The Feed

The DL on Snacking

23rd Mar, 2023


Eating 3 meals a day used to be the norm, but as lifestyles have evolved over the years we have less and less time to eat such big meals across the day, so we turn to snacks to help keep us fuelled through the day. 

Snacks are defined as any food eaten between main meals, and they are a common part of many people's diets. While snacking can provide a boost of energy and additional nutrients, it can also lead to unwanted weight gain and a decrease in appetite at meal times. Consistently consuming highly processed, tasty snacks that are packed with salt, sugar, and fat, but lack essential nutrients and are calorie-dense, can promote a liking for such foods, ultimately influencing dietary habits and nutritional intake.

Research has attempted to determine whether snacking has a positive or negative impact, but unfortunately, there is no clear answer. One of the reasons for this may be the lack of a common scientific definition of what actually constitutes a snack. Though according to University of Massachusetts Medical School research, people who eat more than three times a day tend to carry less excess body fat. The general advice is to eat more meals, but make sure you’re not consuming more than 400 calories with each meal. And the secret… eat when you're hungry! 

With so much healthy eating advice out there we forget to slow down and listen to our bodies. According to a research study presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Diabetes Association, restricting food intake to breakfast and lunch may also lead to a reduction in body mass index (BMI) among individuals with type 2 diabetes. Depending on metabolism, lifestyle, and health requirements, it’s sometimes not necessary to eat 3 times a day, with that in mind listening to your body’s needs is key to snacking and portioning properly. 

We believe in making healthy snack choices that provide at least 10% of your daily calories, with a frequency of eating about two to three snacks per day. Incorporating nutritious snack choices such as raw vegetable sticks, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, smoothies, plant-based yoghurt, hummus, avocado, chopped fresh fruit, dark chocolate, and roasted chickpeas. By following these guidelines alongside a healthy balanced diet, you can ensure that you are fuelling your body with the right nutrients while keeping unhealthy snacking habits at bay.

At TYME, we recommend incorporating snack planning into your meal planning to ensure that snacks work for you, not against you. Taking the time to reflect on a typical day and determining when and why you might feel hungry can help you decide which snack choices will satisfy you and how much to eat. Happy snacking!

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