Snacking gets a bad rap, but when done right, eating small amounts between meals can actually improve your health – and your productivity. Here’s why healthy snacks are so good for you:
1. Snacking keeps your energy up
Snacks have gotten a bad rap. A lot of people hear snack and think of overly sugared, carby, brightly-packaged things that are more about successful marketing campaigns than sustenance. But snacking doesn’t have to be that way! According to Medline, one of the benefits to eating healthy snacks is increased energy.
It makes sense. By eating smaller, nutritionally dense mini meals throughout the day, we provide a more constant stream of fuel to our bodies. Our blood sugar is better regulated, and our energy levels even out.
2. Healthy snacks can help you meet nutritional needs
Not every meal you eat is going to fit neatly into a food pyramid. Say you’re going out to pizza with friends, or just feel like having a big bowl of pasta one night. Snacks are a good way to even out your nutritional intake for the day. Grab some fruit or veggies sticks, a handful of nuts, or one of many healthy, prepackaged snacks for adults. Eat up, then rest easy as you pig out on empty calories that evening, knowing at least you covered your nutritional bases for the day.
Plus, for people counting calories, there are healthy snacks to eat on a diet that can help you stick to a plan for the day – getting all the nutrients you need while keeping calories to a minimum.
3. Snacking gives you willpower
Sure, your plan for dinner was to make an incredible stir fry with peanut sauce and brown rice, but who has the energy for all that chopping? YOU DO, you smart snacker you. Because you ate that trail mix at 3 p.m. instead of letting your blood sugar plummet, you now have energy to execute the healthy, delicious dinner you had planned. That’s good for you and – if you’re cooking for a family – good for all of them, too.
Exercising after work? Not if you feel like poo, you’re not. So plan ahead. A bite to eat at 4 p.m. gives you the fuel you need to pure barre to your heart’s content. That’s good for your body and your mood.
4. Eating between meals improves your mood
The science is in: allowing yourself to get too hungry can lead to feelings of anger, also known as hanger. And that’s not what you want in an employee. Any time you have negative emotions at the office, you obviously run the risk of it affecting your work.
Feelings of annoyance may cloud judgement, make you more sensitive to critique and other difficult situations, and limit your problem-solving capacity.
That’s why so many smart companies make snacking easy, and even enjoyable, for their employees. Nobody wants a bunch of mean, hangry, employees arguing over who ate the last powdered soup packet.
5. You’re going to snack anyway
Listen. We all do it. Pretending you’re not going to eat between meals and then “slipping up” because you’re hangry puts you in prime position to choose the wrong thing. Like, why not just go for the twinkies and coke since you’re going off-plan anyway? Making snacking feel like a slip-up instead of a strategic choice is just plain bad for your morale.
Instead, plan for healthy noshing throughout the day. And think about what you can do to ensure your snacks are nutritious. Make snack planning part of your meal planning for the week. Or at least have a plan for finding healthy prepackaged snacks when you need them. Some people have whole desk drawers dedicated to snack foods, and why not? Your brain is the sharpest tool you have, and feeding it smart food throughout the day is a good strategy for feeling – and working – your best.
How Smart Employers Can Help Employees Snack Smart
Now that you know the benefits of eating healthy snacks, consider making it a goal to provide healthy snack foods to your employees. Whether it’s stocking the communal kitchen with healthy office snacks or providing onsite micro market vending options, there are lots of ways you can help your employees stay well-fed and focused all day long. They’ll appreciate you supporting their wellbeing, and you’ll reap the rewards in improved productivity and happier, healthier employees.
Want help providing fresh, nutritious snacks to your workplace? Contact us.