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Why You Need To Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

Why You Need To Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

First of all, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the normal eating behavior for millions around the world. While the next popular eating behavior is either breakfast and dinner or lunch and dinner. However, drop in blood sugar levels between meals, or feeling stressed, or simply being idle, may make you hungry. Therefore, eating healthy snacks for adults relieves the hunger while taking away the temptation to eat unhealthy foods.

healthy snacks for adults

Above all, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that four to five or even six small meals spread across the day is better able to maintain blood sugar levels steady and stop hunger. Indeed, if people maintained an eating schedule and ate small healthy portions, they are more likely to maintain their weight. Moreover, small portions of healthy snacks between lunch and dinner may quell your hunger and keep you from overeating during dinner.

Why Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

Above all, the primary reason people snack is hunger. But other reasons include:

  • Where you happen to be physically, such as walking by a bakery
  • The social environment you are in, such as a get together
  • The time of day, such as late afternoon
  • And availability of food, such as food left out in a common area at work

In fact, even if they are not hungry, people snack when there is easily accessible, appetizing food. Furthermore, a study found that overweight and obese people chose unhealthy snacks because:

  • Of the temptation
  • Followed by being hungry
  • Lastly, not having enough energy to do whatever they were doing

Finally, snacking can help people avoid becoming very hungry. When you go too long without eating, you become so hungry and you end up eating many more calories than you need.

How Healthy Snacks for Adults Effect You

Effect of Healthy Snacks on Burning Calories

Incidentally, snacking every few hours does not increase your metabolism. In fact studies show that meal frequency has no significant effect on how many calories you burn. For example, a study found that people who consumed an equal number of calories by eating either two or seven meals a day, burned nearly the same amount of calories.

On the other hand, another study found that a high-protein, high-carb bedtime snack may increase the metabolic rate the next morning.

Effect of Healthy Snacks on Blood Sugar Levels

Most noteworthy, it’s not necessary to eat frequently to maintain stable blood sugar levels. In fact, a 2014 study reported that eating only two large meals a day resulted in better insulin sensitivity, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and greater weight loss than eating six times a day.

Meanwhile, other studies found no difference in blood sugar levels when the same amount of food was eaten as meals or as meals plus snacks.

In fact, low-carb, high-fiber snacks have the best effect on insulin and blood sugar levels than high-carb snacks in people without diabetes. Also, snacks with high protein content may improve management of blood sugar.

Finally, a study showed that consuming a high-protein, low-carb dairy snack led to lower blood sugar levels before the next meal compared to a high-carb dairy snack.

Benefits of Healthy Snacks for Adults

Because healthy snacks are high in fiber and/or proteins they are more filling. Consequently, you may feel satiated faster and eat less healthy snacks or regular meals. Most of all, healthy snacks also provide you with valuable vitamins.

Also snacks with high energy helps you burn more calories, which is helpful if you are going to work out. On the other hand, snacks with better metabolism helps you quickly digest the snacks that you ate.

Features of Healthy Snacks for Adults

Above all, if you want to lose weight eat snacks that are low in salt, low in sugar, low in saturated fats, and low in simple carbohydrates. Also, snacks made from non-processed foods are better than snacks made of processed foods.

Moreover, snacks need to be low in calories but high in volume or density so that they take up more space in your stomach. Consequently, you feel satiated from your full stomach. Therefore, snacking between meals helps you manage your weight.

Next, healthy snacks for adults should be low in added fat, low in sugar, high in fiber, and high in water. For example, it’s healthier to eat an apple than munch on chips. In addition, eat whole-grain snacks, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy.

Next, healthy snacks for adults have a combination of proteins and carbohydrates that keeps adults the fullest for the longest period of time. Finally, choosing healthy snacks high in protein and fiber are best to reduce hunger and keep you full for several hours.

Portion Sizes

Incidentally, when you eat healthy snacks for adults, look at portion size on the label and stick to that portion size. In fact, instead of eating straight out of the container, always portion out what you need. Furthermore, portion size should be enough to satisfy your hunger but not so much that you overeat and put on weight.

