2 cup of fresh fruit until a uniform mixture is formed.
11. Yogurt-citrus smoothie
In a blender, mix 100 g of low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp. wheat germ and 1/2 cup of crushed ice. To make the cocktail sweeter, you can add a little honey or syrup.
12. Milk-fruit cocktail
In a blender, whisk 1 cup of fresh fruit and/or berries, cut into small pieces, 2 glasses of nonfat milk, 100 g of vanilla pudding, and 1 glass of crushed ice. Pour the cocktail into 4 bowls and serve immediately. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber perfectly satisfy hunger and provide you with energy for half a day.
13. Cottage cheese casserole
Take 2 packs of cottage cheese, 4 tbsp. of honey, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. of semolina. Mix all the ingredients, put in a greased dish for the microwave, bake in normal mode for 10 minutes. 10 more minutes do not remove from the stove – until complete readiness.