In our fast-paced lives, it's crucial to strike a balance between convenience and health. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can be a challenge, especially for individuals with busy lifestyles. However, it is essential to prioritise nutritious food choices to improve the overall well-being and fuel our bodies.
When it comes to snacking-on-the-go, keep these pointers in mind to make smart choices that nourish your body.
Why healthy snacking is essential
Eating at intervals and eating balanced snacks throughout the day is crucial for maintaining stable blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes, regulating appetite, and avoiding overeating during main meals. The concept of healthy snacking revolves around nourishing the body with the right nutrients at the right time. By incorporating nutritious snacks into busy schedules, individuals can satisfy their hunger, boost energy levels, and support overall wellness.
Selecting balanced snacks for sustained energy
When choosing snacks for on-the-go consumption, it is important to aim for a combination of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. This helps stay satiated, provides a steady release of energy, and supports optimal cognitive function. Some examples of balanced snacks that can be enjoyed on-the-go, are hung curd with any seasonal fruit, nuts and seeds, hummus and veggie wrap in wholegrain roti, hard-boiled eggs, roasted makhanas, protein bars, and energy balls.
Always have a mix of roasted nuts on hand. Opt for dry-roasted almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts. Stay away from trail mixes or granola mixes that are loaded with calories due to the dried fruit present in them. These provide a satisfying crunch and valuable nutrients. For a refreshing and portable snack, carry a variety of fresh fruits with you. They offer natural sweetness and a boost of vitamins and fibre.
Indulge in the flavours of roasted tandoori food like paneer tikka or chicken tikka. Request the restaurant to skip adding butter or cream during preparation or serving for a healthier option. Choose plain tandoori roti over heavier alternatives like paratha or naan. When dining out, ask for olive oil instead of butter or cream to keep your meal light and nutritious.
Prioritise protein-rich options and reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Instead of sugar-loaded coffees or teas, opt for black coffee, cappuccino, green tea, or unsweetened tea. Incorporate lean proteins like eggs into your non-vegetarian meals.
Control portion sizes, especially when eating out. Be mindful of how much you consume to maintain a balanced diet. Prefer whole wheat pasta or bread over refined flour alternatives. For a high-protein snack, enjoy hummus with veggies or pita.
Stay hydrated by drinking at least three litres water daily. Choose vegetable juices over fruit juices for a healthier option. When ordering salads, opt for lighter dressings or request an olive oil dressing served on the side.
Enjoy sautéed vegetables or chicken as a nutritious and readily available snack option. When indulging in desserts, consider sharing them with someone to satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging.
Popular go-to options might be:
Portable Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are nature's perfect on-the-go snacks. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre while being low in calories. Incorporate the following portable options into your snacking routine: these could include apples, bananas, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, pre-cut fruit salads, amongst others
Protein-packed Snacks: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues and plays a significant role in satiety. Incorporate protein-packed snacks into your routine to support muscle recovery and keep you energized throughout the day. Some protein-rich snack options include paneer Cubes /slices, chicken wraps/rolls, roasted chickpeas or makhanas.
Nutrient-dense bars and bites: Choose options that are nutrient-dense and made with whole-food ingredients. There are plenty of healthy snack bars, energy balls, and granola bites available on the market that provide a convenient and satisfying snack option.
DIY Trail Mix: Create your own personalized trail mix by combining a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips or coconut flakes. Trail mix is a versatile snack that can be easily portioned into small containers offering a good balance of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.
Smoothies: Whip up a nutritious snack in no time by blending together a combination of fruits, leafy greens, a source of protein like yogurt or protein powder, and a liquid of your choice, and yes of course add some overnight soaked oats.
Sweet potato chaat: Sweet potatoes are versatile, filling, high in fibre and promote a healthy gut and brain. They’re also incredibly rich in beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A to support good vision and your immune system. They can be boiled, baked and sauteed and mixed with some green chutney, lemon juice, imli chutney and sprinkled with some salt and pepper. It can be best relished as an evening snack.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while leading a busy lifestyle is achievable with the right snack choices– this way you can fuel your body with the necessary nutrients, satisfy hunger, and support overall health and well–being. With just a little creativity and mindfulness, snacking on the go can be both convenient and beneficial for busy individuals.
Remember, smart snacking on the go can be a seamless blend of convenience and health. Let these mindful choices fuel your busy lifestyle with energy and vitality!
Inputs by Tanya Mehra, Instagram Mom Blogger & Influencer, Certified in Child Nutrition, Nutrition & Yoga and Mr. Ketan Mavinkurve, Founder & CEO, Alpha Coach
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