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The term 'snacking' is commonly known to be synonymous with unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. However, did you know that snacking between meals can aid your health in certain ways? Of course, you have to pick the right snacks, and not consume sugary, simple carbs like candy, chips or other treats. Natural and preservative-free snacks, like fruits or nuts can actually be handy to get you through the day. On this week's journal, we will be explaining a few reasons why you shouldn't be afraid to snack and how snacking may benefit your health. Read on!
1. Curbs hunger and gives energy boost
The act of eating is meant to fuel your body. When it is done in-between meals, it serves as a bridge to aid your hunger until the next meal time. This is why snacking is important, as it can help you to sustain energy all day long. Consuming healthy snack can give you the needed energy boost and may help you stay full longer, compared to sugary or high-calorie snacks. Protein-rich foods, like nuts, can serve as effective snack and also provide your body with nutrients.
As hunger is the body's way to signal that you need more fuel intake, denying a snack may actually do you more harm than good, as it may elevate cravings. Therefore, snacking is important to prevent binge eating during your next meal. When you feel particularly hungry, you may tend to shove more food than your body actually needs and opt for unhealthy options as well.
2. Increases concentration
You may find it especially hard to concentrate when you are hungry. Therefore, snacking may help improve your focus, given that you choose the right foods. Fruits, nuts, and dark chocolate can all be good options for healthy snacking and boosting your concentration at the same time.
3. Helps boost metabolism
You may tend to think that consuming less food equals less calories, and therefore less chance to put on weight. However, eating less can also slow down your metabolism, making the body more prone to actually store energy you consume as fat.
Snacking can actually help boost your metabolism and prevent weight gain, given that you choose the proper snack. When we eat, the body keeps metabolism working throughout the day. A good metabolism can help the body run better and helps to maintain your overall health.
4. Helps lowers cholesterol
While snacking on chips or other sugary foods may harm your health in the long run, choosing the right snacks can actually help lower your cholesterol levels. Especially if you opt to break your meals into smaller portions and eat throughout the day (6 small meals compared to 3 big meals), studies have shown that such habit may lower your cholesterol levels. The reason for this, is that people who eat frequent meals have faster metabolism, making their body store less calories and cholesterol. Therefore, healthy snacking is much more recommended than putting a strict meal plan, if you are looking to lower your cholesterol levels.
5. Helps balance blood sugar levels
Have you ever wondered why diabetic individuals tend to keep snacks handy? This is because they need snacks to help balance their blood sugar levels. As long as you consume proper snacks, like fruits and nuts, in a proper portion, you may lessen your chance of developing diabetes and other cardiovascular problems.
Balanced blood sugar levels can also impact our mood swings. Some time after eating, our blood sugar begins to gradually drop and the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into our system, in efforts to increase blood sugar levels back to normal. This is why you may feel irritable after consuming foods that make your blood sugar drop quickly. Therefore, consuming healthy snacks will not only help you physically, but also mentally.