As an example, only eat the nuts in small portions. Because, eating straight out of the container, will make you most likely eat too many nuts and hence eat too many calories.

Healthy Snacks for Adults under 200 Calories

Incidentally, it’s best to eat snacks with about 200 calories and at least 10 grams of proteins to stay full till the next meal. Furthermore, if you are very active you may need to eat 2 to 3 snacks a day while if you sedentary, you may need at most one snack.

 A sampling of snacks under 200 calories, that you can try, follows.

Half a Slice of an Apple with One Tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter

First of all, this snack has 157 calories along with protein and fiber. Also, half an apple has 63 calories while one tablespoon of natural peanut butter has 94 calories along with 8 grams of fat. And, if you desire, you can use seed butter instead of natural peanut butter.

Ten Carrot Sticks with Two Tablespoons of Dip

Two tablespoons of creamy veggie dip is about 132 calories, while the inclusion of ten carrots add up to less than 200 calories.

Two 100 Calorie Bags of Popcorn

Two 100 calories bags of air-popped popcorn is a good source of fiber. And the air-popped popcorn takes up a lot of volume in your stomach, which makes you feel full.

10 Baked Tortilla Chips with ½ a Cup of Salsa

Ten baked tortilla chips has about 120 calories while half a cup of salsa is about 42 calories. Meanwhile, avoid salsa with a lot of sodium.

½ a Whole-wheat Pita and ¼ Cup Hummus Snack

½ a whole-wheat pita has about 85 calories while ¼ cup hummus has about 93 calories. Whole-wheat pita provides the fiber while hummus provides the proteins.

Medium Sized Apple Together with a String Cheese Stick

A stick of low-fat string cheese is between 60 to 80 calories while a medium sized apple has about 126 calories. The string cheese provides calcium and protein so the blood sugar won’t rise too fast from the apple.

Half an English muffin and Two Tablespoons of Cream Cheese

½ an English muffin has 64 calories while 2 tablespoons of cream cheese has 99 calories.

¼ Cup of Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, or Pistachios

Unsalted, raw or dry-roasted almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are all protein and fiber rich with monounsaturated fats. But because the nuts are high in calories eat only small portions. For example, almonds have 132 calories per ¼ cup, walnuts have 131 calories, cashews have 39 calories, and pistachios have 173 calories.

Protein Bar

Get protein bars with very little added sugar, low calories, large amount of proteins, large amounts of fiber, and made with natural ingredients.

½ Cup of Frozen Yogurt Snack

Should have less than 150 calories per serving. Frozen yogurt has low-fat while supplying protein and calcium.

½ Cup of Cottage Cheese with Mandarin Oranges

Good source of protein and calcium with natural sweetness of the fruit. ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese has about 97 calories and one cup of mandarin oranges has about 72 calories.

½ Cup of Sorbet or Sherbet

Sherbet is about 140 calories while sorbet can range from 80 to 200 calories.

Two Large Hard-boiled Eggs

2 large eggs provides 12 grams of proteins and 155 calories. Moreover the 12 grams of proteins will make you feel full for a while.

Turkey & Cheese Roll-up Snack

Roll one ounce of turkey and one ounce of cheese for 140 calories. Lean meats like turkey are a good source of protein, while cheese is a source of calcium. You can choose a low fat cheese such as, for example, Swiss cheese. For lower sodium use baked turkey breast meat instead of the sliced deli meat.

English Muffin Pizza

First, toast English muffin, top off muffin with cheese and melt it in a microwave. One ounce of low-fat mozzarella has nearly 72 calories, one slice of tomato has about 5 calories, and ½ an English muffin has about 64 calories.

8 Ounces of Fat-free Chocolate Milk

Most of all, the 8 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk has 135 calories plus the milk provides protein and calcium.

Cereal with Nonfat Milk Snack

First and foremost, a cup of skim milk and a cup of cheerios has about 183 calories. Moreover, choose cereal with more fiber than sugar.

