Snacking is one of the most widespread practices, a luxury that some do not want to give up and that many cannot resist. A chocolate bar at mid-morning, a beer with an aperitif before lunch, a few ounces of chocolate or a bag of chips at mid-afternoon, a tapa before dinner… If you count it, at the end of the day we have eaten many more calories than recommended; a calorie festival that ends up taking its toll on the body and body weight.
Picoteo no, snack yes
Most nutritionists advise eating between meals in appropriate proportions, as this provides energy to the body, prevents the retention of reserves, accelerates metabolism, prevents reaching the main meals with great hunger and, therefore, controls the intake. However, unhealthy, uncontrolled snacking is not the same as mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacking. In the first case, there is a tendency to eat very calorie-rich options, rich in saturated fats and sugars, such as industrial pastries, processed foods or French fries and, therefore, unhealthy.
The mid-morning and afternoon snack make up 10% of the total daily calorie value
The mid-morning and afternoon aperitifs, along with breakfast, lunch and dinner, form part of the five daily intakes recommended by nutritionists. These piscolabis constitute 10% of the total daily calorie value and make it possible to endure the rest of the day without hunger, which is why it is recommended that they be moderate and that, in addition, they be made up of healthy food. But it happens that many have a pantry or refrigerator overflowing with hypercaloric options for these intakes, which are a constant invitation to fall into temptation. Others turn to vending machines in search of a quick snack to calm the worm. Since the size of these portions is small, there is a tendency to think that they are healthy. This is a mistake, because they are real caloric sins, usually overflowing with salt and saturated fats.
Therefore, it is advisable to eat between meals, but with nuances. No matter how well the main meals are made, if we make mistakes in the choice of snacks to eat in the snack or appetizer, we will ruin the diet. So it’s not worth any food you have on hand when the stomach calls for attention, but we have to make the right choices. What are they?
- Fresh fruit. Fruits are an authentic cocktail of vitamins, fibre, minerals and antioxidants. In addition to producing satiety, they have a low caloric intake. Those who want to give a little joy to these healthy snacks, can make a fruit salad, combine them with a yogurt or a feta cheese or quark, which boast of having a low calorie intake.
- Yogurt, better Greek. This dairy is one of the star piscolabis to take to the mouth both at mid-morning and in the afternoon. Although there are a number of healthy alternatives on the market, such as 0%, skim and sugar-free, the Greeks seem to bring more benefits. This is because this variety of yogurt does not include liquid whey, which means that it contains less carbohydrates and sugar and more protein than conventional. Those who want to vary can add cereals or nuts.
- Nuts. Nuts are an extra source of essential nutrients and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. For this reason, the Spanish Heart Foundation recommends ingesting 50 grams a day. Whenever consumed in small quantities, in ‘raw version’, without salt, additives or excluded from other preparations, such as roasted, are a good choice to solve lunch or snack.
- Cheese. These delicacies are an indisputable part of the country’s gastronomy. There are multiple varieties, but not all of them should be consumed with the same frequency, either because of their lactose percentage, their fat content or their sodium content. If you want to keep the line or look for healthy cheese options, with low calorie and low fat, the ideal is to choose cottage cheese, fresh cheese, mozzarella, feta or spread.
- Dark chocolate. For those who cannot resist the temptation to snack on something sweet, dark chocolate is one of the most advisable treats. As long as it has between 80% and 90% cocoa, this caprice is rich in antioxidants, mainly polyphenols and catechins, vitamins, fiber, flavonoids and minerals. Of course, although it provides all these nutritional benefits, it does not imply that it can be consumed without limits. Ideally, 20 to 40 grams a day.
- Sandwich or a small sandwich. The sandwich and the classic ‘fleas’ are not at odds with a healthy diet and, moreover, are a good option to appease hunger. Ideally, wholemeal bread should be wholemeal, as it provides a lower glycaemic index, has a higher nutritional value, more fibre and is therefore more satisfying. To be healthy, it is recommended to include protein foods between slices, such as turkey or chicken breast, serrano ham, French omelette or cheese, and vegetables, such as tomato, lettuce, onion…