In today’s fast paced life, sitting down for a meal, has taken a back-seat and snacking has taken a precedence. Well, snacking isn’t prohibited; but one must consciously munch on healthy stuff. A healthy snack between meals can also decrease your hunger and keep you away from overeating at meal time.
Says Amruta Bhalerao, a consultant dietitian, “At least two in between snacks per day can be consumed. However, that depends on the gap between the meals and portion size. A mid morning snack and an evening snack is the most advisable. For instance, if you have a very early breakfast, or are not sure about the timing of your lunch, it is advisable to eat a mid morning snack comprising nuts/dry fruits, soya nuts, roasted jowar, roasted wheat and fresh fruits. If you are dieting, you could choose fruits, nuts, khakra, puffed jowar, murmura etc. A healthy snack comprising complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats increases your energy levels for a longer period of time, than sugary snacks do.”
Bhalerao suggests that it’s better to control our food portions and consume about small four-six meals a day. The small meals help in increasing metabolism. “The peak hunger time for most people is 5-6 pm, and that is when they end up eating junk. Hence, a snack before you hit the peak hunger time is advisable. Instead of eating a mid-afternoon or a mid-evening snack, you can combine these two snacks into one solid snack and eat an early dinner, which is preferable. The mid-afternoon/evening snack can be dosa, idli, poha, upma, bhajani cha thalipith with stuffed veggies, dhirda, moong ka chila etc are good choices,” she adds.
“I would like to say that our good old Indian snacks like murmura, poha, upma, dosa, idli, simple chiwda. I would prefer those any day over processed/packaged foods which are promoted as healthy. Any food that comes out of a box with an expiry date should be consumed with caution and portion size should be controlled,” explains Bhalerao.
Portion size and healthy food options are paramount in weight loss, weight maintenance and for people with PCOD/PCOS/Diabetes/BP and Thyroid. Snacks help you to maintain your energy through out the day, it stops you from over eating at your main meals.