What would you prefer as an afternoon snack - yogurt, chocolate or crackers? Most of us would opt for chocolate or crackers. But a study reveals that yogurt may be the best option to control your total food intake. Here's why....
We often count our calories during mealtimes and consider snacks as only something to munch on. However, snacks commonly consist of sweets, cakes and other bakery items. These are rich in fats and can affect our dietary plan drastically if we do not keep a check on them.
AdvertisementSo which type of snacks should one eat? In a study published in Nutrition Journal, researchers investigated if an afternoon snack that is rich in protein would be preferable to one rich in fat like chocolate or crackers. For the study, they enrolled twenty young women who were given either high-protein yogurt, or high-fat crackers or chocolate 3 hours after a standardized lunch. Dinner was served when the subject requested it and the amount of dinner eaten till the person was comfortably full were recorded.
The researchers found that those who ate yogurt experienced less afternoon hunger, asked for dinner later and ate less at dinner than those who ate crackers or chocolate.
Yogurt is generally considered as a less energy dense, high protein and low fat food, while crackers and chocolates are considered more energy dense, low protein and high fat foods. Thus, if you want to control your eating, make sure that you eat a protein-rich afternoon snack rather than a high-fat one.
Here are some tips that you could use while choosing the right snack:
• Eat snacks that are healthy as well as tasty. Lack of taste in snacks will push you back to eating unhealthy snacks.
• Healthy snacks should preferably be easily available at hand and not require much cooking. For example, a few nuts, which are rich in protein and fiber, make a good snack. Since they contain fats as well, it is necessary to restrict their intake.
• Change your attitude towards healthy snacks. We often associate healthy with bland and unpalatable. Add spices or flavors that you normally prefer.
• Children should be offered healthy snacks from a young age. Thus, they can develop taste to these snacks and tend to prefer them even later.
• Do not keep unhealthy snacks or their ingredients at home. Thus, you will be forced to snack healthy when you are hungry.