6 Ounces of Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt with Strawberries

First of all, a cup of strawberries provides vitamins and antioxidants along with 46 calories. Greek yogurt provides calcium, and 18 grams of proteins in a cup, while, a 6 ounce serving of Greek yogurt is just 100 calories. Also, it’s important to eat only nonfat plain Greek yogurt because other types of Greek yogurts carry excess sugar along with other unhealthy ingredients that don’t help you lose weight. And, for something different, you can add reduced sugar strawberry jam to the yogurt. Or you can even substitute other fruits like bananas, blueberries, blackberries.

Thin Sandwich with Turkey

Sandwich thins are about 100 calories and one 3 ounce serving of turkey is another 60 calories with 12 grams of proteins.

Fruit Smoothie

A cup of frozen blueberries has 83 calories, ¾ cup of nonfat milk has 83 calorie and ½ cup of Greek yogurt has 50 calories.

More Healthy Snacks for Adults

Celery with Cream Cheese

Simply spread one tablespoon of reduced-fat cream cheese on the stalks of celery. And, add a few raisins for some sweetness.

Cottage Cheese Snack

Most of all, cottage cheese has lots of proteins and calcium, making it a healthy snack. And for variety, you can pair the cottage cheese with fruits or vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables

First of all, because they are full of vitamins and low in calories, fruits and vegetables are excellent healthy snacks for adults. Also, some whole-wheat crackers and cheeses are other good examples of healthy snacks for adults. Indeed, whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter gives you plenty of proteins and fiber.

Still more examples include apples, bananas, raisins, dried fruit puree without added sugar, carrots, snap peas, nuts, whole-grain dry cereal, pretzels, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, toasted whole-wheat English muffins, cherry or grape tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds in shell.

Lime Avocado

Cut a complete avocado with skin in half, remove the seed and sprinkle lime juice and black pepper on the avocado.

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Snack

Add 1 tablespoon of semisweet chocolate chips to a six ounce nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Hummus

With its protein and fiber, hummus makes you feel full quickly. Or you can combine hummus with vegetables, such as carrots, for a greater punch.

Roasted Chick Peas

Because of their low sugar content, high fiber and protein content, roasted chick peas make for a healthy snack.

Edamame

Edamame is a legume with protein, fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Consequently, eating edamame makes you feel full while your body gets lots of good nutrients.

Air Popcorn with Cinnamon

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon on air-popped popcorn.

Snacks to Avoid

First and foremost, always avoid processed, high-sugar snacks because you will feel hungrier an hour or two later. In fact, definitely avoid snacks that list sugar as one of the first few ingredients. Next, avoid snacks and drinks with added sugar. Indeed, fresh fruit is better than a fruit flavored drink. Finally, foods and drinks that list corn syrup as one of the ingredients should also be avoided.

How to Handle Unhealthy Snacks

Above all, snacks such as candies, cookies, chips, and ice cream have to be avoided at all costs. Consequently, the best thing you can do is not to even have these in the house.

The second thing you can do is storing these tempting snacks so that they are hard to see and also out of your reach. For instance, store the chips, candies, and cookies in the back of the highest shelf while storing the ice cream in the back of the freezer.

And, instead of putting out a bowl filled with tempting candies, put out a bowl filled with fruits. Lastly, if you must snack when you are watching TV, just leave a portion of the snacks out for munching.

How Your Genetic Profile Helps You Look Good

How Your Genetic Profile Helps You Look Good

Most of all, your ability to lose weight and look good depends on your genetic profile. In fact, your genetic profile controls between 25 to 70 percent of all factors affecting your weight and body composition. In addition, your genetic profile determines how your body processes ingested food, how hungry you become, how your body burns calories, how to provide energy for moving your body, and how much you eat.

genetic profile

Genes in Play

The genes, in your genetic profile, that influence your weight and body composition are described below.

