Some people say that the reason that they are overweight is because they snack all day instead of having a proper meal. However this is not necessarily true, because it depends on the nutritional composition of snacks they consume and also the portion size.
There are highly processed snacks high in sugar, saturated fat and salt (like crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, cookies, granola bars, cakes, pastries, charcuterie products) which are also energy dense and can contribute to weight gain.
And there are snacks that contain natural sugars, source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals (for example, fruit, nuts, seeds, bread, eggs, low fat dairy products, hummus, vegetables).
I always advise to read the label when choosing your snacks. Read my blog post on how to choose healthier foods on here
The reasons why people might put on weight when snacking are:
Advantages of snacking
Choose snacks from the following groups and vary throughout the day and week.
Examples of snacks
Fruit and vegetables
These are the easiest snacks to take away with you and they will contribute for your 5-a-day.
They will contribute with fiber, good for your gut and vitamins and minerals to keep your body functioning well.
Here are some examples:
Carbohydrates - bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other cereals
These foods are the main source of energy for your brain. They are low in fat, and contain even more fibre and minerals if you choose wholegrain types. Try these easy snack suggestions:
Protein - meat, fish, eggs, beans and nuts
Foods from this group are high in protein, they may also help to keep us fuller and control your appetite. Some suggestions are:
Milk and dairy
Many of us don’t get enough calcium in our diet. Snacking on these calcium rich foods can help you to reach your recommended two to three servings of dairy foods each day:
Smart snacking tips
When we get hungry it is very easy to fall into temptations - choosing unhealthy snacks, especially if these are around. Preparing your snacks in advance, making them visible where you are, easy to access, will make you more likely to make healthier choices.
I help women and men losing weight and feel happier by adopting a healthy lifestyle without restrictions and food guilt. To know more about what a dietitian can do for you, book a free 15 min call by clicking here.
Registered Dietitian, MSc Clinical Nutrition
Founder of Your Diet Advice
Source Healthy Snack: Food Fact Sheets, British Dietetic Association, https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/healthy-snacks.html accessed on 18th September 2020
Hi, I'm Joana, a Portuguese registered dietitian in the UK. I am passionate about helping others achieving their health goals.