Hungry? Grab a — Snickers Healthy Snack
Whenever we hear about snacks, our first impression is not good — snacks have been given an undeservedly bad image.
Though we all understand the importance of diet and lifestyle that have a huge impact on our health — snacks are given little to no attention especially in countries like India where major meals are Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Perhaps your MOM might’ve scolded you during childhood for eating between meals, though it was for the greater good, turns out snacks do more help than harm.
They are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle and provide not only satisfaction and taste but also a whole lot of nutrients.
So forget about Guilty Pleasure as there is no problem in snacking, given that you are choosing the right foods.
Read along to find the top Healthy Indian Snacks that are tasty as well as loaded with nutrients.
Snacks?? They are Bad, Right?
No!! — a BIG NO, though snacks have developed a “bad reputation”, they are a crucial part of your diet especially if you are looking to lose some pounds.
They provide all the necessary energy you need during the middle of days or when you have a long gap between lunch and dinner or when you are hitting the gym.
Snacks hold an essential place in your diet and should be everyone’s staple part of a healthy diet.
Now, with that being said, when it comes to snacking people are — oblivious.
Over the decade’s snacks have been viewed as a guilty pleasure and are always looked down. However, there is a huge misconception related to snack, they are considered compact, ready to use, quick food items that are convenient and reliable as well as tasty.
So whenever the word snack pops up we relate them to some unhealthy choices — chocolate and chips we are talking about you!
Of course, not every snack is healthy or will help you with your weight loss goals.
But with our better understanding of diets, snacks have replaced sweets and treats by more healthy options and left the unhealthy meals for some special occasions.
So you should be acquainted with healthy snacks that you can munch on — rather than grabbing that fried potato chips stashed in your kitchen. We will discuss that shortly but before that, let’s look at some amazing benefits that you can reap by healthy snacking.
Benefits That Come Along the Way
A healthy snack has many — many health benefits if you incorporate it in your daily diet regardless of your fitness goals.
Here we have mentioned some of those benefits…
We all get hungry especially between meals and when we don’t slake that hunger, it adds up to a full starving mode — that makes us overeat on the next meal or even snack.
And when you are starving, naturally you will look to grab some energy-dense foods filled with calories that will assuage your hunger as well as provide you with the tase. That’s why we grab those chocolate chips and not some cucumbers.
So eating small healthy snacks frequently like every 3 hours (which is recommended) will keep you full and energetic, so that for the next meal of the day — you will most likely pick a healthier option as you are not starving badly.
Sound counterintuitive right? Contrary to popular belief that suggests proscribing snacks out of weight loss diet, they help to lose weight instead.
But now that you know it prevents overeating and keeps you satiated and energetic enough, the key here is to space out the meals throughout the day, instead of having 2-3 big meals, make it 6-7 small healthy meals.
It will not only banish cravings but will also help you on losing weight — as it is highly unlikely that you will overeat.
Bunch of Nutrients
By eating healthy snacks you are allowing your body to get the benefits of different nutrients, minerals, and multivitamins.
Fruits & vegetables, for example, are an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients that are much needed by our bodies for better immunity and overall health.
Not only that, but you are also intaking a good amount of protein that is vital for healthy skin, hair, and top of all muscles.
Eating a healthy snack between meals has shown to increase performance and concentration even at school and work. Obviously, anything that will keep you full and energetic as well as set you up with a good mood will for sure increase your focus and productivity.
Steady Blood Sugar
After eating our blood sugar levels plunge gradually, it happens after 3 to 5 hours of eating. During these low sugar levels, we are prone to many health problems like insulin resistance, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
How to keep your blood sugar levels steady? You’ve pretty much guessed it — by having healthy snacks.
Not only will they provide you with necessary minerals, fibres, nutrients, and protein but will also maintain your sugar levels, this is important especially if you are on a high carbs diet.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are more benefits but we cannot mention them all — because if we did, this article will be way too long to finish. Long story short, including healthy snacks between meals, is probably the best healthy idea.
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
A healthy snack is made of 100% natural real food ingredients that do not contain any added ingredients such as artificial colour, sugar, and flavourings.
The way you choose a healthy meal that’s how you can opt for a healthy snack, so if you find that the ingredient list is way too long — then probably you should avoid it.
If you are still not sure about healthy snacks you can check the nutritional label, it provides information on the serving sizes as well as added ingredients.
Just make sure to check the portion size, as you might eat more than you want. Like for example, nuts are healthy but they have less serving size and if you eat them directly from the bag, you will most likely consume more calories.
Therefore always portion out some amount into your container and then eat — rather than munching from the bag itself.
Things to look for in a healthy snack –
- Fibre and Protein:- To make sure that your snack is fully filling and can keep your hunger at bay till the next meal, opt for the ones that have both fibre and protein, like fruits and yoghurts, etc.
- Whole Grains:- Besides protein and fibre, whole grains should be on your list if you want more filling.
- Avoid Additives:- Added sugars, fats, and artificial colours or flavours are not the ones you should choose, you are better off without them. Natural sugar present in fruits is okay.
- Watch out for Calories:- Now, unless you are replacing a meal with snacks, ensure that you are intaking limited amounts of calories. Now, this may differ from individual to individual, but a general rule of thumb for calories in snacks should be around 200ish or less.
- Avoid Processed foods:- Fast foods and processed food may taste good but do not make up a healthy snack, as they are low in nutrients but high in carbs and calories, all the qualities that we are not looking for.
Top 10 Healthy Snacks in India
Now that you have so much information, let’s make your selection process a bit easier. Snacks should always be tasty and highly palatable, we have done the hard work for you by making sure that the mentioned ones are not only healthy but are also scrumptious. Umm, yum!
