Healthy Habits

Nourish with Nutrition: Anatomy of a Snack

healthy snack

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

Snacks can be a great way to fuel your day with extra nutrients and bridge the gaps between meals. When looking for a satisfying snack, be sure to include carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Create appropriate portion sizes for your hunger level — remember, snacks shouldn’t replace a meal.

Wholesome Carbs

Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for our body and brain. They also maintain fullness and help with digestion. For the greatest nutritional impact look for whole grain or whole food options when choosing your carbs.

Pro tip: look for labels like 100 percent whole grain, sprouted, or whole grain to ensure the majority of the food comes from whole grains. Items labeled as multigrain, stone-ground, and made with whole grains may only have a small amount of whole grains in the product.

Powerful Proteins

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, hormone regulation, and various other body processes. Eat a variety of lean or plant-based proteins to ensure you are getting all the amino acids (the building blocks for protein) your body needs. Some of our favorites include roasted chickpeas, cottage cheese, nuts, hummus, trail mix, edamame, nut butters, and Greek yogurt.

Healthy Fats

Fat is important for brain health and nutrient absorption. It can also help you stay full longer. Most healthy fats are plant based; however, this doesn’t mean animal products with fat are bad, just limit the amount you eat on a daily basis.

Fill Up with Fiber

Fiber is essential in supporting heart health, lowering cholesterol, staying full longer, and maintaining bowel health. Check out this list from www.dietaryguidelines.gov to learn what foods will give you the most fiber throughout your day.

Wholesome Snack Ideas

Review the list below and incorporate two of these wholesome snack ideas into your week!

  • Vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumbers, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry/grape tomatoes) with hummus/tzatziki sauce or cottage cheese dips
  • Apples slices and nut butter
  • Whole grain toast/crackers with nut butter, avocado, guacamole, tuna, or chicken salad
  • Smoothie with low-sugar granola
  • Unsweetened dried fruits with nuts and cheese
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit and low-sugar granola
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Chia pudding
  • Cottage cheese and whole fruit
  • Overnight oats
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Air-popped popcorn
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