Why are snacks important?

Snacks

Leading a healthy lifestyle as you know is a path that we are traveling and in which we must discover what works for us and what does not, the same when you are diagnosed with a disease such as type 2 diabetes, you start with medicines and you have to get to know your body, the response of food, working with the doctor and nutritionist on the doses, diet, amounts, type of physical activity, exercise to perform etc.

But within this path one of the tools that we can count on to keep anxiety at bay, to keep blood glucose levels stable, not to overeat in our main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are snacks, the snacks that we can incorporate mid-morning, mid-afternoon.

Broadly speaking society  this is not something that many people have as a habit, perhaps due to lack of time, because they do not know its benefits, because they do not feel hungry at that time, because they do not have something at hand, because their main meals are made daily at different times, etc.

But incorporating snacks into our eating habits as can bring us many benefits, of course when we opt for healthy options that in addition to helping us control anxiety and eat less in our main meals, they will provide us with other nutrients that can help us to maintain good hormonal health and in general to nourish our body.

In the case of people living with a condition such as diabetes, snacks can be an ally to prevent hypoglycemia, for example, people use morning snacks to keep their sugar levels under control, because if only they have breakfast and arrive at lunch without eating anything in the middle of the morning, in some cases their sugar levels begin to drop.

But this topic of snacks, snacks or collations, can be an ally in your good diet, fat loss regimen, diabetes management but if we do not choose the best options it can sabotage us in achieving our goals.

When we are going to select a snack it is important to take into account that it is not composed of saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, sugars such as cookies, chips, ice cream, breads, soft drinks, on the contrary we should choose sources of protein, good fats, fiber.

The other thing that we must always take into account are the portions. Remember that because something is healthy does not mean that we can eat it unlimitedly because again it will be sabotaging us. For example it happens a lot with nuts and is easy to consume more than one’s need. Nuts although they are a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats that although they are good fats, are the same fat and for each gram there are nine calories, so it is a snack wonderful but you have to eat them in small quantities.

The same happens with fresh or dehydrated fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, they are a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, but you have to control the portions because they have fructose, which is ultimately sugar.

So which snacks or snacks should we eat?

There are many options available in the market as well as snacks that can easily and healthily be made at home. Examples of these are puffed brown rice cookies with avocado, salt and pepper or with butter from a nut such as peanuts or almonds, with toppings such as chopped strawberry or dark chocolate chips, a portion of carrots with hummus, a fruit such as a small apple, half a cup of strawberries or a peach / nectarine and some walnuts, a portion of pistachios, a chai latte with almond milk and a portion of dried fruit or a piece (two squares) of dark chocolate or sweetened with stevia.

But there are many others that you can choose, such as a hard-boiled egg with a little salt and pepper, celery / celery with a nut butter, chia pudding is very fashionable. Also popcorn (low in fat and salt), if you eat dairy it could be a serving of Greek yogurt (check that it only has between 4-6 grams of sugar), you can add a minced strawberry, some almonds.

The other important thing with snacks is to have them on hand, not only for when we are at home, but to go out with them in the purse, keep them in the car, it will take less than five minutes to put some almonds, peanuts in a bag , nuts and a fruit or a rice cracker, some carrots, or any other snack that is easy to carry because also if we have it on hand we eat that, we keep our hunger under control and we do not fall into the temptation to buy things that are not so healthy on the street.

In the case of people who manage a condition such as diabetes, they should even be prepared and always carry a fruit or other snack with them to help them keep blood glucose levels stable throughout the day.

For those who practice sports, snacks are as important as any other aspects of their routine. Simply spoken, a top up whilst exercising, before or after will ensure you get the best of your work-out and will help you live a fuller and richer life.

Read More: Key trends that will shape global food in the next 10 years.

The role of nutrition in sport

the-role-of-nutrition-in-sport

Nutritional planning is an essential aspect of preparing a top athlete. The great variety of sports disciplines and situations throughout the season requires sports nutrition to be a certain degree of specialization. The knowledge of the biochemical and physiological bases of the exercise allows to know the routes of use of the nutrients and to design the most suitable nutritional and supplementation strategies for the training period, pre-competition, competition and recovery. Thus the diets of athletes who make explosive efforts are rich in protein, while those who compete in endurance tests need a greater contribution in carbohydrates, although fats are their main substrate during effort. In other disciplines, diets vary according to the time of the season. In addition, the diet must always be personalized, allowing the most optimal body composition parameters to be achieved for the athlete.

Our Nutrition Product: ORANGE & CACAO NIBS 

Behind a high-level athlete there are many professionals, including a coach, doctor, physical therapist, psychologist and nutritionist. Sports nutrition is a discipline that has evolved in recent times, thanks to the body provided by various scientific disciplines, such as Biochemistry and Physiology, among others. There are many situations that the sports nutritionist has to deal with and knowledge of the use of nutrients is essential for proper diet design and supplementation.

Our Nutrition Product: BERRY & ALMONDS

Thus, the events that require explosive efforts, such as a 100-meter smooth run, will depend on creatine phosphate and ATP produced anaerobically by fast-twitch muscle fibers. Therefore, the diets of this group of athletes are aimed at supporting muscle hypertrophy. At times of the season when overload cycles are carried out, the diet becomes richer in protein. A normal person’s diet usually contains an average of about 0.8 g of protein / kg weight. Speed athletes can consume up to 2 g / kg weight at certain times of the season. Creatine can also be consumed as a supplement a few days before with the idea of having the maximum deposits. The energy provided by creatine phosphate is instantaneous and ends quickly. In a normal person, creatine will be depleted within 2 to 3 seconds of starting exercise. Athletes who reach the 100m Olympic Final, have a high capacity to store creatine supplements and perform the race practically depending on this metabolic substrate. In anaerobic tests of longer duration, creatine-phosphate does not work and the energy produced becomes dependent on anaerobic glycolysis, which, although it allows rapid availability of ATP, entails acidification of muscle fiber due to the production of lactic acid. , which implies that the effort can only be sustained for a few minutes.

