Do you often find yourself indulging in late-night snacks? Maybe you can't resist the urge to munch on something when the sun goes down. But have you ever stopped to think about why these cravings happen and how they affect your health?
Don't worry - we've got you covered with some healthy and delicious snack options that will satisfy your cravings without sacrificing your well-being.
We all know that eating too much junk food isn't good for us, but it can be hard to resist those sweet or salty treats when feeling a little hungry.
However, we can still enjoy a wide variety of delicious snacks with some simple swaps and easy recipes. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, there's something for everyone.
- Unhealthy snacking can lead to weight gain, poor blood sugar control, and chronic diseases. In contrast, healthy snacking can lower the risk of chronic diseases, boost energy levels, and support a healthy immune system.
- Examples of healthy snacks include fresh fruits, whole-grain snacks, nuts and dried fruits, energy bars and oil-free baked version of your favourite snacks
- Small changes to snacking habits can promote overall health and wellness, and incorporating balanced meals throughout the day can help cut out junk food.
- Energy bars are a healthy and convenient late-night snack option that can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide a healthy dose of nutrients, and healthy snacks can fit into any lifestyle.
Why do you get evening cravings?
Do you ever wonder why you crave snacks in the evening even when you're not hungry? It's because your body is searching for a quick energy boost for the rest of the day!
- Evening cravings can also be caused by boredom, stress, or habit. These happen more often than you think
- You may be craving snacks in the evening because of a dip in your blood sugar levels. This happens especially when you eat low fiber meals with refined grains or less food than your body needs
However, it's essential to understand that giving into these cravings with unhealthy snacks can lead to weight gain and poor blood sugar control.
Tips to combat evening cravings:
- Stock on up healthy options like sugar-free desserts, baked snacks, dry fruits and nuts. This way, when the evening cravings hit, you have something on hand that's healthy
- Avoid monotonous activities when you are likely to experience cravings. Take a long walk, plan an exercise session or do something hands-on. This keeps you from eating out of boredom
- Eat better meals. Eating a nutritious and large meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables, dals, whole grains, nuts and seeds, ensures that you are getting a balanced meal with enough fiber. This keeps you full for longer
Instead of giving in to cravings and binging on unhealthy snacks, it's better to be prepared and get the best of both worlds with delicious snacks that are great for health
Benefits of Snacking Healthy
The number of calories from snacking add up fast. Without realizing, you may be eating more junk that you intend to. This leads to unnecessary weight gain, increased risk of chronic disease, poor nutritional intake among others. When you snack healthy, you lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. By providing your body with essential nutrients, healthy snacks can also help improve your energy levels throughout the day.
Lower risk of chronic disease
Indulging in healthy snacks in the evening can actually lower your risk of chronic diseases. By choosing nutritious options, you are not only satisfying your cravings but also providing your body with essential nutrients that can improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
Here are some reasons why incorporating healthy snacks into your evening routine is beneficial:
- Healthy snacks can offer natural fiber that aids in regulating blood sugar levels and improving digestion.
- Snacking on fruits and vegetables can increase your intake of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which support overall health.
- Nuts and seeds contain beneficial fats that reduce inflammation and support brain function.
- Consuming protein-rich plant foods like lentils, beans, chickpeas, soy beans and soy products such as tofu and tempeh, can help control appetite and preserve muscle mass.
- Opting for whole-grain snacks instead of refined carbohydrates such as chips or cookies can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
But healthy snacking is so hard! You want to snack on cakes and cookies, not vegetable sticks and fruits. Go ahead! The key is to choose the ones with the right ingredients and we've got that covered for you.
Better Energy Levels
Incorporating nutrient-dense snacks can keep you energized and active throughout the day. The key is to eat fiber-rich food that keeps you satiated.
When you have the urge to snack, grab a handful of dry fruits and nuts or baked snacks instead of fried and see the difference. You'll find that you are satisfied with smaller quantities, with a reduced urge to snack further while also not feeling tired.
Snacking on fruits such as bananas, apples, berries or kiwis or opting for dates sweetened sweets instead of sugary sodas, chocolates or candies will keep your blood sugar levels steady, prevent a sugar crash and keep your energy levels steady.
These nutrients will not only boost your energy but also support a healthy immune system. If you tend to skip meals during the day due to a busy schedule, keep a healthy energy bar handy instead of reaching out for more coffee to keep your energy levels and mood steady.
Get the best of both worlds - health and taste
Indulging in nutrient-rich snacks that taste just as delicious as their unhealthy counterparts is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
You don't have to compromise on taste when it comes to healthy snacking options. In fact, there are plenty of tasty options available that can satisfy your cravings and keep you feeling full for longer.
By choosing healthier snack options like these, you can get the best of both worlds - health and taste!
If you're looking for a guilt-free snack during those late-night cravings, fresh fruits are the perfect solution. Not only are they delicious and refreshing, but they are also a highly nutritious snack that can help improve your health.
Fresh fruit is a great source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied while also aiding in digestion.
In addition to being a natural source of fiber, fresh fruit is also low in calories and high in antioxidants. These powerful compounds can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals and reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Plus, eating fresh fruit regularly can help regulate your blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for diabetics or anyone trying to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
You can easily whip up a delicious smoothie to fuel your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. Did you know that studies have shown that consuming fruits and vegetables in the form of smoothies can increase your daily intake by up to 3 servings?
Smoothies are not only refreshing but also packed with numerous health benefits. Here are three reasons why you should consider adding smoothies to your evening snack routine:
- Smoothie bowls are a great way to add texture and variety to your snacks. You can top them with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds or granola for an extra crunch.
- Frozen banana is one of the most popular base ingredients for fruit smoothies because it adds natural sweetness without any added sugars. Bananas also provide energy levels that last longer than sugary snacks.
- Nutritious foods such as spinach, kale, berries, avocadoes, nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds contain key nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that promote digestion and keep you fuller for longer periods. Including these ingredients in a balanced whole food plant-based snack like a smoothie can help curb cravings while providing sustained energy.
Incorporating smoothies into your evening snacking routine is an easy way to boost your nutrition intake while satisfying sweet cravings.
Baked Snacks Instead of Fried
Craving for some savory snack like potato chips or maybe kodubale or poha chivda? These typically fried snacks are an evening favourite and it may not be practical to replace these salty cravings with fruits or vegetable sticks. You won't feel satisfied and the habit won't last long.
This is why, it's important to find and stock up on healthy alternative that have a similar taste and texture, but better for your health.
The problem with these fried snacks, apart from the fact that they are deep fried, is that they are often made with refined grains like white rice or maida, high in salt and have butter or ghee. These ingredients are not health promoting as compared to whole grains like brown rice, millets and nut butters.
Simple, replace your fried snacks with wholesome oil-free baked snacks. You can get everything from mixture, bhakervadi, namak pare, masala vada crackers, pita crunchies with low salt and extra flavor from healthy spices and more with just a click of a button.
This way, you get to be healthy, keep your blood pressure low and healthy versions of unhealthy foods and fatty foods.
Dry fruits and nuts
Perhaps the easiest way to snack healthy is to carry dry fruits and nuts with you where ever you go. They are easy to carry and make for fuss free eating.
- Dry fruits and nuts are fiber rich and packed with vitamins and minerals, keeping you satiated
- Nuts are a source of healthy fat, which is equal parts satisfying and healthy. It also keeps you full for longer
- Dry fruits are sweet and have a lovely texture which can help you curb cravings. A handful of raisins or a couple figs can prevent your from reaching out for sugary sweets
Dry fruits and nuts are great at keeping your sugar cravings at bay while giving you a delicious snacking option
Soups are an excellent choice for satisfying hunger pangs when you have cravings.
They're not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that can promote good health. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to satisfy your cravings, soups are an excellent option.
Soups come in many varieties and can be made using different ingredients, making them a versatile treat. You can add vegetables, chicken broth or bone broth, yogurt or cream cheese to make them creamier and richer.
If you are looking for something filling and low in calories, try making vegetable-based soups such as tomato soup or pumpkin soup. Not only do they taste great but they're also loaded with vitamins and minerals.
You can still enjoy sweet treats without the guilt by trying out sugar-free options. Instead of reaching for chocolate or candies during your evening snacking, consider this healthier option that is both healthy and satisfying. Here are three sub-lists to help you get started:
- Sugar-free sweets like laddus - Dry fruit laddus, besan laddus, flaxseed laddus, chocolate truffles the list is endless, you can stock up on these healthy laddus to curb that sweet tooth
- Indulgent barfis - Pumpkin seed barfi, kaju bites, besan milk mithai, is your mouth watering? These are for those more indulgent days. The best part, you can have these without a single compromise on health.
- Cakes and cookies - did you know you can enjoy creamy chocolate cake and delicious rose velvet cake and still be healthy? You know now. Get your hands on dates sweetened, vegan and whole grain cakes to indulge in your cravings for sweet food.
- Energy bars - they are quick, convenient, handy and delicious. Stock up on energy bars that are sugar-free and packed with dry fruits and nuts for best outcome
Who says healthy food can't be delicious. The key is to have it before you need it, because when a craving hits, you'll reach out for what's convenient and not what's healthy.
