Are you a snacker? You likely are, since studies have found that 94% of Americans snack once a day. In fact, if you are “millennial” (between the ages of 21 and 38), you probably snack multiple times a day. A recent study reported that 24% of millennial snack at least four times a day. That is a lot of snacking.
Snacking in itself isn’t bad, but it is important to understand why we snack. In that same study, they found that boredom, stress relief , and increasing energy were among the top reasons for millenials’ snacking. Even baby boomers snack to satisfy cravings – up to 70% of them.
When is it a good idea to snack? Satisfying a true hunger is a good time to eat a snack. You don’t want to get yourself too hungry between meals, as this frequently leads to overeating. However, you need to keep the amount of calories in your snack in check while remember to probably decrease how much you eat at your next meal.
The biggest problem with snacking is finding a healthy snack. So many snack foods are loaded in fat or salt. And they can be addictive, leading to overconsumption.
As a general rule, try to have a snack that has protein and fiber. And space it at least 2 hours before or after a meal. For more ideas on snacks, read here.
Happy eating and snacking!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!