Consumed by 48.4% of Italian children, snacks can completely unbalance their daily diet, because they are usually chosen from packaged products. In some cases you (really) need to eat them, that’s when
The snacks in the mid-morning or afternoon (but often also at night) they are more widespread than you think and sometimes alone they ruin a healthy and correctly set diet.
In fact, they are often chosen for these hunger-busters very caloric foods such as to have a heavy impact, perhaps without even thinking about it, on the total calorie count at the end of the day. Here it is then who wants to lose weight he inexplicably finds himself not doing it and those who want to eat healthy it is found on the plate in snacks and processed foods that are unhealthy, too salty or too sweet.
The English study
The latest study that investigated eating habits in this sense came out recently in the European Journal of Nutrition: in the United Kingdom, where it was conducted, approx 47% of participants ate two snacks a day and 29% even more than two. Twenty-five percent reported eating healthy main meals and snacking on highly processed foods and sugary treats.
The English study measured some health indicators of the population examined and noted that the choice of unhealthy snacks was linked to a BMI (body mass index) higher, to one visceral fat mass higher and higher concentrations of triglycerides (Keeping triglycerides within desirable levels helps keep your heart healthy.) Snacking after 9pm was associated with the consumption of foods high in calories, fat and sugar and people who had this habit had worse blood markers. In contrast, those who snacked on nuts, fresh fruit and other healthy foods were more likely to have a healthy weight and normal blood values.
Daily sweet snacks for almost 20% of children
In Italy, the consumption of sweet and savory snacks was studied in 2019 within the project Watch out for your health, a national surveillance system promoted and financed by the Ministry of Health created to monitor the evolution of childhood obesity. The data collected showed that children consume sweet snacks more frequently than salty ones (especially boys). The first category of snacks consumed more than 3 days a week by 48.4% of children, with 19.9% consuming it daily. For savory snacks the percentages stand at 9.4% and 2.9% respectively.
This is why it becomes really important to understand how to choose a snack in a healthy way: Snacks can really “boycott” a balanced dietbecause for hunger suppressants we tend to look for something that is easily usable and we often arrive at packaged product — confirms Ilaria Prandoni, biologist and nutritionist at Palazzo della Salute of the San Donato Group —: the machine in the workplace, the classic bars, ice cream, sweets, chocolates.
Is it a frequent practice to have a snack?
Yes, even unconsciously we often nibble: maybe it’s two biscuits with coffee but they can ruin the quality of our diet as well as significantly increase our daily energy intake – explains the expert -. Especially when people stay for a meal they are hungry during the afternoon: two chocolates, two crackers and in the end it would have been better to eat some pasta at midday.
Craving for something sweet? Better not!
I strongly advise against snacks offered at bars or vending machines – says the nutritionist -: sweets in particular they contain a lot of sugars and do not give that feeling of satiety that we instead seek to arrive less hungry at the next meal. They are also poor in good quality nutrients and worsen the quality of daily nutrition.
Which foods to choose?
A fresh fruit with the peel (which contains more fibre) mid-morning and mid-afternoon to which we add oily dried fruit (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts… a handful) and/or oil seeds (2 teaspoons).
Another example of a snack could be plain yogurt (not necessarily partially skimmed milk) to which you can add a little fresh fruit, every now and then a small square of dark chocolate, or dried fruit.
Green light to water, infusions, herbal teas or teabecause the fibers of the fruit ingested swell and give a greater feeling of satiety.
Home one slice of good bread with a veil of good quality jam, a veil of 100% dried fruit, or a veil of ricotta and a drizzle of oil or honey on top.
Normally more time passes from lunch to dinner, so a more substantial snack in the mid-afternoon can be useful to get to dinner without opening the fridge and messing with the various things found in the kitchen, explains the specialist.
Is it necessary to have snacks?
It is not necessary but it can be very useful when people are unable to eat enough during meals – clarifies Prandoni -. If a person can satisfy their nutritional and energy needs during main meals, eating between meals doesn’t make much sense. It depends on everyone’s needs but also on meal times. Definitely not necessary at night: according to our biological rhythms (and the hours of light/darkness) the night is made for sleeping and “fasting”. In some cases, however, like that of the sportsmensnacks are important because it is difficult for the athlete to reach the amount of calories required by his needs in a single meal.
November 15, 2023 (modified November 15, 2023 | 08:12)
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