No – this is not a oxymoron. But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories?
Well, the truth is snacking can help or hurt a healthy diet.
So what is a snacker to do?
It all depends on what you snack on, how much and even when you snack (like not snacking before bedtime).
So who can benefit from eating snacks.
- Growing children with tiny appetites may not be able to fulfill their energy needs with only three meals a day. Snacks can provide what may be missing from their meals.
- Teenagers are well-known for their snack attacks as they have high energy and nutrient needs to support their growing bodies. Carefully chosen snacks can help fuel their growth.
- Pregnant women can meet their extra nutrition needs with small, frequent snacks.
- Athletes of all ages who have increased energy demands.
- People that typically have long time periods between meals.
Believe it or not munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later bingeing, snacking can help you stay on track. The trick to successful snacking is planning. If you are a snacker, or know someone who is (who isn’t), then planning for a snack-that is-bringing a healthy snack to school, work or gym will help deter those impulses to buy unhealthy alternatives that are available or convenient.
In other words there is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and yes but of course ~NUTS!
Tell us some of your successful (or not) snacking experiences
Happy (and healthy) Snacking