Snacks - friend or foe?

A snack is generally defined as ‘any small meal eaten between main meals’. The term is often applied to sweet and savoury snacks.

There is nothing wrong with having a snack. Indeed if you are time poor and need an energy boost they can be a lifesaver.

Traditionally we Brits have snacked on processed foods like cakes, biscuits, crisps etc. The problem with this type of snack is that they are generally energy dense and nutrient poor. They are often high in sugar and salt – not good for your gut health.

This type of snack can also cause your blood sugar to spike leaving you feeling hungry again a short while afterwards.

Fortunately the supermarkets are now also offering healthier snack options in response to a more health conscious nation. The chiller cabinets now contain foods like sushi and fruit as well as the more traditional snacks.

By far the biggest problem with snacks lies in the fact that it is very easy to forget that you dunked three biscuits in your tea or had a bar of chocolate at eleven o’clock!

If you do need to snack think about having a piece of protein, say smoked salmon or cheese or something with fibre like a pear. These will satisfy your hunger and keep you fuller for longer.

So while you are developing calorie awareness don’t forget to count your snacks because they can soon mount up!

See the images below about liquid calories and satiety.