FTO

FTO or Fat Mass and Obesity Associated gene is also known as the fatso gene. In fact, FTO is a gene variant that acts as a nutrient sensor affecting your hunger and the amount of food you eat. Also, anyone with a particular variation of this gene has a high probability of becoming obese. In addition, a study published in BMJ compared people with and without the FTO gene.  First the study reported that anyone with the FTO gene weighs 6.61 pounds more, on average. Also, anyone with the FTO gene is 1.7 times more likely to be obese. On the other hand, anyone consistently exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is able to turn off this gene.

MC4R

Melanocortin-4 or MC4R is a receptor gene that controls your hunger, appetite, and energy balance. Regrettably, common variants of this gene are related to obesity and insulin resistance. As a result, anyone with this gene is likely to be obese.

PPARG

Next, the PPARG gene encodes the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARG) protein. Indeed, the PPARG gene is involved in fat metabolism. And, when activated, PPARG creates fat cells along with absorbing dietary fats from your blood. Regrettably, too much activation of this gene leads to weight gain. In fact, obese people have large amounts of PPARG in their fat tissue. On the other hand, people with no PPARG encoded genes have less fat tissue in their limbs and buttocks. Consequently, to combat PPARG encoded genes and lose weight, you should eat more saturated fats than unsaturated fats.

ADRB2

Adrenoceptor Beta 2 (ADRB2) is an Adrenergic beta-2 receptor gene that codes for a protein which helps breakdown fat. As a result, when the hormone epinephrine is released, epinephrine binds to ADRB2 to release energy by breaking down fat molecules. Therefore, exercising and reducing the amount you eat is a good treatment to fight ADRB2.

FABP2

Fatty Acid Binding Protein 2 (FABP2) is a gene that helps metabolize fats and carbohydrates.

PGC-1-alpha

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) - A high rate of a chemical process called methylation increases metabolism. Above all, methylation adds chemical groups to the genes PGC-1alpha and TFAM (Transcription Factor A, Mitochondrial). As a result, methylation changes the rate in which these genes are converted to proteins and regulating mitochondrial biogenesis in your cells. Consequently, eating efficiently and exercising increases methylation, which in turn increases metabolism.

genetic profile

Role of Genetic Profile

Most of all, your genetic profile has a huge say when you try to lose weight. In fact, some of them are listed below.

Can You Even Lose Weight

First of all, genes that determine if you can even lose weight include FTO, TCF7L2, MTNR1B, PPARG, BDNF, and ABCB11. In fact, large studies have reported that people who participated in exercise and diet programs, lost less weight if their genetic profile included any of these genes when compared to others who did not. In addition, these people were more likely to get back the weight lost when compared with people who did not have these genes.

Control Body Fat Lost by Aerobic Exercises

Next, genes that control how much body fat is lost by aerobic or cardio exercises include ADRB2 and LPL. Most noteworthy, a large study reported that the amount of fat lost by men was about the same irrespective of the amount of these two genes. On the other hand, depending on their genetic profile, women lost different amounts of fat. In addition, even with significant fat loss, the genetic profile determined how much weight was lost.

Genes Deciding Efficiency of Processing Carbs

The gene Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1) is associated with a person’s insulin and the reaction to carbohydrates in the diet. In fact, a long term study reported that people with a variant of the IRS1 gene, who ate a high carb, low fat diet consisting of high fiber and whole plant foods had greater insulin sensitivity. As a result, because their insulin resistance was lower, their bodies needed lower insulin levels to absorb glucose from the blood. In addition, these people experienced greater weight loss when compared with people eating low carb, high fat diet.

Genes Deciding How Folate is Absorbed by the Body

Next, the gene MTHFR has a significant association with a person’s folate or vitamin B9 status. In fact, folate acts as a coenzyme in DNA creation and in energy metabolism. Also, folate has a role in the biochemical processes that affect the metabolism of amino acid and homocysteine. Regrettably, high levels of homocysteine increases risk of heart disease. While low levels of folate causes anemia.

