Is Snacking Healthy? Impact of Eating Snacks on Health
October 01, 2019 | Abigail Mckay

Is Snacking Healthy? Impact of Eating Snacks on Health


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Whether you believe you could improve your eating habits or you already have a well-rounded diet, snacking is usually a part of the average diet. Snacking is defined as food eaten between breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The most common perception of snacking is that it is viewed as unhealthy. However, the consensus amongst the medical community is that snacking is indeed healthy and permissible if your snack options are whole foods rather than processed items.  


Different factors can go into snacking, such as social occasions, actual hunger, and time of day. Some people snack not out of hunger, but rather because food is available. This is where snacking can take a turn towards being considered unhealthy. If you are not truly hungry, there is no reason you should be eating. Generally, food items that are brought to social outings or into the office, which are usually sugary sweets and fatty foods, are not the healthiest foods. It can be an unfortunate combination when snacking involves consuming food when you are not hungry and foods that are unhealthy. Constant snacking in these circumstances can lead to weight gain, causing high lipids levels and even high blood pressure. 


Snacking when hunger occurs can prevent overeating at the next meal. It is also vital to have nutritious snacks available throughout the day so that when the desire does arise, there are healthy alternatives available. It is more beneficial to reach for a healthy on-the-go snack rather than subdue that hunger with drive-thru food and drinks. These types of foods will not curb your appetite. Instead, processed foods will promote unhealthy eating habits and only leave you hungry again shortly after. For tips on healthy snacking habits to fill you up and keep you full until your next meal, continue reading below.


1. Convenience


• Before leaving for work or your errands each day, grab a snack before walking out the door. You want to have a snack that is easily accessible and is convenient. It is not convenient to leave work or stop somewhere to get a bite. It is not financially sustainable, and it is generally processed food that will not subdue your hunger.


2. Whole Foods


• Healthy snacking can be difficult because many people do not know what to eat. Review the list below for a better idea on snack options. The possibilities are endless, so get creative. 

• Mixed nuts

• Fruit, such as apple, banana or orange

• Celery with peanut butter or cream cheese

• Cheese stick 

• Healthy Beef Jerky

• Edamame

• Yogurt

• Cottage Cheese



3. Amount


• As a general rule of thumb, your snack should be around 200 calories and provide you with enough protein to stay full until the next meal.  

• For those who are active, 2-3 snacks a day are an attainable goal. However, for people with a sedentary lifestyle, limiting your snacking to once a day is encouraged.



To conclude, snacking can be beneficial when done appropriately. When reevaluating your snacking habits, refer to the three points above for further direction. If you are always hungry despite healthy eating habits, this could indicate an underlying medical condition. So, do not hesitate to speak with a physician at Shifa4U today.

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Abigail Mckay

Abigail has been a nurse for five years, and throughout her time as a nurse, she has worked in multiple medical-surgical units as well as spent time in the infusion therapy clinic and endoscopy lab. She is passionate about preventative medicine through patient education regarding nutrition and exercise. Due to her passion, Abigail has gone on to earn two certifications including a certification in medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and a certification in holistic nursing (HNB-BC), in hopes of being able to better serve her patients. Abigail earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and now bettering patient education in the healthcare system through partnering with American TelePhysicians.