Eating nutritious, whole food is an important part of living a long and healthy life. What we eat has a direct impact on how we feel and how our body functions. Therefore, it is very important to make sure our foods are of the highest quality. However, making sure all of your food is made from the best ingredients is easier said than done. Most of us do not have time to cook meals every day or be home to eat them. We must rely on snacks to keep us going on busy days.
Unfortunately, most snacks and to-go foods are made of processed ingredients that you cannot pronounce and are not the best for your body. Eating processed foods is okay every now and then, but having the whole, unprocessed foods are best. And this includes little snacks you eat throughout the day. Those little snacks can add up to big problems or be a big help to your diet. Here are three reasons why healthy snacks are so important.
Avoid Getting Hungry
We all know someone who gets angry when they get hungry. (And that might just be you!) When you go too long without eating, you start getting irrational and irritable. Everyone around you starts to walk on tiptoes to avoid you. In order to avoid a hangry situation, keep healthy snacks with you at all times. You can stash them in your purse, your desk, your car or your gym bag. This way you can eat something quick to keep that hangry feeling at bay while still sticking to your goal of eating healthy foods.
Avoid Junk Foods
Sometimes you get stuck with nothing healthy to eat. You may be caught in traffic, held up in a meeting or busy running kids to different practices. When that happens, the temptation to stop and eat something unhealthy is very real. Fast food restaurants are everywhere and offer seemingly delicious prepared foods that cost little money. Unfortunately, most of those foods are full of sodium, fat and unhealthy carbs. They will not help you stick with your goals and you will probably feel worse after you eat. This is where healthy snacks are clutch. Snacking on nuts, dried fruit or granola can keep you away from the drive-through line.
Stay on Track
Have you ever thought you would just eat one Oreo and then found yourself halfway through the package? Sweet and salty foods trigger our brains’ pleasure centers. We are designed to crave and enjoy these satisfying snacks. However, these do not help us making good decisions. Just like one Oreo can lead to 10, one bad snack can lead to an unhealthy lunch, happy hour, and then a full-on feast during dinner. Healthy snacks help keep cravings at bay so that you are less tempted by unhealthy choices later in the day.
While healthy snacks do not take the place of meals, they can take the edge off until you get a chance to eat. Stick with foods that are organic and minimally processed like nuts, crunches and dried fruits. You can also eat energy bars that are made of superfoods. Just make sure they aren’t full of unhealthy stuff! Remember that these small foods can have a big effect on your diet, so choose well and happy eating!