You’d be forgiven for thinking that regular snacks are an unhealthy addition to your diet, which in the long term can lead to weight gain. But the truth is, if you snack sensibly, you could actually lose weight, sleep better and even help your body to achieve its fitness goals.
The key to whether snacking is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for you is dependent on the sort of snacks you choose, and the amount you eat. Time of day also plays a part, but if you’re opting for healthy snacks which are nutritionally balanced, you can’t really go wrong.
For many, evening snacking is a bad habit, and that’s likely because it is generally the time of day when we wind down, reflect on what’s happened at work and in our social life, and then mindlessly nibble on unhealthy foods whilst sitting in front of the television. But that needn’t be the case…If evening snacking is on your nightly agenda, opting for Greek Yogurt is an excellent idea for a variety of reasons and Freeletics Nutrition Specialist David Wiener is here to clue you in on some of them:
1. It’s low in calories
To prevent unwanted weight gain, it is important to choose a snack which is low in calories. Plain, low fat Greek Yogurt typically contains 59 calories per 100 grams, which is on the lower end of the calorie scale. It also has a thick, creamy texture, meaning it is more filling than other types of yogurts, keeping you satisfied until breakfast.
2. It’s protein packed
If you’re aiming to build lean muscle and reap the results of regular bodyweight training, snacking on Greek Yogurt can help to build and replenish your muscles, as well as prevent muscle loss while you sleep. Throughout the typical six to eight hours of sleep, your body nears a catabolic state due to the lack of calories that it receives. The protein found in Greek yogurt acts as the building block for lean-muscle development, helping you to grow and preserve your muscle mass, as well as replenishing your energy stores.
3. It’s low in sugar
Depending on the brand or flavour you choose, Greek Yogurt can be low in added sugar, making it a healthy, nutritious evening snack. Consuming high sugar snacks before bed will raise your blood sugar levels and this could affect your quality of sleep. Sugary snacks also tend to be higher in calories, with no real nutritional content which could also lead to weight gain.
4. It can help you to sleep
Dairy products such as Greek Yogurt contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which may help you to feel drowsier before heading to bed. After you eat foods rich in tryptophan, your body converts it into two hormones, serotonin and melatonin, which may promote a restful night’s sleep.
5. It can aid digestion
Greek Yogurt is packed full of probiotics, which are healthy, beneficial bacteria that can help strengthen your immune system and support digestion. Keeping these systems running smoothly is important for your overall health and wellbeing, so consuming probiotic rich foods such as Greek Yogurt regularly can help to keep your levels of good bacteria topped up, and your body functioning optimally.
So what are you waiting for? Swap your usual evening snack for Greek yogurt today; your body will thank you! If you’re looking for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes, why not download the Freeletics Nutrition App and experience for yourself the versatility of this Hellenic health bomb!