Do you ever notice how things seem so calm when you first wake up in the morning?
The start of the day is peaceful and calm. There’s less noise around you, and no one pressures you to do anything.
Fast forward to a few hours after sunrise when you’re faced with errands, work, and tasks to complete, and your stress levels start to rise. The natural “hustle and bustle” of the world starts competing for your attention like a child incessantly pulling on your leg
With so much busyness, it can prove difficult to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that keeps your energy high and your mind focused. Some days are just too hectic to prepare each meal and eat wholesome foods on a regular basis.
Many people turn to snacking to get their energy, but unfortunately, most of these quick-fix snacks rely on convenience instead of health benefits. They’re eaten because of their convenience and their short-term, pseudo-boost in fuel.
Snacking is definitely a good thing and should be part of your regular routine, but only if you choose the right foods. If you’re not careful and mindful with your snacking, you’ll do more harm than good to your body.
Below is a small list of the most common snacks to avoid. These quick bites do nothing to promote good health! We suggest avoiding them whenever you can—and not just in your own diet, but also in your children’s lunches you prepare for school.
1. Chips and Crackers
Beware of chips and crackers, especially ones that include themselves in the ‘low fat’ variety. This is nothing more than a marketing trick! Crackers and chips are not a healthy addition to your diet.
These quick-fix snacks typically contain trans fats, which are the worst kinds of fats to have in your diet. Just a small amount of trans fats causes serious harm and long-term detrimental health effects.
Additionally, these snacks include high levels of processed carbs. Eating crackers and chips sends blood glucose levels soaring—and then send you crashing before you know it.
2. Cereal and Energy Bars
If you have any cereal or energy bars in your kitchen right now—beware! These hazardous foods are high in sugar (or high-glucose fructose corn syrup) and cause spikes your body’s natural energy levels. Many companies also pack these treats with artificial food dyes and coloring that are harmful to your body.
Another problem with cereal and energy bars is that they won’t give your body any significant protein. These snacks don’t provide much balance in your diet either, so you may be doing more harm to your body than you think.
3. Any Snack with Processed Cheese
Love cheese? Don’t worry. Adding some cheeses to your diet is okay, especially if you’re eating natural cheeses like Greek or feta. These natural cheeses aren’t made with the chemicals included in processed cheeses.
Common processed cheese snacks to avoid include string cheese, cheese spread, and wrapped sliced cheese. Processed foods add saturated and unwanted trans fats to your diet. Plus, processed cheeses don’t provide nearly the same amount of protein as regular cheese, so you won’t receive as many health benefits from this snack.
Photo Credit: David Blackwell