Most of us lead busy lives and prioritizing healthy eating can be a daily challenge. We often resort to snacking when we don’t have enough time to prepare proper meals. However, many snack foods are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, which lead to feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.
The key to healthy snacking is to make sure the snacks you grab on the run are nutritious and high in protein which help you feel satisfied and lead to less cravings. Whenever possible focus on healthy, whole foods, over the highly processed, refined options so readily available today.
Here are some tips for making healthy choices on-the-go:
Choose Minimally Processed Foods
Whenever possible opt for whole foods in their freshest, most natural state. Think a handful of almonds versus a granola bar with a long list of ingredients. During the processing of refined foods, nutrients can be lost and there are often additives that are not good for you.
While on-the-go fresh foods aren’t always possible. Not all processed foods are created equally. Read ingredient lists – less is usually more – and reduce the amount of sugar, preservatives, nitrates, artificial colors and flavors.
Eat More Protein Throughout the Day
Protein promotes fullness because it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, slows digestion, and stabilizes your blood sugar levels. It is also essential for building and maintaining muscle. As we age our bodies become less efficient at utilizing protein, so ingesting optimal amounts becomes increasingly important.
7 Ways to Eat Clean Protein On-the-Go
While there are many options when it comes to healthy proteins, not all of them are convenient to consume if you’re out and about. Try these seven choices for eating healthy when you’re not at home.
A whole food that can be consumed in its natural form, almonds contain protein, healthy fats, fiber, and many essential minerals and vitamins like magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, copper, and vitamin E.
Almonds are also filling and contribute to good digestive health, making them the perfect snack on the go between meals.
Spirulina is a protein-rich algae available in powder form and perfect for smoothies. Minimally processed, spirulina is energy-boosting and rich in iron, protein, vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids. On-the-go, it can be added to hot water, tea or coffee to provide a boost in protein and nutrients.
3. Salmon Jerky
Extremely high in protein, salmon jerky is rich in omega-3 fatty acids – which many of us lack in optimal quantities. You can make your own with a few simple ingredients or purchase pre-made with wild salmon.
4. The Next Generation of Beef Jerky
Dried meat snacks have come a long way and there are many options that are low in saturated fat and free from unnecessary additives like MSG, soy, and artificial colors. Some great examples include the Epic Provisions Venison Sea Salt Pepper Bar (which features about 12 grams of protein and zero sugar) and Brooklyn Biltong Naked Air Dried Beef, boasting only three ingredients (grass-fed beef, apple cider vinegar, and salt) and an impressive 32 grams of protein.
With an estimated six grams of protein per egg, hard boiled eggs are an excellent snack on-the-go. While they travel relatively well, if you are longer than a few hours without a fridge, you can look for products that use eggs as their primary ingredient. Rxbar Protein Bars are made of only dates, nuts and protein-rich egg whites. If you’re looking for a little crunch, try Quevos. These egg white crisps are a healthy alternative to potato chips and have eight grams of protein per serving.
6. Lentils Snacks
Available in many different varieties, these tiny legumes contain about nine grams of protein per half cup and consist of complex carbohydrates that help balance blood sugar levels and sustain energy for extended periods of time.
There are many great snack options containing lentils including Kibo Lentil Chips, packed with six grams of protein per bag, as well as the Himalayan Pink Salt Lentil Chips from The Daily Crave.
7. Greek Yogurt
Cultured Greek yogurt offers up to 20 grams of protein per serving. It is rich in calcium to support bone health and probiotic bacteria to optimize your gut flora. The best yogurts to look for are low in added sugar.