Snack is food eaten between main meals; it serves different functions in our daily diet. For instance, healthy nutritious snacks can help people with low dietary intake, poor appetite or who are underweight to replenish the deficiency in main meals, and to increase their nutritional intakes. For healthy people, try to choose healthy snacks with appropriate portions, so that appetite for the next main meals would not be affected and additional weight gain would be minimized.
Here are some tips for choosing snacks
1. Avoid high fat snacks 避免食用高脂肪零食
Since high fat snacks may lead to overweight easily, and snacks containing high saturated fat like coconut oil, butter and animal fat etc. may increase blood cholesterol level, therefore, it is discouraged to eat those high fat snacks. Examples of high saturated fat snacks include cookies, wafer biscuits, cakes, egg tart etc.; oily deep-fried snacks include deep-fried chicken wing and French fries.
2. Cut down high sugar content snacks 少食高糖类零食
Sugar increases the energy of foods. Choosing snacks with lower sugar content would reduce caloric intake and play an important role in body weight management. High sugar content snacks include dessert soup, cakes, chocolate, soft drinks, sweetened juices and tinned fruit etc.
3. Avoid high sodium snacks 避免食用高钠类零食
Eating high sodium foods over a period of time may increase blood pressure, so choose more often snacks with lower sodium content, and avoid choosing snacks added with salty seasonings and containing preserved meat. High sodium snacks include chili and salty chicken wing, sausage, bacon, luncheon meat, nuts added with salt and preserved plum etc.
4. Choose more often high fiber snacks 多选高纤维零食
Dietary fiber has different functions in our body; it would benefit overweight people as it gives the sense of satiety, and in turn lower their food intakes. Dietary fiber would also benefit people with hypercholesterolemia because of its possible lipid lowering effect. Apart from this, fiber helps to relieve constipation and to lower the incidence of certain types of intestinal diseases.
Examples of high fiber snacks include all kinds of fruits like apple, banana, orange, cherry tomato, oatmeal, wholemeal bread, whole wheat biscuit, and beans like red bean or kidney bean etc.
5. Have appropriate portions of snacks and snack time 选择合适的零食分量和食用时间
Portion sizes of snacks should be appropriate and not in excess. Snack time can be arranged between two main meals in order not to affect the appetite. It is discouraged to have snacks just before going to bed; otherwise indigestion and weight gain may be resulted.