Tag Archives: healthy snack foods

Healthy Late Night Snacking

Do you feel hungrier in night as compared to the day? Did you know that overeating at night can disrupt your sleep, leading to imbalances of hunger and satiety hormones? But choosing right and healthy snack foods can protect you from several adverse effects. Here are some healthy snack options you can opt in night whenever you feel hungry -

Handful of Nuts: Whenever you feel hungry in night you can opt for handful of nuts of your choice. Nuts are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are considered to be good fat, fiber, vitamin and minerals. They will provide you right nutrition and also help you in keeping full for longer. Avoid adding salt or sugar to nuts; you can enjoy nuts with their natural flavor. In fact, 14 raw almonds contain approx 98 kcal whereas 10 raw cashew nuts contain approx 98 kcal. So, it’s not about high content of nuts it about how much you consume.

Salad: A salad made of seasonal fruits and vegetables is one of the best night time snacking foods. You can add lettuce, celery, carrots and seasonal fruits to make the salad with a lemon dressing. You can also add almonds to your salad and make it more nutritious.

Popcorn: Many people find it comfortable to eat potato chips in night but instead of that try to opt for stove-top popcorn. 1 cup of air-popped popcorn without any fat contains approximately 31 kcal calories. Once popped, sprinkle any of your favorite low-calorie toppings like a dash of chili pepper flakes or dried spices adds lots of flavor without extra calories.

Fruits: Fruits are loaded with benefits of antioxidants and fiber. Whenever you feel hungry in night just go and grab a fruit from your refrigerator. Fruits do not add up to too many calories but keep you full for longer. You can go for a cup of mixed seasonal fruits.

Jasmine Tea: Jasmine tea is believed to have a tranquilizing effect on body as it calms your nerves which in turn promote sound sleep. A 2005 study conducted by Kyoto University found that the smell of jasmine reduced study participant’s heart rates and produced “calm and vigorous mood states”. After further experimentation, the researchers attributed this effect to one of the aromatic components of jasmine: (R)-(-)-linalool.

Water: According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water. So the next time you feel those late night hunger pangs grab a glass of water instead of something to munch on.

Late night snacking can be a result of erratic sleep pattern. Try to have a sound sleep of at least 8 hours to avoid such cravings.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Guavas Build Immunity

Along with apples, another delicious and nutritious winter fruit is the guava. Its high in fiber, but its Vitamin C content is what is out of the ordinary. Orange is the fruit synonymous with Vitamin C- but a guava contains 5 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.

Its also high in potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. Guava is among the few fruits that provide calcium, iron and carbohydrates (good carbs, since they are not quick dissolving).

So dig in to those guavas!

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Apples Reduce Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease

As the Indian summer is going away, apples are in season (as is running- you do know about the Delhi Half Marathon right?). Apples are delicious fruits and they provide a whole lot of nutrition. We’ve all heard that apples are good for you. Lets find out how.

Shundiin @ flickr

First, they’re loaded with fiber- both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps to reduce your bad cholesterol, and the insoluble fiber keeps you regular. The fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, so apples are a great snack for people trying to lose weight.

Besides that, they provide a rich dose of vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system. Apples are also loaded with flavanoids and antioxidants that reduce free radical damage in your body (free radical damage can cause premature aging of skin, cancer, etc). Multiple studies have linked regular apple consumption to lowering heart risk disease and cancer.

Maybe there is truth to the old adage- an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds or rather nuts in general get a bad name because they have high fat content, but there are plenty health benefits of almonds. We’ll tell you about these benefits.

There are two kinds of fat- saturated (Bad) and unsaturated (Good) fat. And almonds are high in unsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats found in olive oil. Almonds are packed with mono-unsaturated fats. A recent study at the University of Toronto led to the discovery that eating about an ounce of almonds per day can decrease LDL cholesterol by as much as 20 percent over time. Incredibly, this decrease is comparable to results from medication.

Besides this, almonds pack a punch of protein. Protein takes longer to digest, so it keeps you satisfied for longer. Thus reducing those hunger pangs, while feeding those muscles of yours.

Almonds also contain calcium, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium, Magnesium, and last but not the least, antioxidants.

In a recent study published in the International Journal of ORMD, adults who were put on a low calorie diet enriched with almonds lost more weight, lost more fat, reduced more waistline inches than those who did not have almond enriched diets. (Both diets had equal calorie values)

You can eat almonds raw, roasted, or chop them up toss them into dessert or yogurt. Try to eat them with the skin, since that contains nutrition too. Benefits of almonds are plenty, but they’re loaded with fat and thus calories, so control your portions. Have a handful for that 4 p.m. craving, with a fruit. They’ll keep you going for longer without feeling hungry, reducing your snacking on unhealthy food, thus reducing your risk of gaining weight from it.

Almonds have low GI (Glycemic Index) value, so when you include them in your diet, your overall blood sugar rises up less than without almonds.

We could go on about almonds, but the point is made. Go nuts!

Note, that the healthiest almonds are the regular crispy almonds. The roasted, salted or sugar coated almonds only reduce the health benefits of almonds.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Health Benefits of Yogurt

Milk and Yogurt (curd) are an essential part of the recommended “healthy Indian diet”. We’ve all heard about calcium in milk and yogurt and how it makes our bones stronger, but there are so many other health benefits of Yogurt, apart from being a rich source of calcium. Can yogurt help you lose belly fat?

Yes, latest research shows that yogurt can even help you lose weight. The calcium in yogurt helps you to make your bones stronger. A study at University of Tennessee found that participants who consumed 3 daily servings of fat free yogurt on a 12 week basis gained less fat around their mid-section than those who did not consume as much calcium from dairy products. The mineral appears to help curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Yogurt provides essential carbohydrates and a punch of protein. The carbohydrates are good since they provide you the energy you need to get through the day. And the protein is good for building those muscles and for their regular functioning. Yogurt with fruits makes for a great post workout meal.

It’s a good source of your daily vitamin needs like vitamins B6 and B12. The Health benefits of Yogurt don’t stop here, it is also a good source of Potassium. Studies have shown that potassium consumption helps with reducing hypertension and increase muscle retention. The bacterial cultures in yogurt help to keep your gut and digestive system healthy.

There are plenty of ways to consume yogurt – If you don’t like plain yogurt, then you can always throw in some fruits and nuts or try low calorie yogurt smoothies.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo