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The snack is a food break made between the main meals. Snacking is not mandatory or essential, but it can be very helpful in different situations. To better understand the art of snacking, let's take a look at when and why it can be beneficial to have a snack, how to compose a balanced snack, as well as some ideas to inspire you.   

When to have a snack?

A snack can be taken in the morning between breakfast and lunch, in the afternoon between lunch and dinner, and in the evening after dinner. When there is a long period of time between meals, usually more than 5 hours, snacks can help prevent low energy, irritability, or headaches.ête.

They can also help keep you going between meals and prevent excessive hunger at the next meal, which can sometimes lead to overeating or less healthy food choices. So, when we have a craving, it can be interesting to satisfy it and thus calm our cravings for either too much or poorly eating.r.

Snacks can also be eaten before a workout to refuel and after a workout to aid recovery..

Why have a snack

Snacking can help maintain more stable energy levels throughout the day and meet the increased needs of active people..

Snacks also help distribute food intake optimally throughout the day to meet energy and nutrient needs without having to overload main meals.

They can also help supplement meals and meet daily needs for fruits, vegetables or dairy products and / or substitutes, which are sometimes absent or under-represented at main meals.

What foods to choose for a balanced snack?

A balanced snack includes nutritious, fresh, little or no processed foods.

In general, it is made up of a source of carbohydrates combined with a source of protein..

Carbohydrates provide energy quickly, while protein contributes to feelings of fullness and sustains over a longer period of time ex. : until the next meal. The presence of fiber also contributes to the satiation provided by a snack.ion.

For carbohydrates, consider favoring fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rich in fiber, and for proteins, favor low-fat dairy products and lean or vegetable proteins eg. : nuts, seeds, legumes. Finally, it is also preferable to limit the consumption of foods high in saturated fat, salt and refined sugars.és.

Some examples of balanced snacks

Here is a table that presents some ideas for balanced snacks that combine a source of carbohydrates and a source of protein. Then, you are free to make new combinations according to your preferences and your needs.

 

Sources of carbohydrates

Sources of protein

Fruit

Yogurt

Dried fruits

Nuts and / or seeds

Raw vegetables

Hummus

Slice of whole grain bread

Cheese

Müesli

Soy milk

 

For an original idea of a balanced snack that's easy to carry, consider energy balls made from dried fruits and nuts, like those of Fit-Fit. These energy balls have a short and simple ingredient list, and are no added sugar. They combine a source of carbohydrates in the form of dried fruit eg. : dates, figs and a source of protein in the form of nuts or seeds eg. : hazelnuts, walnuts, chia seeds, which also provide good polyunsaturated fats ex. : Omega 3. Finally, dried fruits and nuts also contain fiber that contributes to satiation and can help regulate intestinal transit, lower cholesterol and better control blood sugar. And. They are so good !!!!onnes!!!!

 

If you are the type who fetch a sugary snack in the evening from the pantry, try to choose a snack that gives you a good source of carbohydrates in the afternoon. You will surely be less inclined to go grab some cookies or some ice cream before going to sleep!r!

 

Now that you know more about snacks, their purpose and how to compose them, it will be easier for you to integrate them into your daily life if you feel the need.

 

Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist

 

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