Make your snacking smart, healthy

Last Updated: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 00:00

Zeenews Bureau

Delhi: Snacking is an important part of your day but you have to snack smart. Snacks play a significant role in managing hunger and as well as nutrition levels. It not only helps in boosting the metabolism but also helps in maintaining blood sugar.

It’s a good way to promote better and long-term eating patterns. Time intervals and portion should be regulated so that Snacks don’t replace meals.

No doubt the common vendors satisfy the hunger by serving palatable food stuffs from confectioners kiln, bakery items and corners but the nutrition value is seldom conceived in such various food items; such food items only sustain the survival against a fast hunger or just to satisfy the taste buds.

Guides to healthy snacking :

Avoid trans fat loaded snacks

These street foods are loaded with Trans Fats or saturated fats. Trans Fats are discussed very often. Trans Fats, also known as hydrogenated fats are made by process of adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil. This results in hard fat, a fat which is solid at room temperature. For example, vanaspati is a trans fat. They are man-made or artificial, only, very minute quantities of trans fats are found in animal meat and some other dairy products. These trans fats are very harmful as they increase the cholesterol level as well as other harmful fats in blood. They also lower down the “good Cholesterol in blood. Trans fats may cause heart disease, clogged arteries and decreased cognitive function of brain.

Go for Packaged Snacks

It is always better to opt for packaged snacks as these stuffs are made under hygienic conditions and portion size is also limited. Disease causing organisms like bacteria, viruses don’t get the entry into it and also several important micronutrients are added intentionally to make it better and healthier. Packaged Snacks like Cheetos or Lays contain all the nutritional information. The most important part is that these packaged snacks are labeled by companies according to a set of guidelines administered by Food and Drug Administration. Serving sizes have been standardized based on how much of a food people eat. Labeling makes you aware of “What you eat” and according to your body needs, you can limit the portion size as the calorific values are also mentioned.

Consumers can ensure they and their families eat the correct amounts of nutrients. They can also avoid overeating, unhealthy foods and keep known allergens away.

Healthy oils make snacks better, healthier

As we discussed the drawbacks of Trans Fats or saturated Fats, found in many vegetable oils like Vanaspati etc, there are many snacks available, prepared in Rice bran oil like Cheetos, Uncle Chips. Rice bran oil is far superior to traditional cooking oils and can be considered as nutraceutical (food as medicine) oil. Shahsi Mathur, Chief Dietician, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital says, “Rice Bran oil is a source of vitamin E complex, antioxidants and other micronutrients which helps in fighting free radicals. Rice bran oil has more of these components than other cooking oils. It is known for improving serum cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular diseases. It is also known as the Indian Olive Oil.”

A joint study was conducted recently in Taiwan by Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Kainan University Graduate Institute of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Kainan University. The study suggested “A Rice Bran Oil Diet Improves Lipid Abnormalities and Suppress Hyperinsulinemic, a condition characterized by excessive high level of Insulin in blood, responses in Rats with Induced Type 2 Diabetes.

Quick Tips –Check before you choose

  • Serving Size-Always check “How many servings in a package”?
  • Calories-Limit the portion size according to the calories per serving.
  • A smart snack choice has less than 10% Trans Fat. Snacking options like Kurkure and Cheetos contain 0% Trans fat.


  • First Published: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 00:00

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