If you’ve read our previous blog about savoury snacks, you’ll learn that the term snacking is a slightly controversial one. One of the most common questions people ask about their diet is, “can I still snack?”. Is snacking bad for you? How many calories are in a snack? There are plenty of conflicting answers out there. That’s because snacking can be good for you, but it can also be bad for you. It seems like the question is tougher to answer as it depends on the situation, what you're eating and how much you're eating. Here are some quick things you should know about snacking.
Bad for health:
Snacking is sometimes not the issue, the issue here is what you have when you snack. Highly processed foods or foods with a high content of sugar can be a bad choice for a snack as they have little nutritional benefit. Eating foods such as these on the regular can cause weight gain if you’re not burning it off through things like exercise.
Snacking regularly on highly processed foods, those with a high sugar or salt content can lead to a preference for these types of foods which may lead to behavioural changes, when it comes to choosing what to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We all love snacking. It’s the perfect way to munch between meals or while watching TV. Snacking is a social activity, but it can also be an emotional one. When we feel tired, bored, or angry, we often reach for a snack to make us feel better. This can be at the detriment of your health or in many cases can lead to weight gain.
It’s a good idea to have a look at your eating habits, especially how many times you snack in a day. If you find yourself frequently grabbing that bag of crisps or chocolate bar or even healthier alternatives you may find yourself being full for lunch or dinner. You may even end up skipping an entire meal because of it, causing you to lose key nutrients that meal dishes provide.
You don’t have to stop snacking entirely, if you're a snack lover a good tip would be to limit how many you have within a single day and to choose a time when you should have it.
Good for health:
Snacks are important for people who work long hours or who don’t have access to food at certain points during the day.
Snacks provide an opportunity to take in nutrient-dense foods without overeating at meals. They can also be used as rewards for hard work.
Snacking can also make you more satisfied throughout the day because it gives your body small bursts of energy. The key is to remember what types of snacks will benefit your body and what types of snacks will hurt it.
Healthy alternatives or snacking on fruit, vegetables or yoghurt or even popcorn is a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and would therefore not affect you negatively as you’ll be getting more nutrients into your body.
Snacking in itself is not bad, you just have to make sure of what you eat, when you eat and the frequency of snacking.