Try These Nutritious Snacks to Stay Full Between Meals

Whether you are trying to drop a few pounds or simply eat healthfully for longevity, you’ll love these nutritious and filling snack ideas.

Fatty Acids Get You Going

Not all fat is bad. Healthy fats, the monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as nuts, olives, fish, eggs, avocados and dark chocolate have several powerful health benefits. These healthy fats are especially beneficial for overall brain health and memory, according to livescience.com.

Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids can also lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. As a result, they reduce the risk of vascular disease, heart disease and stroke.

Healthy-fat snacks to try:

Olives 

Black, green and Kalamata olives are all high in monounsaturated fats. Add them to salads or use on whole wheat crackers with low fat cream cheese.

Avocados 

Because avocados are high in healthy, monounsaturated fats, you can feel good about that guacamole!

For a healthy, filling breakfast high in monounsaturated fats, try spreading avocado on wholegrain bread or having a few slices of the fruit alongside a fried egg.

Trail Mix

Trail mix that has a high nut and seed content can be a healthy choice. If your trail mix contains candy, try to choose one with dark chocolate. The nuts and seeds found in many trail mixes are high in monounsaturated fats as well as other nutrients like fiber and protein.

Nuts 

Walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews and pecans are great choices for monounsaturated fats. Add them to salads, or toss a few into your morning oatmeal or yogurt.

Fiber Fills You Up for Longer

Fiber is a nutrient that aids in digestion, but it also helps you feel full longer when you are trying to lose weight. Foods that are naturally high in fiber include: whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

A small or medium banana is only 80-110 calories and can both satisfy your sweet tooth and fill you up. Another high fiber snack that’s healthy and low in calories is a piece of wholegrain crisp bread or whole wheat toast spread with one tablespoon of peanut butter or hummus.

High water content foods, such as fruit and soup, are also likely to fill you up. The double impact of having a large volume and low-calorie content, as well as being high in fiber makes fruits and veggies the ideal solution for a snack attack.

Protein Keeps You Moving

Protein is important to maintaining general health, but more than that, you need complete proteins to keep your muscles strong and your brain functioning at high capacity.

Meat, dairy products and other animal products, such as grilled chicken, string cheese and eggs, are complete proteins that will keep you full and alert.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need to create complete protein meals by combining wholegrain with nuts or pulses. For instance, you can combine whole-wheat bread with peanut butter or eat chick pea curry served over brown rice.

Reasons to Eat Fat to Lose Fat

Coconut oil is a healthy fat.

For decades, all forms of dietary fat were demonized like there was no tomorrow. Fat was blamed for causing numerous chronic health problems and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. As time marched on, researchers discovered more interesting findings. While past recommendations encouraged us to avoid fat at all costs if we wanted to achieve healthy weight loss, experts are now saying that some forms of dietary fat not only help you to burn fat, but also improve your health and well-being in the process. You see, not all fats are created equal; there are good fats, and there are bad fats. Bad fats are synthetic saturated fats and trans-fats found in processed junk foods, whereas good fats are polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and natural saturated fats like those found in animal products and organic, unrefined coconut oil. So, let’s take a closer look at a few reasons why we need to eat fat to lose fat.

Healthy fats turn your body into a fat burning machineIn the past, people were urged to follow extremely low-calorie, virtually fat-free, diets to lose weight; nowadays, the exact opposite is true. Low-calorie diets are not practical for healthy weight loss, and they are actually not that effective either. Rather than encouraging your body to burn fat for energy, the body ends up becoming more effective at using carbohydrates for fuel. What’s more, cutting out fat also reduces the activity and effectiveness of fat-burning hormones known as Adipokines. One such hormone is known as Adiponectin, which boosts the metabolism of fats in the body. This basically means that it turns the body into a fat burning machine, as you will burn stored body fat as a primary source of energy.

Healthy fats replace carbohydrate intakes – Complex carbohydrates are important macronutrients, but if we consume too many carbs, either simple or complex, we will find it harder to burn fat, and easier to store it. When we consume carbohydrates, insulin is secreted by the pancreas to regulate blood glucose levels, and to shuttle nutrients into your cells for energy. If you follow a higher healthy fat diet, your carbohydrate intakes will be lower because you need an equal macronutrient ratio. Less carbohydrates will mean less insulin being secreted. By reducing insulin secretion however, your body can access stored body fat for energy more effectively, meaning that it will use more fat for fuel, as opposed to glucose from carbohydrates.

Here are some examples of healthy fat foods to include in your diet: avocados, nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds), olives, wild-caught salmon (not farm-raised), flaxseeds, whole eggs (yes, eat the yolk!), chia seeds, coconut and organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed, unrefined).

Healthy fats increase satiety levels – Finally, the last reason we should try to eat more good fats if we wish to achieve healthy weight loss, is because fats can increase your satiety levels. This means that you will feel full for longer, so you’ll want to eat less. Per gram of fat, you receive 9 calories of energy, as opposed to 4, which would come from proteins and carbohydrates. Satiating fats, however, will provide more energy and keep you feeling full for longer, so you will be less likely to overeat.