Although snacking is typically referred to consuming foods that are high in sugar and/or fat, it actually means to eat or drink something between meals, regardless of whether the food is healthy or not.* Depending on what you eat, snacking can be either beneficial or detrimental to your health. We’ll take a closer look at the perceived notions behind snacking and how it can benefit your overall health.
Does Snacking Effect Your Weight?-Most studies have shown that snacking in between meals doesn’t effect your weight although there were some studies done that state otherwise. A non-controlled study in 17 people with diabetes reported that consuming snacks high in protein and slow-digesting carbs resulted in an average weight loss of 2.2 pounds (1 kg) within four weeks.* On the other hand, there was a study conducted where 36 lean men increased their calorie intake by 40% by consuming excess calories as snacks between meals.* They experienced a significant increase in liver fat and belly fat.*
Recommended Amount To Eat-It’s recommended to eat snacks that have approximately 200 calories and at least 10 grams of protein to help you stay full until your next meal.*
Frequency-The number of snacks you need will vary based on your activity level and how big your meals are.* If you’re very active, you may prefer 2–3 snacks per day, while a more sedentary person may do best with one snack or no snacks.*
Snacks to avoid/consume-Processed, high-sugar snacks may give you a brief jolt of energy, but you’ll probably feel hungrier an hour or two later.* Foods such as cottage cheese and sunflower seeds are some healthier choices to have when snacking.*
Snacking can have a relatively positive effect on your health as long as you choose foods that are on the healthier side and exercise recommended portion control. As always, please consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.