Snack, yes or no?
The mid-morning snack and the afternoon snack are two intakes in which you usually make more mistakes. In these meals it is not uncommon to find unhealthy foods that are high in sugar or contain uninteresting fats. One of the reasons may be that in Spain main meals are usually organized more and snack and lunch are left open. Also that the food industry makes available to the consumer a wide variety of unhealthy foods focused particularly on these two foods.
But, is it important to have a snack or is it better to wait for dinner? As María Pastor, a health biologist and nutritionist, explained to this newspaper, the most important thing is to listen to the body. “It is better to focus on giving our body quality nutrients and ensuring adequate and sufficient intake, whether in two, three or five meals. You have to learn to be flexible listening to each other. Maybe one day we want to have a snack, and another not. And it will be OK”. In case you only eat three meals a day, these have to cover all the nutrients that the body needs.
If you choose to eat five meals, there are some keys to keep in mind, for example, that the snack or lunch must be composed, like the rest of the meals, of quality foods that make sense within everything we take in the day. In other words, if our level of satiety is low and we need to have a snack so as not to arrive at dinner voraciously hungry, we will have to choose healthy snacks. Here are some foods to avoid.
A flea of mortadella or chorizo can be a real treat for the taste buds, but they are processed meats rich in fat, not very interesting for cardiovascular health and associated with an increased risk of suffering from certain types of cancer, such as the colon, so nutritionists recommend reducing its consumption. That said, if you are going to choose yes or yes to have a sandwich, the best thing will be one of wholemeal loaf bread (never mold) and Iberian Serrano ham.
Some alternative to substitute the sausages in the snack: for example, some edamames, an Asian preparation based on soybean pods boiled with a little salt, very popular and that are easily found in supermarkets. Also some pickles (pickles, capers, onions …).
Neither ‘digestive’ nor low in sugar. There are no healthy cookies, there may be less bad cookies. This was explained by dietitian-nutritionist Carlos Ríos, creator of the Realfooding movement, to this newspaper in an interview. “There are no healthy cookies on the market and the vast majority try to convince you that they are,” he explained. There may be formulas with less sugars, more integral flours, that change from sunflower oil to oleic, but they are still an uninteresting food from a nutritional point of view. In fact, cookies and pastries are often referred to as different products, and they are actually the same thing.
In the supermarket there are different types of whole grain cookies with different percentages of fiber. If this is the reason why you incorporate them into your snack, fruits are a much more interesting source of fiber than cookies. Also nuts, which if you buy them natural and take a handful are a perfect snack.
Neither natural nor packaged, no juice is recommended. In supermarkets there are a multitude of packaged options: 100% squeezed juices, juices through concentrate and nectars, but nutritionists do not recommend any. “Juices deceive us and do not replace at any time a piece of fruit,” Laura Llorente, a nutritionist at the Aleris Center, explained to this newspaper.
Squeezed at home are not healthy either. This is because the sugar in the fruit is healthy when it is encapsulated in the fiber, but when squeezing the oranges we separate both elements. Consequently, when drinking this juice squeezed at home we are taking free sugar, rapidly absorbed, that is, it passes quickly into the blood and causes insulin spikes, which can negatively affect health and promote weight gain.
Therefore, an alternative is to choose to take a whole piece of fruit. Another idea, take a natural yogurt or a little kefir.