Learn how to snack healthy and achieve your dieting goals

Apples make a healthy snack

Snacks that are taken in-between meals should be accommodated in our daily dietary intake.

This week, we want to consider how many meals should be allowed in your family menu or on your personalized diet time table.

From time immemorial, three square meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) have always been considered to be the ideal number of times to eat food in a day and that had been practiced by many families. But more often these days, a lot of people (and families) do not comply due to busy schedules that hardly allow for the time to cook, not forgetting to mention poverty which inherently makes families scale down on frequency of meal times.

For some other people, breakfast is often skipped on the grounds of reducing caloric intake with a strict weight loss regime while for some others living on a fast lane, the inconvenience of cooking breakfast has made them adapt by modifying meal times to twice per day with brunch at mid-day to make up for both breakfast and lunch, and the evening dinner meal.

The good news is that healthy snacking can come to the rescue! As patterns change, knowledge also revolves with the help of researches that yield better understanding and practice. Snacks that are taken in-between meals should be accommodated in our daily dietary intake. Our default thinking about snacks may make you think this would increase your caloric intake, but I assure you, that it is not necessarily true.

Healthy snacks do not replace a meal but could furnish a couple of hundred calories or less. They can be taken two hours after meals.

Snacking or eating between meals can help to reduce over eating during main meal times. This is because it reduces the sense of hunger and helps your feeling of satiety by the next meal thereby actually reducing your overall caloric intake. For example: if you snack before a dinner or a party, you are not likely to finish the food served at that function.

However, the choice of snacks is very important. It is not healthy to snack on sugary foods such as candies and the likes but instead, snack on foods that will keep you fuller and give you some sense of satisfaction e.g. fruits and vegetables, low calorie yoghourt, smoothies, crunchy fruits like apples, popcorn, groundnut etc. Eating at regular intervals keeps your blood sugar level stable.

Hopefully if you are on a diet, having a friend offer you a snack does not have to send you through a mile worth of guilt trip if you keep these basic principles in mind. In conclusion, I suggest at least two healthy snacks in addition to the main meals daily.

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