People eat healthy meals and then ruin it with their naughty snacks, scientists have discovered.
A quarter of the participants in the King’s College London study ate unhealthy snacks between their nutritious meals.
Despite choosing healthy options for main meals, bad snacks left participants hungry and with poorer health markers.
Picking at sweet treats, crisps and cakes was linked with a higher risk of obesity, strokes and cardiovascular disease.
The worst time to snack was after 9 p.m. – it was associated with poorer blood markers, plus late-night snackers often gravitated towards energy-dense and high-fat foods.
The analysis revealed that 95 percent of the participants got through 2.28 snacks a day, with 47 percent eating two snacks a day and 29 percent eating more.
Scientists decided that snacking isn’t bad for you, provided the food was healthy.
“Considering 95 percent of us snack, and that nearly a quarter of our calories come from snacks, swapping unhealthy snacks such as cookies, crisps and cakes to healthy snacks like fruit and nuts is a really simple way to improve your health,” said Dr. Sarah Berry from King’s College London.
People who drifted towards nuts and fresh fruits were more likely to be a healthy weight versus those who didn’t snack at all, or those who snack on unhealthy foods.
According to the study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the most popular snacks were cookies, fruits, nuts and seeds, cheese and butter, cakes and pies, and granola or cereal bars.
Cakes and pies had the highest calorie count, adding 14 percent to the daily intake.
Breakfast cereals followed with 13 percent, ice cream and frozen dairy desserts popped on 12 percent, and doughnuts and pastries 12 percent.
Sweets stuck on an extra 11 percent, cookies and brownies took up 11 percent and nuts and seeds 11 percent.
The healthy options could improve the metabolism and decrease hunger.
“This study contributes to the existing literature that food quality is the driving factor in positive health outcomes from food,” said Dr. Kate Bermingham from King’s College London.
“Making sure we eat a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, protein and legumes is the best way to improve your health.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager