Snacking between meals is very important for health but unfortunately most people do not pay attention to it and skip snacking between meals. Few do it just to lose weight, which is not the way and is detrimental to their health while others are ignorant about it.
If you are sensible and do not want your health, weight, body metabolism and other factors to be affected natively, you must know a few things about snacking and its needs. This article will provide you with a brief insight about all the important aspects of it that includes:
- What is a snack
- Why it is needed
- How to choose better snacks
- Motivations to snack
- Its contributions to your dietary intakeand
- Few recommendations for improvement.
Such in-depth knowledge will help you to order the right type of snack item when you call up for home delivery snacksor buy it yourself from your local store.
You will be surprised to know that your food choices for the day and even the level of satiety after eating are influenced how an eating occasion is labeled. It will also affect your daily eating pattern.
Meaning of snack
For your information, the term “snack” literally does not have any static or definite definition. If you research on it or go through several publications you will find a significant definitional variationin the literature. In addition to that, it also makes impossible for the researchers to collect the data regarding eating patterns and to interpret or analyze these.
It is this fact that makes it almost impossible to distinguish between meals and snacks. According to a few publications, the definitions of “snack” are usually based on several factors such as:
- The time of day of eating
- The type of food eaten
- The amount of food taken and
- The location of food consumed.
The definition can be based on one or on a combination of all of these factors.
Moreover, there are also a few other studies conducted to label the eating occasions of peoplewith and sometimes without a list of examples provided to the participants or any defined and controlled labels. These multiple studies allowed the participants to categorize their eating occasions into meals or snacks.
- It was found that each came up with different types of categorization of specific meals such as breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, main meal and small mealfrom snacks.
- Few other participants also categorized their meals and snacks according to the time and place of consumption labeling them as morning, afternoon, or evening snacks.
However, no matter whatever is the difference in the concept of snacks, healthy snacking is very important. It helps you in many different ways such as:
- It keeps you full between meals
- It can help you improve your body metabolism
- It can improve your digestive and immune system
- It can prevent chances of several ailments and diseases
- It will keep you energized, refreshed and healthy.
What more reasons do you want to snack between meals diligently?
Adding variety into snacking
It is important to add variety into snacking especially for the kids. Even adults seem to get bored if they have to eat the same type of food no matter how healthy and favored it is to them. This is theprimary reason that people skip snacks and kids will do anything after opening the tiffin box but eat it. They will come up with the most innovative ideas and excuses not to eat it.
Some of the types that you can include and change to make snacking exciting occasions are:
- Switching over to dread fruits instead of raw but making sure that it does not contain additional salt or sugar
- Mixing yoghurt with fruits to make it tastier and healthier and at the same time make the combination creamier and fresher
- Choosing seasonal food items bought fresh from the market instead of the same boring processed food cans and much more.
This will not only bring a change in the eating habit but will help you to choose and eat healthy, feel motivated to eat and most importantly get all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fats, protein and fibers in your body.
In short, crafting eating occasions without depending on any strict given parameters will help you to introducesubstantial variety into snacking.
Snacks and its semantics
Research shows that snacking choice and motivations depends largely on the phenomenon of inter-individual variances. This means that few people will associatesnacks with different cues such as:
- Eating alone or with friends
- Short or long eating periods especially of more than 10 minutes
- Lower nutritional and food quality
- Eating in disposable utensilsand most importantly
- Whether they are standing or sitting during eating.
In most cases, the semantics of snack revolve around the factors such as the portion, packaging, low cost and even nutrient-poor foods.
Although there is a significant difference in the definitions of snacks,snacking,and snack items, it mostly depends on the differences in usage. It determines at what time of the day these foods are taken and most commonly foods consumed early in the day or later in the evening are considered to be snacks. However, researchers also suggest that there could be an even bigger disparity in the definition of snack in the [populace based on ethnicand cultural diversity or age.
Contribution of selection of food items
Concept of snacking and its difference in definition semantics may seem a trivial but it is not actually so. This is because it contributes to the food selection. Come may view having a junk food is the best way to snack while others will only go for those suggested by their dieticians.
An analysis data of the NHANES showed that individuals that skip snacks or eat less healthful snacks had less nutrient intakes overall in comparison to those individuals who ate at least three meals a day including or excluding snacks.
In short, they said that wrong food selection will affect both macroand micronutrient intake that includes cholesterol, folic acid, calcium, vitamins B-6 and C,magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, and fiber.