Are you a grazer or do you prefer to eat three square meals a day?
Personally, I’m the latter, but new research reveals that one in three of us will often eat a snack instead of sitting down to a main meal. And with snack foods on offer at nearly every turn these days, why wouldn’t we settle for the quick option?
But all that snacking has big consequences for our health. While it’s fine to swap an occasional meal for a light snack, the problem we face is eating too many high-fat, high-sugar snacks, such as chips and biscuits.
You only need to stroll through the supermarket aisles to see the huge range of processed, packaged snack foods, some of which are glammed up with a ‘superfood’ like kale, chia seeds or goji berries. But just because it sits in the health-food aisle, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
In this month’s issue, we share our top healthy snack ideas under 600kJ (140cal), and simple strategies to beat mindless munching.
You don’t have to take snacks of the menu completely. Here are three ways to get the most from your daily nibbles.
1)Check in – Are you really hungry? Or are you just bored? Maybe you’re thirsty and simply need a glass of water? If you’re low in energy, is it because you have been sitting in one spot all day? Get up and get some fresh air before automatically reaching for food.
2) Snack mindfully – Don’t snack in the car, at your desk or in front of the TV. You’ll only end up polishing off far more than you intended. Turn of distractions and tune into what you are eating.
3) Boost nutrition – Ditch the biscuits, muffins and chocolate and use snacking as an opportunity to increase your daily fruit and veg intake. An apple, banana or whole carrot is a healthy and portable snack that will satisfy hunger.
For more smart snacking ideas, as well as ways to chomp away stress, pick up the August issue of Healthy Food Guide – on sale now!