Snacking between meals can contribute to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet as long as those snacks are healthy; so it’s equally as important when considering snacks to make sure we also think about the right overall energy intake as part of a varied diet.
Although there isn’t much research out there on the effects of what we eat between meals, particularly when we snack, how we snack and why we snack; it’s important we think about the snacks we consume daily. Sadly, snacks can include saturated fats, sugar and salt all of which we need to limit.
We can replace snacks high in saturated fat, sugar and salt with snacks that are healthier like plain popcorn and unsalted nuts. It’s far easier to leave unhealthier snacks in the grocery store than it is to buy them and wean ourselves off them.
The whole point to eating regular meals is that if we are feeling slightly peckish in between meals, we can reach for a snack without making it unhealthy, as we are less hungry. Snacking should never replace three regular meals a day, but having a snack allows us to maintain blood sugar between meals, as long as we eat healthy snacks.
When it comes to snacking, to help maintain a healthy balanced diet it’s important we consider portion size, particularly if what we’re eating is high in saturated fat, sugar and salt. For example, reduce chocolate to two square portions, crisps only eat a handful, or eat two biscuits. Reducing the amount we consume when snacking, will help us maintain a healthy balanced diet.
It’s easy to reach for the biscuit tin. but it’s always important to make sure we’re not eating out of boredom, or we’ve got ourselves into a bad habit of eating in response to our emotions. Sadly, the wrong snacks can add to weight gain, particularly if we’re not eating regular meals or looking at the bigger picture of what we’re dealing with emotionally.
If we plan-ahead with our meals, we’re more likely to reach for healthier snacks when we do snack. Lastly if we go shopping after we’ve eaten; we’ll pay for less unhealthy snacks at the check- out.