By Nicole Figari, Nutritionist, author of the book "And now what do I eat?" and co-author of the book "Simple, rich and healthy", @nicole.figari
One of the most frequently asked questions in relation to healthy eating in the doctor's office, on social networks and even in gatherings of friends is how do I choose a snack?! What should I pay attention to?
Making the decision to eat healthy is a challenge , currently there are so many products on the market, so much information bombardment and so many food trends that many times we do not know how to choose consciously .
Snacks are a great ally in our diet, they allow us to eat something at mid-morning, have something delicious for that moment when you can't stand your hunger, or enjoy something different.
The time has come to choose a snack and we are filled with questions: what do the stamps mean? What is the portion that I should eat? Will it have sugar? will it be really good?
Here are 3 tips that will make it much easier to choose products that are really a contribution to your diet.
- That it has FEW AND GOOD INGREDIENTS is essential. Try to know all the ingredients that are mentioned on the label and thus avoid ultra-processed foods that need many additives to achieve pleasant textures and flavors at a high nutritional cost. As a tip , ideally it should not have more than 5-7 real ingredients . Choose nutritious ingredients such as nuts , rich in healthy fats and proteins, incorporate seeds and/or fruits to increase the amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoid refined foods such as flour or highly processed foods that, more than nourishing us, give us empty calories and few nutrients.
- That it is WITHOUT added SUGAR is essential, and not only sugar, but also artificial sweeteners (sucralose, tagatose, stevia...) and the other forms of sugar that we can find (Fructose, corn syrup, maltodextrin...). It is ideal to be able to give a sweet touch from fruit such as dates, plums or raisins.
- Eating an ADEQUATE PORTION is key, the product we have can be very healthy, but if we consume it in larger amounts than we need, it eventually becomes unbalanced. A snack should provide between 80 and 140 calories depending on the requirements. Therefore, you have to select the amount that you are going to eat, ideally choose formats that are ready to eat so as not to eat too much .
I recently discovered the Smart Snack Energyballs and it has become one of my most frequent recommendations for my family and patients. They have a wonderful flavor , noble and healthy ingredients , naturally sweetened , a soft and crunchy texture at the same time and in a practical format to keep in your wallet, take to school or university in your backpack. Definitely an essential in my pantry and purse.