There are many controversies and misunderstandings around snacks and including them in diets. Some people cannot live without them, others, against their will, are not able to resign from them, and there's another group of people, for whom snacks are beyond any consciousness control causing body mass and composition problems. What mistakes connected with small meals during a day should we definitely avoid?
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Spontaneous food products eaten between main meals are very often accidental and are perceived as an attempt of satisfying "the desire for something small". It can be stated that they are not always connected with the feeling of hunger (connected with e.g. longer break between snacks), but they are a result of situations such as a visit in a shop, a stand with nice chocolate bars next to the counter, boredom or stress. It's definitely worth avoiding the unplanned and accidental appetizers, trying to activate thinking and the self-control processes. Thanks to that, there's the chance that we will resign from a poor snack, or we will exchange it for a better alternative.
Poor nutrition quality of a small snacks eaten between the main meals is, in my opinion, the most important issue, which may lead to the enlarged waistline in fast pace. The food market offers many nutrition 'duds', which we grab thinking that we made a good and healthy choice. Such products as sweetened yoghurts and other processed dairy products, and also fit sweets - are mostly traditional confectioneries (e.g. chocolate bars, cookies), enriched with additives of wholegrain flour, bran or dried fruits. The real nutrition value of these products is questionable, and the amount of supplied energy is quite high.
Snacking all day long
There is some space for well-thought snacks during the day. They are great in situations when, because of sudden circumstances, the time between main meals gets longer. In other situations their quantity and composition should be planned beforehand. Otherwise, it may often happen that the amount of food "bagatelles" may go out of control, which may cause noticeable crossing the daily energy balance and result in additional centimetres in waistline, despite eating only valuable food products.
Not so satisfying food products
The essence of the matter of eating snacks is not only feeding the hunger, but also feeling the satisfaction connected with the eaten product. A snack should not only have high nutrition value, but also have good taste and make us full. Grabbing tasty food (e.g. fruits, nuts, bitter chocolate, and meals with these ingredients) makes that the feeling of satisfaction takes our minds away from risky and not so valuable food products.
Snacks don't have to be problematic elements of our menus. However, it's good to stay careful and remember about the basics concerning healthy eating habits when including appetizers in a diet.