Genes Deciding Efficiency of Processing Proteins

The gene FTO is associated with body fat mass and BMI. In fact, a large study found that anyone, with FTO variants, lost more weight and body fat if they ate a moderate-to-high protein diet (25% of total daily calories) when compared to a low protein diet (15% of total daily calories). However, they also lost muscle with weight loss.

Genes Deciding if Strength Training is Even Helpful

Genes, that improve a person’s body composition while decreasing fat, because of  strength training include FTO, NRXN3, GPRC5B, GNPDA2, LRRN6C, PRKD1, SLC39A8, FLJ35779, MAP2K5, QPCTL-GIPR, NEGR1, LRP1B, MTCH2, MTIF3, RPL27A, SEC16B, FAIM2, FANCL, ETV5, and TFAP2B. Above all, strength training increases strength and muscle mass while decreasing body fat, thereby, resulting in better body composition. As a result you have a leaner look and able to burn a lot more calories every day. Especially noteworthy, when you are trying to lose weight it is necessary to do strength training, because it increases muscle mass, to make up for muscle mass lost with dieting or aerobic exercises.

Genes Deciding how to React to Fat in Your Diet

Genes that decide how to react to the fat in your diet include PPARG, TCF7L2, APOA5, CRY2, MTNR1B, and PPM1K. In fact, studies show that the fat content in the diet affected how much weight was lost. Another study reported that people with an unfavorable genetic profile, who ate more fat, were more likely to have more body fat, large waist and high BMR. On the other hand, people with a favorable genetic profile were able to consume greater amounts of fat, but without the higher BMI. Meanwhile, another study reported that people on a low-calorie diet that was higher in fat, lost less weight if they had an unfavorable genetic profile.

How Genetic Profile Helps

For example, people with a specific genetic profile benefit from a high protein diet, lose more weight, have reduced craving for food, and have a low appetite. On the other hand, if you don’t have this genetic profile, a high-protein diet won’t help you lose weight. Similarly, other genetic profiles may make you lose weight with a low-fat diet especially low saturated fat diet.

Furthermore, research shows that those with a specific genetic profile may predispose them to eat fried food thereby making them obese. Also, research shows that someone with a variant of the IRS1 gene is more successful at losing weight with a low-fat and high-carb diet as opposed to a high-fat and low-carb diet.

In addition, your weight isn’t solely controlled by your genes. Indeed, your weight is significantly affected by your lifestyle and your environment. For example, people with an obesity genetic profile have 30 percent lower risk of being obese if they are very active compared to those who aren’t active. Similarly, adults with an obesity genetic profile who are older are less likely to be obese. On the other hand, younger adults, with an obesity genetic profile, gorging on meals, with sugary drinks and being inactive, are likely to become obese.

Do Genes Help Lose Weight – Study

Paradoxically, studies have shown that genetics can’t explain why some people lose weight on a low-carb diet like Atkins or why others succeed with a low-fat diet.

In fact, Stanford University Medical School researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And, in this study, 609 overweight adults were randomly selected to go on either a low-fat or a low-carb diet. First of all, the low fat diet consisted of less oil, less fatty meats, full-fat dairy, and nuts. While the low-carb diet consisted of eating smaller portions of cereals, grains, rice, starchy vegetables, and legumes.

Moreover, the study lasted a year after which time one group lost 11.7 pounds while the other group lost 13.2 pounds – hardly a significant difference.

Meanwhile, other research indicated that the PPARG, ADRB2, and FABP2 genes are involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Therefore, each of the two groups were further divided into two subgroups each depending on their fat and carbohydrate genetic profiles.

In fact, this more finely tuned analysis showed that there was no significant weight change even if their genetic profiles matched up with their low-fat or low-carb diets. In conclusion, weight change is not effected by whether the body has genetic profiles designed for metabolizing fats or carbohydrates.

Conclusion

In conclusion, though genetic profiles effects our weight, a combination of a healthy diet and exercise has the biggest impact on losing weight and body composition that is characterized by decreased fat and/or increased muscles.