According to new research, snacking is on the rise and those who do it are not being smart about it. These people are not eating the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake which may be affecting their health.
Below are 5 facts to understand the consequences to this problem 1. Weight gain If you are trying to achieve a healthy weight it will become very difficult when snacking badly. Not only that, once you achieve that planned weight it will be even more difficult to maintain it. Most unhealthy snacks are high in calories from fats and sugars. These snacks are also high in GI that makes you feel hungry again and thus snack more, contributing to more calories and weight increase. 2. Increase risk of heart disease This may be a bit too severe to say, but snacking on foods with high saturated and trans fats have been revealed to increase the risk of heart disease and certain other diseases like diabetes and even cancers. Try to avoid salty foods (i.e. salty packet foods), processed foods and pastries. 3. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes As mentioned in number 2 above, diabetes may be one disease that could appear. A high diet in low quality sugars like lollies, sodas, chocolate bars and cakes have a been shown to have a high risk to type 2 diabetes. The main factor for type 2 diabetes to appear is the gaining of weight due to the sugary and saturated fats snacks. 4. Low energy levels OK, so feel down with low energy; unhealthy snacking of sugary food will spike blood sugar levels, giving you a quick high. However, the body will try to process those high sugar levels very quickly to normalise them leaving you lethargic and grumpy. 5. Poor mental health
You may not know this, but snacking on the wrong foods will affect your mental health. This can happen because snacking on low quality food doesnt provide the good nutrition that the brain needs. However, snacking on fruit and/or nuts can improve your mental health. Below is a 4 step program to control bad snacking habits 1. Identify your trigger Now that we know the consequences and the excuses for snacking try to find the trigger. If its one of the reasons above in the chart, try to analyse it. Have you skipped a meal and let yourself feel hungry? In the office, does your colleague keeps a bowl of sweets at the end of the desk? There are many forms of triggers, but once you identify yours it will help to start controlling yours and be on the way to better health. 2. Start a new healthy habit After doing your research you found the trigger; the next step is to start a new healthy habit. Lets say that at about 15:00 is the time when the trigger and feelings starts, set your alarm to 14:50 and make a green tea, camomile tea, have one piece of fresh fruit or a hand full of nuts. Keep a bottle of good quality water on your desk and hydrate regularly. 3. Eat regularly Try to eat 4 and up to 5 times per day, that would be enough to stop being too hungry and overeat at meal times. However, be real here, I dont mean to eat 4 to 5 huge meals. The ideal way would be to eat 3 light meals per day and 1 piece of fruit, a hand full of nuts or a cup of green tea (if you can handle it, try with no sugar) between the main meals. 4. Realise that it will get easier Changing any habit can be difficult and snacking is no different, but keep in mind that it does get easier. Try not to weaken and be consistent, if for whatever reason you have a bad day dont give yourself a hard time. Time goes quick and soon you will be feeling better with a positive attitude to eating more nutritious food.