It is quite natural that you will like to munch on something at work, at home and in school. It is a biological need when your body needs to replenish the lost energy due to your daily activities. However, munching on anything and everything is an absolute no-no especially if you are one of those health conscious persons. Munching should be mindful so that it provides you with all those things that your body needs such as:
- The lost energy
- Minerals and what not.
However, it is also necessary that it does not affect your health adversely, short term or long term. For this you will have to ensure that you choose the right food and time to eat apart from controlling your portion of food. After all, you will need only the required amount of calories to control your cravings and hunger and put you back to work. Anything excess will be deposited in different forms and in unwanted places such as your waist and belly. And that is not a sign of a healthy person!
Unfortunately and surprisingly, many people still are in the oblivion when it comes to snacking. Most do not even know the fact that snacking, which is a part of a healthy diet, if done in the right way can lead to better health.
The snacking habit
Snacking since the olden days are associated with unhealthful eating habits that resulted in weight gain for many. Of course, there are lots of good reasons for that. Recent research reports published in Health Affairs have shown that:
- American kids snack more than three times in a day and that too on junk foods
- This results in more than 27% of their daily calorie intake.
This point out at one thing: snacking habit can be blamed largely for obesity epidemic in the American kids. However, the problem does not lie in the act of munching by the kids. It is the type of food that they are snacking on.
The same study showed that children are very fond of unhealthy foods such as:
- Sugary candy
- Chips and
They will not take anything in return to have these instead of fruits or vegetable matchsticks not knowing how these foods are detrimental to their health and nutritional requirements of their body.
Benefits of healthy snacking
Healthful snacking is beneficial to both children and adults. In fact, healthful snacking offers a large number of benefits such as:
- It provides more energy
- It increases mental clarity and agility
- It improves brain function and promotes agility and alertness
- It improves blood quality and reduces sugar and cholesterol level
- It reduces cravings for junk foods and overall
- It promotes the feeling of wellbeing.
Healthy snacking has the most significant effect on blood, especially blood sugar. A balanced snack will keep the blood sugar in the optimal range.
- As you eat, your blood sugar level goes up. When you work or perform any activity such as running, jumping and even thinking or blinking, your blood sugar starts to fall. It is this time when you need to eat again and if it is well within your meal time, you will need to snack on healthy food.
- This will prevent low blood sugar which will contribute to your experiencing a ‘brain fog,’ apart from low energy and a propensity toward craving for sugary foods.
It is only a balanced snack that will prevent your blood sugar level from dropping too far below between two meals.
Another significant benefit of healthful snacking is that it will help you to manage your hunger and at the same time it will keep your appetite in check. Ideally, your body prefers to have smaller meals more in number rather than large meals only a couple of times in a day.
It is for this reason dietitian and doctors suggest that you do not go starving for longer than three or four hours. If you do not skip your breakfast you will not end up hungrier during the lunch time and eat more in the day. If you do not have time to prepare your breakfast in the morning make sure that you order for it to any classic snacks delivery service but never skip it just for this lame excuse.
The researchers from the Imperial College of London has found and presented their report at the Endocrine Society annual meeting in Washington DC last year saying that skipping breakfast can have serious effects on your health, body and mind. It may lead to:
- Higher calorie craving later
- Snacking on junk foods
- Affected body metabolism and
Yes, skipping breakfast will not help you to lose weight. In fact, it will act conversely. If you are hungrier you will eat more and this will result in gain of weight. It is for this reason that the researchers support the long-touted idea of having a solid breakfast as this is the most important meal of the day.
The common pattern noticed among people who skip breakfast is:
- They probably skip lunch
- Have a junk food from the vending machine
- Have a large dinner at night and
- Snack constantly until bedtime.
This means they are always in a craving state for something to eat all through the day till nighttime.
The final thought
It is very important for you to recognize that you must have healthful snacks throughout the day. This will also guarantee more healthful mealtimes and you will eat more reasonably with portioned meals.
Moreover, smaller snacks during the day will provide added nutrients that may not be available during the meals. For example if you do not have vegetables in your meal but snack on veg sticks you will have additional fiber, potassium, vitamin A, C, K, and Focalin in your diet apart from some anticancer properties.
Therefore, make sure that you include all types of healthy food items to make your snack and meal complete in all respects. It just takes a little bit of planning, time and effort. That is not a tall ask for your good health.