New Delhi: As the evening approaches, your hunger pangs get the best of you. Research shows that people crave more unhealthy food in the evenings than the rest of the day. Eating one unhealthy meal a day can wreak havoc to your health goals.
Sheryl Salis, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator, talks about why it's important to indulge in healthy bites. Snacks consumed today are often high in carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates, fats particularly transfats, salt/sodium and calories. They are highly processed, high in simple sugars, low in protein, low in fibre and high in preservatives.
This increases the risk of developing noncommunicable lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension. An ideal 'healthy snack' is that which should be nutritious and healthy while preserving the hedonistic features of taste, texture, and appearance.
A healthy snack should be nutrient-dense, high in protein and fibre, low in calories, refined carbohydrates, saturated & trans fats. It should be low in FSS (fat, sugar, and salt). It should also be economical, easily available and safe to consume.
Keeping this in mind, it is definitely possible to maintain a good lifestyle without giving up on tasty snacks. You must move to eat something nutritious and healthy while satisfying your untimely hunger pangs in a healthy way! Here's a list of tasty and healthy snacking options that you can consume guilt freely at 7 pm.
Soups with superfoods
Soups are one of the best options for those evening hunger pangs. Soup essentially makes for the ultimate evening snack as it not only has lower calorie content but makes for a filling meal.
Moreover, as the chilly days continue, soup is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and agile. These days, you get instant-ready soup with superfoods, they are so nutritious that it has up to 4X Protein compared to regular soups.
Create an interesting mix of some carbs, fibres, and protein
You can make a khakhra interesting and nutritious by adding fibres and proteins to it by the way of khakhra chat. Crush the khakhra and add some sprouts/vegetables with some curd and you have a nice yummy treat!
Grab on to a pack of unsalted nuts and whole seasonal fruits
Carry a whole seasonal fruit and a pack of unsalted nuts. Many people think that nuts have a lot of cholesterol ask, "doesn't it have too much cholesterol? Will it not harm my heart?" But let me clarify one point, nuts are low in cholesterol and have healthy fats.
Amongst the nuts, Walnuts is the king of also helps you elevate your mood and is rich in antioxidants. Along with nuts you can also include some seeds like sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
Makhana (foxnuts/lotus seeds) has strong nutritional values; it is a nutritional snack that one can munch on at any time of the day. In addition to this, you can also stock up some simple, quick, healthy and guilt-free evening snacks like jowar puffs, roasted chana, unsalted peanuts, puffed rice with roasted chana and peanuts too.
Plain Yogurt or buttermilk can be a great snack for weight management because of its protein content, it helps to keep full and also has the added benefit of being rich in calcium, which is good for your bones too. To make your yogurt interesting you can add fruit like raspberries or strawberries and some muesli if you like.
You can combine the above snacking options with the healthier option of green tea/moringa tea/green coffee instead of your regular cup of chai or coffee!