If you're looking for a delicious and healthy snack option in the evening, try some granola! Remember to choose whole grain, oil-free and refined sugar-free granola. They are an excellent source of protein, fibre and antioxidants to help boost your energy levels and keep you full for longer.
These are so many different delicious flavor profiles like dark chocolate and orange, fruits and nuts, banana and dry fruits to name a few, and you can enjoy it in a wide variety of ways. You can make a very balanced snack with granola as a base, in fact, it makes for a great mini meal.
It's sweet, crunchy and delicious. It satisfies your cravings for sugar while actually improving digestive health, helping your move towards a healthy weight and lowering your risk of heart disease.
If you've never tried it before, you're in for a treat. Get some today!
More Tips for Healthy Snacking
Here are some tips to replace unhealthy snacks with healthy snacks:
- Instead of eating greasy potato chips that are deep-fried, try baked chips that don't have any added oil. Keep your sodium intake low by sprinkling a bit of salt right at the end
- Instead of having meat burgers on white buns made from refined flour or maida, go for burgers made with whole grain buns and a plant-based patty that doesn't contain any oil.
- Instead of indulging in sugary cakes made with refined flour, opt for cakes sweetened with dates and made from whole grain ingredients.
Bottom Line - Cut out the junk
So you've learned about healthy energy bars and how they can be a great snack option for your evening cravings. But let's face it - sometimes we just want something salty or sweet that's not necessarily "healthy."
However, it's important to remember the impact that junk food can have on our bodies, and replace them with healthy chips, cakes and cookies. By doing so, you can enjoy delicious goodness without compromising health.
When we indulge in junk food, we often consume empty calories with little nutritional value. These foods are typically high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats which can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and even chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or candy bar, try incorporating nutritious snacks into your evening routine.
Don't forget to check the nutrition label to ensure you're getting beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
By making small changes to our snacking habits and focusing on balanced meals throughout the day, we can cut out the junk and fuel our bodies in a way that promotes overall health and wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do evening cravings differ from cravings at other times of the day?
Evening cravings can be triggered by factors such as fatigue, stress, and boredom. They tend to lead to high-calorie snacking which can negatively impact your health goals. Finding healthier alternatives can help satisfy these cravings without compromising your progress.
Are there any specific nutrients that can help reduce evening cravings?
You'll be amazed at how magnesium-rich foods can stop those pesky evening cravings in their tracks. Evidence shows that this nutrient helps balance blood sugar levels and regulate appetite. So, stock up on leafy greens, nuts, and seeds to curb your cravings.
What are some common triggers for evening cravings?
Some common triggers for evening cravings include stress, boredom, and poor sleep. To combat these triggers, consider engaging in relaxation techniques, finding a new hobby or activity to fill your time, and improving your sleep hygiene.
How can one differentiate between genuine hunger and evening cravings?
To differentiate between genuine hunger and cravings, ask yourself if you would eat a healthy meal. If the answer is yes, then you're likely hungry. If not, it's probably just a craving. Trust your body's signals and nourish it with wholesome whole food plant-based food.
Can certain medications or health conditions contribute to increased evening cravings?
Certain medications and health conditions can affect appetite, leading to increased cravings in the evening. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if this is a possible cause and explore solutions for managing these cravings.
Congratulations! By choosing to snack healthily in the evening, you're making a wise decision that will benefit your overall wellbeing. As we all know, evening cravings can be tough to resist. However, by choosing healthy snacks, you can satisfy those cravings without sacrificing your health goals.
On one hand, unhealthy snacks such as chips and candy can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. On the other hand, fresh fruits and oil- free baked goods provide your body with essential nutrients that promote a healthy lifestyle. So why not choose the latter?
By incorporating healthy snacks into your evening routine, you'll feel more energized and alert throughout the day. Plus, it's an excellent way to curb those late-night cravings while still indulging in something delicious.
So go ahead and try some of these options: fresh fruits, smoothies, oil-free baked snacks instead of fried ones, granola bars or sugar-free cakes and cookies.
It's time to cut out the junk food once and for all and embrace a healthier lifestyle!
Congratulations! You've successfully discovered the 10 essential tips for embracing a heart-healthy plant-based diet.
Here are some incredible tools to support your transition towards a wholesome, plant-powered lifestyle,
- Book an online consultation with Dr. Achyuthan Eswar for a personalized medical consultation to prevent, treat and better manage lifestyle diseases through diet and lifestyle.
- Learn to cook delicious whole food plant based goodies and sign up for courses on health and wellness from the comfort of you home. Join our online courses from anywhere in the world.
- Get daily essentials to cook healthy meals at home.
- Stock up on delicious sweets and snacks that are sugar/jaggery-free, oil-free, maida-free and plant-based - Available Pan-India.