Many of us tend to feel hungry in between meals. While some try to control their cravings, others opt to quickly snack on something small. There are many myths surrounding the practice of snacking. Note that this does not just mean eating a snack item. Snacking refers to the consumption of food during a time apart from your regular meals. Some people believe that snacking is inherently unhealthy. This may be because they automatically associate snacking with processed foods. But the truth is, snacking can actually be good for you, provided you do it right and choose the correct foods. Celebrity nutritionist Lovneet Batra recently posted about the same on her Instagram page. She cited 5 ways in which snacking can improve your health. Check them out below.
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Is Snacking Healthy? 5 Reasons Why Snacking Between Meals Is Good For You:
1. Helps avoid overeating:
According to Lovneet, “Eating snacks between meals has the potential to promote satiety and suppress overconsumption at the subsequent meal.” Overeating can not only put pressure on your digestive system but can also inhibit the absorption of nutrients. Hence, snacking may also help you maintain a healthy gut.
2. Keeps appetite under control:
Snacking can help keep hunger pangs at bay. If you choose to mindfully snack, you can resist the temptation to give in to unhealthy cravings. Those on a weight loss diet will especially relate to this. Consuming high-fibre foods is said to keep you satiated for longer. This point is also relevant to those with blood sugar problems. Lovneet says that snacking has been “postulated to have a range of health benefits in relation to improved blood glucose control in diabetics and pre-diabetics.”
3. Can increase intake of nutrients:
Choose healthy snacking options to ensure that you get more nutrients and benefits. For instance, it is said that certain fresh fruits are best consumed in-between meals rather than after them. Thus, snacking can actually allow you to add more foods to your diet in the right way.
4. Helps deal with mood swings:
Sometimes, we feel irritated because we are hungry, though we may blame it on other factors. Snacking can help restore overall balance to our body and induce better moods. Wondering what you should be eating? Then check out this list of foods that can help tackle mood swings, as suggested by experts.
5. May improve attention:
Have you ever wondered why you are advised to load up on dry fruits before an exam or interview? Snacks such as these can help improve our attention span. Hunger is a distraction, and left uncurbed, it may manifest as lowered energy, headaches and more. Hence, snacking can ensure your focus remains razor-sharp.
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How To Snack In A Healthy Way? Tips For Snacking Given By A Nutritionist
Pay attention to quantities
According to the nutritionist, “In general, it is best to eat snacks that provide about 200 calories and at least 10 grams of protein to help you stay full until your next meal.”
Avoid packaged food items
Processed snacks tend to be dangerously high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates. They “may give you a brief jolt of energy, but you will probably feel hungrier an hour or two later,” writes Lovneet.
Keep snacks handy while travelling
Lovneet suggests keeping “portable snacks with you when you are out doing errands or travelling in case hunger strikes.” She recommends foods that are high in protein and fibre. Being prepared beforehand also reduces the chances of you buying packaged snacks out of necessity.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ rule:
“Your number of snacks varies based on your activity level and meal size,” Lovneet says. There are multiple factors that you need to take into account while choosing snacks. What may work for others may not work for you.
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Fresh fruits, dry fruits, nuts, makhana (foxnuts), curds, homemade popcorn, etc. are great snacking options – in terms of nutrients as well as convenience. If you’re looking for dishes rather than single food items, then check out this list of recipes for healthy snacks. Now you know that you can snack without guilt as long as you keep these points in mind!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.