What Makes a Snack Healthy?
We don’t often think of snacks as “healthy.” There’s a stigma against snacks as being made up of fatty, sugary ingredients that have been colored with an unpronounceable formula. But not all snacks are created equal, and not all snacks are unhealthy. In fact, there are more healthy snacks than you might realize. But just what makes a snack healthy? Simpalo Snacks is committed to providing you and your workplace treats that are sure to delight. With healthy snacks delivered to your business, you’ll never have to guess about what snack is healthy and what isn’t. But if you’re still curious what makes a snack healthy, read on to find out more!
What Constitutes A Snack?
Before we get too far into our discussion of what makes a snack healthy, it’s important to keep in mind just what a snack is. For many in the US, a snack might actually be another meal, as the availability of fast food has made greasy foods like pizza, burgers, and tacos cheap and easy to be tempted by. But often, these quick options are better suited to be a meal than a snack. The ideal snack then should be light and be made up of complex nutrients, healthy fats and proteins, and provide you a consistent stream of energy throughout the day. This can be anything from a handful of nuts, to an apple, or even a pre-packaged “snack-sized” treat.
Healthy VS. Unhealthy
It’s easy to look at a package and see phrases like “all natural” and “pure” and think that the ingredients in that snack are better than others. But that’s not always the case. For instance, “pure” sugar is “all natural,” but that doesn’t mean that eating a chocolate candy bar is healthy for you.
A healthy snack is one that is an appropriate portion for snacking. You can look at the nutrition label to determine the portion size of that food. It’s easy to eat more than this if you’re taking your snack straight from a larger package, so it’s important to measure out a serving and put the box away before you start snacking. Many healthy snacks remove the option to overeat by pre-packaging one serving’s worth of snack into a bag or small box.
Just because a serving size is small, that doesn’t always mean the calorie count is too. High-calorie foods generally aren’t considered healthy snacks. High-calorie foods are, according to the Food and Drug Administration, any food that contains 400 or more calories per serving. Instead, choose snacks that are low to moderate in their calorie count and provide some form of nutrition. Typically, the ideal snack is about 100 calories, but snacks up to 250 calories are great substitutes for meals.
Much of what makes up the calories in a snack are the additives in that snack. One of the most commonly found additives in unhealthy snacks is salt. In general, you should limit the amount of salt you intake every day. Unhealthy snacks, like chips, can quickly push you past your daily salt intake limit if you’re not careful. Sugar is another additive that can turn healthy snacks into unhealthy snacks. A great snack is one that utilizes the natural salt and sugar content of its ingredients and doesn’t add any extra.
Typically, we shy away from fat in our foods because we think it’s bad for us. In actuality, the body needs a certain amount of fats to stay healthy. Typically, fat-free snacks replace their fat content with sugars instead. When looking for a healthy snack, look for options that have low- or reduced-fat in them, so you’re still getting the important fats that your body needs.