Snacking is a fun and most often than not, mindless activity. Almost everyone snacks! But for someone who needs to start an anti-inflammatory diet, snacking can be a huge deterrent.
Snacking has become more common during the pandemic, as more people are working and eating from home, and sales of snacks like chips, popcorn, and pretzels grew more than 11 percent in a year. More Americans are getting more of their calories from snacks than any other source – even back in a 2019 Food & Health Survey found that 57 percent of us were snacking at least once per day, while just 3 percent reported that they “never snack.”
Eating too many snacks can add extra calories to your diet and consequently, add pounds. Even worse, eating too much of a bad snack can lead to negative long-term effects like obesity, high cholesterol, and even tooth decay.
And let's face it, when we say snacks, a vast majority mean chips, sodas, fried foods, and candy. You’re addicted and even though you know that you should stop eating these unhealthy foods, you have a very difficult time doing so. How will you even go about your anti-inflammatory diet if you can’t stop snacking?
Even though snacking has developed a "bad image," snacks can be an important part of your diet. They can provide energy in the middle of the day or when you exercise. A healthy snack between meals can also decrease your hunger and keep you from overeating at meal time
To help you out, here are some alternative snacks you can eat to combat your poor eating habits:
A good way to meet your daily vegetable intake is to enjoy your favorites with a side of hummus. This dip is primarily made with chickpeas and tahini which makes it both plant-based and full of beneficial nutrients.
A 2020 study found that snacking on hummus helped to reduce future snacking on desserts by 20 percent compared to no snacking or snacking on granola bars. Eating hummus also reduced hunger by about 70 percent and increased satiety by 30 percent compared to no snack.
Eggs are a quick, high-quality source of protein, making them an ideal alternative to common snack foods that are heavy in refined carbs and added sugars. But they are also one of the best sources of two anti-inflammatory nutrients, selenium and choline. In fact, two eggs provide 50% of our daily needs for both. Cook a batch at the start of the week to keep on hand in the refrigerator for snack time.
You can't go wrong with an avocado-based dip—from both a taste and health perspective! Packed with monounsaturated fats (read: the good kind), avocado is also a good source of fiber and vitamin E, two nutrients that help tamp down inflammation. Make guacamole from scratch or buy 100-calories packs for easy portion control. Serve with baby carrots or a few whole-grain tortilla chips.
Some days call for a bite of something sweet, so when this happens, opt for a 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate. Look for a chocolate made with 60% or more cacao for one of the anti-inflammatory polyphenols, and look for one with only a few grams of added sugar.. And if you need a more filling sweet treat, try topping a chocolate square with a little nut butter or opting for a treat with both.
Whether for breakfast or a snack, yogurt is always an easy option. Stay away from sugary blends and opt-for a plain variety (dairy-free or regular) that you can customize with your own inflammation-fighting toppings. The yogurt provides fat and protein, while the blueberries and walnuts are considered anti-inflammatory superfoods. Plus the walnuts provide omega-3s, which help the body restore balance after inflammation.
The amazing thing about smoothies is that they're essentially a blank canvas, ready to be filled with healthy, anti-inflammatory ingredients. The key to keeping your smoothie healthy is to avoid high-sugar ingredients). Skip the added honey, maple syrup, and other sweeteners and rely on bananas, dates, or berries for that sweet taste you're after. Up the anti-inflammatory factor by adding in leafy greens like spinach, vibrant veggies like beets, and dark, antioxidant rich blueberries.
Eating too much and the wrong kinds of snacks can lead to weight gain and health problems. There are some better ways to manage your snacks.
Only snack when you’re hungry. Eating because you’re bored or stressed can cause overeating and weight gain. Pay attention to the times of day you’re normally hungry and plan accordingly. Rate your hunger before eating.
If you’re stressed or emotional, take time to notice and name your feelings and find another way to manage them. For some people, eating snacks helps maintain energy and can be an important part of a healthy diet. Pay attention to what and how much you’re eating and focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Plan healthy snacks.
Chips and cookies are okay once in a while, but the best way to snack is by eating nutrient-dense foods. Plan and prepare your snacks ahead of time and choose whole foods. Snacking can be a great part of your daily diet as long as you choose options that supply you with beneficial macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
We understand that it’s hard to prepare food for an anti-inflammatory diet. One of the reasons is that you may feel lost and overwhelmed and you need relevant and trusted information on what to do when you’re on this diet. If you need help with your anti-inflammatory diet, look for an all-in-one guide that sets you up for success.
The Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Beginners not only covers recipes for meals, but also taps the best snacks to eat that are healthy and anti-inflammatory. Because it’s written by a trusted source, someone who suffers from chronic inflammation, its information is guaranteed to be relevant and its recipes not only effective, but simple to make and delicious.
This meal plan, The Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Beginners, will guide you on how to solve your poor eating habits, pinpoint your trigger foods, and keep you on the diet for the long-term.
Thanks to this fantastic diet, cooking quick and budget-friendly meals is easier than ever. No matter if you're a solo eater, or if you cook for the whole family or friends - you'll always find dozens of recipes to satisfy everyone. With a wide range of great-tasting, easy-to-prepare recipes, you’re bound to find something you’ll love.
And snacking can be healthy and enjoyable!