Smart Snacking: What is it and How to do it?

Snacking is described as food consumed in between meals, with popular snack foods including cookies, chips, ice cream, and yogurt. It has also been linked to gaining, losing, or maintaining weight. 

Studies found that snacks account for at least 10% of daily calories, with at least two snacks per day. Some of the benefits of snacking include: 

  • Providing a boost of energy if meals have passed between meals 
  • Prevent overeating at your next meal 
  • Can provide the nutrition needed, especially if one cannot eat a full meal due to an illness 

 

However, there are also downsides when it comes to snacking such as: 

                    • Unwanted weight due to excessive calories  
                    • Consumption of processed snacks, which contain salt, sugar, and fats, with little to no nutritional value. 
                    • Frequent snacking can lead to skipping meals 

Snacking can be healthy when done mindfully and strategically. Snack smarter, so you don’t have to worry about the extra calories, but still get the nutrients needed by your body 

 

  • Choose whole grain: aside from getting energy, the high fiber content of whole grain snacks can also lower bad cholesterol levels, lower insulin levels, and lower high blood pressure. 
  • Aim for balance: smart snacking does not mean leaving out fatty and sugary food but pairing it with a healthier choice. For instance, you can use peanut butter as a dip for your apple slices or whole-grain crackers. In that way, you do not have just one macronutrient in your every snacking session. 
  • Be mindful: do not eat your snacks in front of the TV. Eat your snacks like you would eat your meals. 
  • Healthy approach: get to know your cravings and opt for the better alternative. If you want a crunchy snack, you can get whole-grain crackers, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds. For something salty, you can get a cube of cheese, roasted chickpeas, or a handful of nuts. 

 

Snacking can be a power move that could benefit your health or cause more loss than gain; it can be determined by how you pick your food choices. 

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