This south Indian snack is famous in most of India. Rava uttapam is easily made without any problem and you can serve it within 20 minutes. You can even make uttapam with vegetables and oats making it much healthier. It has a lot of nutrients and is low in fat, a quick healthy homemade delicious snack. One uttapam contains around 92 calories and can be consumed during morning breakfast, mid-morning snack, and evening snack.
A dish originated from Gujarat and is widely popular over there is made from fermented rice batter and chickpeas. This snack is an excellent source of iron, calcium, magnesium, protein, and other nutrients. One single serving of dhokla contains around 160 calories with zero cholesterol, this delicacy can be enjoyed as light snacks.
Another light wonderful snack of South India is Idli, you can consume this snack as breakfast, or in lunch meal as well. This snack is prepared from fermented rice and batter of urad dal, furthermore, it can be also prepared from oatmeal, ragi, semolina, etc. Oat idli is a great source of calcium, iron, and is the best snack to maintain blood sugar. Additionally, one idli contains only 39 calories making it the best possible snack for all types of diets.
Who hasn’t heard about the famous Bhel Puri, it is widely popular from central India and is the perfect snack for those who want the taste above all without compromising on health either. Bhelpuri is generally prepared from a variety of different vegetables, spices, rice, peanuts, and chutneys. One serving of bhel puri contains around 60 calories combined with some complex carbs and enough protein to keep you full. Excellent evening snack.
Indian wraps like Jowar veggie wrap, Paneer veggie wrap, or Vegetable Frankie that is not made from plain flour are healthy snack options. Vegetable Frankie is the most popular roadside snack in India and is present in Frankie stalls all over the country. If you are opting for this wrap, make sure that the base is not made from plain flour and you’ve added a plethora of vegetables into it.
Other than that they provide 250 calories and a ton of multivitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B1 that have a lot of benefits, as well as other nutrients. Veg-Frankie is made by rolling a masaledar potato blend inside roti wraps. It has a tongue licking taste and can keep you full for a very long time. For a much healthier option, you can make the veg-Frankie with whole wheat roti and substitute the potato mixture with some vegetables like broccoli that are high in fibre.
Corn soup is an excellent healthy snack that can serve well before the meal, with the meal, or after the meal. It also works well with fried rice and noodles, it contains a lot of vegetables so you are getting many nutrients as well as protein. One serving of corn soup contains around 56 calories. Healthwise, this is an excellent snack during the evening or before lunch or even before dinner.
Dates and Nuts Bar
Though its food is not so famous, it is a highly nutritious snack to munch on. They make a great snack for the evening and you can make the bars and store them for later use. These bars can be made by cocoa powder, roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and of course dates. They are rich in fibre, minerals, and protein, and provide around 72 calories.
Our gratitude cannot be enough for the benefits sprouts bring on the table, they are rich in nutrients and very low in calories as well as fats. They also detoxify the blood and reduce blood pressure. You can consume sprout salad with some lemon that will additionally help to lose weight as it burns fat. They provide 30 calories and can be consumed for mid-morning snack and evening snack.
Dark Chocolate and Almond
A rich, satisfying portable snack, dark chocolate and almonds are an excellent snack. However, they are a bit high in calories and that is 300, but dark chocolate is packed with flavanols that are known to reduce coronary disease and blood pressure (Given that dark chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa solids). While almonds help to maintain blood sugar level, appetite and reduce some weight. Besides that, they are also rich in magnesium.
Last but not least, is one plate Poha, this dish originated from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh. It is an excellent satiating snack for mid-morning or in the evening. Poha is light and can be easily digested, therefore a perfect snack for your health. Speaking of which, it is low in calories, rich in iron, good for diabetes, a good source of healthy carbs, and surprisingly a good probiotic. It contains around 180 calories.
Making Snacking a Smart Habit
Try to limit junk food snacks as they will do no good than harm, with that being said, in moderation they are allowed, like once a while.
Make sure that you are carrying a plastic container or box to store snacks so that they are easily transported or carried.
Also, if you are struggling to find the perfect healthy snack or are having second thoughts, paying a dietitian or nutrition a visit will not do any harm.
In terms of snacking, ideally if you are not active then you should consume around 200 calories or less from the snacks.
On the other hand, if you are an active teen or adult, then you should intake near 200 to 300 calories.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind…
- Snack only if You are Hungry:- Make sure that you are snacking when you are hungry or in between meals, eating out of boredom or emotional reasons can lead to weight gain.
- Planning:- For any sort of diet, you will need to plan in advance, so eating healthy needs planning. If you happen to work for 7 to 9 hours a day, then it is important that you plan your healthy eating on weekends. Without any plan, it will be hard to keep up with the hunger and healthy eating, not to mention the temptations and cravings.
- Blend Carbs and Protein:- We have mentioned this before, but will mention again. By combining carbohydrates and protein, you are giving your body the required energy and keeping yourself full for longer times. A classic one stone two birds situation.
- Frequency:- Meal frequency is imperative especially in case of snacks. As it helps our digestion system and boosts metabolism, make sure that you are taking snacks every 3 hours, give or take a few.
Though snacks have been discarded, it is not the case anymore. They are an excellent option to keep your health journey on track. Healthy snacks can prevent overeating, maintain blood sugar levels, increase focus, and even aid in weight loss.
Besides that, they taste awesome. Thus, if a healthy snack can tick all the boxes of — taste, health, and nutrition there is no reason to look elsewhere for healthy eating.
With that being said, make sure that you are consuming healthy snacks, as not all snacks are healthy.