When you’re eating on the go or need a boost of energy, why not choose healthy snacks over fast food?
While some of us sweet tooths (cough cough) reach for sugary snacks to keep us going, they’re not a healthy choice. Sugar gives us a buzz initially but then leads to an energy crash later as our glucose levels drop. Plus sugar can seriously hijack your energy if you’re borderline diabetic, diabetic or suffer from hypoglycemia.
The best way to beat fatigue during the day and boost your energy is with healthy snacks that contain fat, fiber and protein.
Protein and fat give us longer lasting energy. Eating snacks with these ingredients may not give you the initial energy buzz of sugar. However proteins and fat send sustained energy for a longer period of time and are a much healthier alternative.
Make sure any of your healthy snacks are made from good fat and clean protein. Good fat is unsaturated or monounsaturated. Avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sesame, flaxseed and fish are all in this family.
Good protein is lean protein. Think meat without a lot of fat. Chicken breast (not nuggets), pork burger (not bacon), eggs, lean fish such as cod, salmon or haddock. Beans also can provide a good source of protein. Organic or sustainably sourced proteins are even better.
Protein powders are another way of getting your energy boost by adding them to a shake or smoothie.
While not specifically a snack, water should be the first thing you reach for if you’re feeling blah or wiped out. Don’t underestimate how much dehydration can mess with your energy levels. Black or green tea is another way to rehydrate and boost your energy levels. Just don’t drink after 3 PM if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
Next time you want to boost your energy and avoid fatigue, reach for one of these healthy snacks.
Packed with potassium and fiber, a banana is the most portable energy snack going. Add a dab of almond or peanut butter to each bite for a protein boost. Take over ripe bananas and freeze. Blend them with coconut milk and matcha tea, then refreeze to make a super healthy ice cream substitute.
Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are packed with protein and a dose of good fat. Buy a large bag and divvy it up into smaller portions you can take on the go. Unsalted, raw is preferable to salted and roasted in oil. Try also KIND Nut & Spices Madagascar Vanilla Almond bar for a healthy sweet almond snack.
Old fashioned oatmeal is full of fiber and a little protein. Mix some berries, a little milk or yogurt for a filling breakfast. Or try oatmeal based snacks such as crackers or bars. I’m currently infatuated with Nairn’s Cheese oatcakes for their delicious taste with no added sugars or hydrogenated fats. Add a little slice of cheese and it’s heaven on a cracker.
- Chia Seeds
While not a snack on their own, chia seeds are a versatile addition to your oatmeal or protein smoothie and provide protein and fiber. Adding liquid to the seeds makes them plump up. One of the tastiest, simplest best banana pudding recipes I know of uses chia seeds.
- Low Glycemic Bars
Keep one or two of these in your desk drawer or car for a quick boost of energy. Sweetness is derived naturally from fruit and nuts add protein. The Nakd Banana Bread bar contains only raw fruit, oats and nuts and satisfies your sweet tooth (UK only). Bounce Energy Ball is an almond and whey protein bar that’s gluten free with 11g of protein (UK only). The LUNA Mint Chocolate Chip bar has 12g of protein. Health Warrior Superfoods Protein bar contains our friends chia, oatmeal and quinoa in a 10g protein bar.
Instead of reaching for a sweet snack, choose a healthy snack of protein to boost your energy levels and fight fatigue at any time of day. Your body will thank you.