Novella Lui, RD, MHSc, Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Consultant
March is Nutrition Month and our Registered Dietitian, Novella Lui (@livetonourishrd) wants to remind you of the importance of mindful eating.
To snack or not to snack?
It’s 3 p.m. and your stomach is growling. Because you may have heard mixed messages around snacking, you are debating if you should grab a snack to overcome your hunger or if you should wait it out until dinner time later in the evening.
Eating snacks can certainly be part of a healthy diet. Snacks not only fuel the body during times when you experience energy slumps, but they can also prevent you from overeating at your next meal. By including snacks as part of your diet, you can enjoy a greater variety of foods throughout the day.
The type of snack you choose and how much you eat, however, are important elements to consider when you incorporate a snack as part of your diet.
Snacking can be part of a healthy diet
A typical, healthy snack is about 100 to 200 calories and includes one to two food groups from Canada’s Food Guide. Specifically, a snack that consists of protein and fibre is a nutritious choice. Both protein and fibre promote satiety, which makes you feel full longer and can tide you over before you enjoy your next meal.
Some healthy snacks that provide protein and fibre include:
Listen to your hunger cues
While snacking can be a part of a healthy diet, there are many factors, including physiological, emotional and environmental, that can trigger your urge to snack. Before you pick up that snack, ask yourself, “Do I want to have a snack because I’m hungry?” Often the answer is no.
The more you ask yourself this question, the more you are better in tune with your body. Practicing mindful eating helps you to learn to listen to your body so you’ll eat at appropriate times and appropriate amounts.
When snacking is unnecessary
On the other hand, if the answer to your question is “I want to have a snack because I am stressed, bored or upset”, then snacking is simply unnecessary. In this case, emotional eating does not only affect your food choices, but it will also lead to overeating and excessive caloric intake. Over time, it may contribute to weight gain.
To manage your emotions, engaging in activities that are beneficial to your mental health is key, such as going for a walk, exercising and doing meditation.
More tips on mindful eating
In addition to listening to your hunger cues and paying attention to any tendency to eat because of emotions, here are more tips on how you can practise mindful eating:
Alligga offers healthy snacking options
At Alligga, we see snacking as an opportunity to incorporate a greater variety of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, as part of your diet. Our nutrient-dense Hempcorz is the perfect snack food to meet your nutritional needs.
With 170 calories, 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fibre and 10 grams of dietary polyunsaturated fats per serving of three tablespoons, Hempcorz is a protein and fibre-rich product that you can pair with other healthy food choices, such as adding a tablespoon or two to your yogurt. In addition to combining Hempcorz with other food, you can also enjoy eating the seeds alone!
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