Do you feel guilty about snacking? One of the biggest myths about snacking is, that it’s bad. Snacking is when you consume food or beverages between your regular meals. The truth is that it’s not snacking that’s bad. It is the junk and unhealthy food that is part of a snack that is bad and leads to weight gain.
What makes Snacking healthy?
Most of us get hungry about every 3-4 hours. There’s a good chance that you’ll overeat at your next meal if, there’s a long gap between meals. That is why healthy snacking becomes important.
Snacks should be just eaten like a snack and not a meal. They should provide enough calories to hold you over until your next meal.
Snacking in between meals can often boost your physical and mental energy. However, only healthy snacks will have this effect. Unhealthy snacks or junk food have the reverse effect. even sweetened beverages have the same effect.
Since with snacking, your meal frequency becomes more, it’s easy to add a variety of foods in your diet. This way one can also meet the daily nutritional requirement of the body. Remember the more frequent you eat the smaller the meals need to be.
Long meal gaps can rise acidity and bloating problems. Snacking in between meals can keep a check on it.
Having a small snack before eating out, is also a way to reduce portion sizes of a cheat or social meal!
When is Snacking unhealthy?
You’re eating for reasons other than hunger. Maybe you’re bored, stressed, angry or tired. This is a habit you might want to think about breaking.
Common ‘snack foods’are high in fat, sugar, salt and calories which gives you no nutrition and instead increases weight. This also includes the so-called “low fat” or “low sugar” or “no sugar” munchies, biscuits or cookies. You will eventually be gaining weight with these diet-foods.
If you eat energy-dense snacks or your servings are large, excess weight is definitely a side effect.
Keep your house stocked with healthy options like fresh fruits and vegetables. Munch on carrot or cucumber sticks or even an interesting fruit salad with basic dressing. Buy a variety of veggies and fruits so that you don’t get bored with your selection.
Have small amounts of healthy snacks when hungry. Nuts are a good option. This will go a long way towards decreasing hunger sensations. Choose any nuts of your choice – almonds, walnuts, even cashews! Remember, not to overeat just because they are healthy.
Experiment with herbs or spices to make fruits and vegetables more interesting. You can include lime, cinnamon powder, pepper powder etc. as dressings.
Swap unhealthy snacks with health snack options. Pop-corn instead of chips is one option. Or have a glass of plain cold milk instead of a milkshake. Take the advice of the nutrition experts at BucketList to make simple yet effective modifications to your diets.
It is up to you to make snacking good or bad. Remember to eat nutritious, properly-portioned and most importantly mindful snacking when hunger strikes. This can boost your intake of essential nutrients and promote health.