Our Nutrition Product: BLUEBERRY & NUTS

At the opposite extreme are extensive aerobic-type races, such as the marathon or road cycling. In these tests, the athlete must depend on durable energy systems, such as fats. Mobilized fatty acids from adipose tissue enter the muscle mitochondrial Krebs cycle in the form of acetyl-CoA. In these conditions, the Krebs cycle is working at its maximum and it needs the help of carbohydrates from glycogen. When glycogen stores are depleted, even though there are enough fatty acids, the speed of the Krebs cycle is considerably reduced and the athlete must slow down. It is the well-known “bonk” of cyclists and marathoners. To do this, a week before the race nutritional glycogen overload strategies are carried out, with the idea of filling the tanks to the maximum. These strategies consist of depleting muscle glycogen reserves on the 6th and 4th day before the test, through very intense workouts and with low carbohydrate diets. Three days before the test, we proceed to consume a diet rich in carbohydrates (70% of the total Kcal, a normal diet contains 55%) along with total rest. This allows the usual glycogen reserves to be increased by up to 40%. Today, this strategy has been refined due to the risk of injury that it entails, carrying out nutritional refinement strategies.
However, not everything is based on the energy provided by fats and carbohydrates. Other sports that apparently have an aerobic gesture, such as mountaineering, whose gesture is basically walking, do not depend entirely on glycogen deposits, or even fat deposits. In hypoxic conditions that occur at extreme altitudes, the absence of oxygen prevents the correct oxidation of fats, starting to oxidize carbohydrates through anaerobic metabolism. However, glycogen reserves are limited and during prolonged efforts at altitude mountaineers must resort to gluconeogenesis (de novo glucose synthesis) from amino acids from the breakdown of muscle proteins.

For this reason, the diet of mountaineers must also include an extra supply of protein and muscle hypertrophy during the season. In summary, it is clear that the diet of a tennis player is different from that of a footballer, and that the diet of a swimmer is not at all similar to that of a basketball player. Things are more complicated in sports disciplines where technical gestures, position on the field or environmental circumstances add new variables. Therefore, the sports nutritionist must take these factors into account and manage to design personalized diets adapted to the particular situation of each athlete.

FitBites Love Hemp Protein

Let’s talk about Hemp Proteinhemp protein

We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to get as much delicious nutrition into our FitBites as possible. So, when we came across hemp protein which not only ticks all of our ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ boxes, but also provides a substantial vegan-friendly protein source, we were pretty excited.

 

Let’s clear something up straight away, though; when we talk about hemp, we are talking about the same family of plants that marijuana comes from, but hemp seeds do not contain anywhere near enough psychoactives to produce an effect (less than 0.3% by weight.)

How is Hemp Protein Made? 

The hemp seed is harvested, before being separated from its husk and pressed to remove the oil. The oil goes on to be used for other purposes, while the resulting seed ‘cake’, is ground into a fine powder – this is the hemp protein that we mix into FitBites Protein HIIT balls.

Amino Acid Jackpot 

Unfortunately, a lot of other non-animal and non-dairy proteins are poor alternatives, having either a pretty low protein content, or other nasty side-effects (usually digestive.) Hemp protein is not only high in protein, it also contains all 21 amino acids, including the nine we can’t make inside our bodies – meaning we have to get them through our diets. Those nine essential amino acids are:

  • histidine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

These amino acids aren’t just important for building muscle after hitting the gym, either, they’re crucial to allowing all of your body’s organs and systems to function properly, from your kidneys and liver, to your brain and nervous system.

Fatty acids 

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are found in hemp protein are naturally occurring, they’re not added in. They’re essential, too, for optimum brain function and for helping to reduce inflammation (omega-3.)

You’ll only find tiny amounts of these fantastic fatty acids in FitBites, because they’re pretty small, but if you’re interested in their health benefits, we would recommend doing a bit more reading about them. You could start here.

Vegan-friendly 

We’ve mentioned it already, but we were incredibly excited to start using hemp protein, because we know that for vegans, finding good sources of protein can sometimes be challenging. We would love it if, after trying our Protein HIIT balls, you bought yourself some hemp protein to use as a regular supplement.

Two tablespoons of hemp protein contains around 15g of protein.

If you have questions about hemp protein, or any of our other ingredients, we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Spirulina Stretch Uncovered

Did you know that spirulina is the richest source of plant protein in the world? Its protein content is around 60% of its weight, and gram-for-gram, it has more protein than red meat, chicken and eggs. How could we not use it, right?

What is spirulina?

It looks pretty simple – spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria) that grows in water. It’s a single-cell protein, but amazingly, is packed with other nutrients like iron, and amino acids like leucine. Leucine is a very popular amino acid in its own right, used by athletes in many sports for healthy, natural muscle recovery.

Our Spirulina Stretch ball is also made from 40% apricots, and with good reason. As well as being high in vitamins A and C, dried apricots are a great source of fibre and catechins, which help to reduce inflammation. That’s good news if you’re running, lifting weights, or putting stress on your joints.

Another ingredient we love in Spirulina Stretch is almonds. As well as being a great protein source, almonds are high in vitamin E (vitamin E is actually a group of 8 different nutrients), a powerful anti-oxidant and healthy heart supporter.

Almonds also contain good amounts of copper. Copper enables all sorts of reactions to take place in the body, and helps to keep blood vessels flexible and healthy.

The other ingredients in Spirulina Stretch are medjool dates and coconut. That’s it. Nothing else. No added sugar or preservatives at all.