It’s natural to want to open the fridge as soon as you get home from work and its hard to resist those delicious cakes during the children’s snack time. We all suffer. Some talk of snacks, others nibbles or titbits. What’s the difference?
SNACKS V NIBBLES
Snacking and nibbling are both food choices outside of the main meals times. Yet they are two different things.
Nibbling is an unstructured intake of food outside of meal time. The caloric load is not counted in the food ration of the day, it is a surplus of energy. Rather than eating through hunger, we eat through boredom or stress, ignoring our real hunger feelings. Nibbling refers to eating everything that comes to hand (biscuit, chocolate, etc.). Conversely, snacking is a thoughtful and calibrated food intake that is of real interest and an integral part our diet. We are talking about splitting meals. Snacking occurs when there is a real hunger, the stomach gurgles, there’s a “hollow in the stomach”, a “feeling of emptiness”, a loss of energy and concentration.
THE BENEFITS OF SNACKING
Generally speaking, we feel hunger after four hours without eating. It is at this time that we crave a snack. Taking a balanced snack in the afternoon can regulate feelings of hunger, manage our energy levels in the middle of the day and it especially, allows us not to literally gobble down our dinner and avoid consuming the double of what you would have eaten in the usual way. In short, snacking helps with weight management.
THE RISKS OF NIBBLING
Uncontrolled food intake usually leads to an excess of calories during the day. We end up consuming more energy than the body needs and it leaves the door open for us to put on extra kilos. The second constraint is that nibbling can disrupt our biological rhythm, stimulating certain organs such as the pancreas. Ultimately, if our snacking is too sweet, this can lead to a risk of diabetes
A GOOD SNACK, WHAT IS IT?
A successful snack is a balanced snack that satiates and guarantees satiety until dinner! It should ideally contain quick energy, protein, low fat, added sugar and salt. On average, it should be around 200 calories. And if you want it to be perfect, accompany it with an unsweetened thirst quenching drink.
SOME IDEAL SNACKS
- Salty or sweet, you choose, there’s something for everyone!
- Yogurt and fruit
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Bread and a slice of ham
- Dried toast and a cheese spread
- Cereal bar and a glass of milk
- A small smoothie and a slice of bread
- And for the drink, you can opt for teas, herbal teas or flavoured waters.