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Who needs excuses to snack?

Have you ever been told not to snack before meal times so that you don’t spoil your appetite. Well we like to encourage snacking, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Generally you should not let your body go without food for more than 4-6 hours. Your body uses up the carbohydrate stores in your liver which help maintain a normal level of blood sugar. You need food to replace them. 2. Keeping your blood sugar levels normal will result in a steady flow of energy levels, thus avoiding disruptive energy slumps in your day. 3. By eating a snack, you can avoid being ravenously hungry and making bad choices at your next meal. When we are in a hungry state we tend to crave fatty food and also eat more than necessary. 4. Eating a mid-morning snack, should typically result in eating a lighter lunch and lessen the post-lunch slump that many people experience. This slump is usually due to a drop in energy levels as all the body’s energy is being used to digest the heavy lunch. 5. For those that go to the gym after work and get home late, eating a heavy dinner is not advisable. To avoid this, eat a decent mid-afternoon snack so by the time you get home you won’t be ravenously hungry and a light meal will suffice. You will also need the snack to provide energy for a good workout!

What makes snacking bad is the wrong kind of snacking – such as mindless nibbling on junk food. Snacks such as curry puffs, ‘goreng pisang’, prawn crackers and potato chips are a fat burden to the diet. Not only does this add to the waist line but high fat diets are linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

The kind of snacks you may want to consider are fruit, raw carrots/celery/cucumber/capsicum with dips (hummos, tzatizki), yoghurt, edamame, sliced apple with peanut butter, turkey ham sandwich, fruit smoothies, home made muffins.

Remember to plan ahead so that you are not stuck having to choose a snack from a corner shop or a limited stocked fridge. Be mindful of your snacking, treat your snack like a meal – ideally don’t do anything while you eat, this is so that you don’t overeat and take time to enjoy your food.

Next week we will share with you a lovely recipe for Zucchini and Carrot Muffins. Till then, have a fantastic weekend and stock your fridge with healthy nibbles.