A new study presented at the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) annual Meeting at Nutrition 2023 examined the relationship between snacking habits and cardiometabolic health.
The researchers analyzed data from 1001 participants and found that higher-quality snacks, including the use of foods closely related to the Mediterranean diet, gave an improvement in lipid and insulin reactions in the blood.
To date, surprisingly little has been published about snacks, despite the fact that they account for 20 to 25 percent of calories consumed. On average, 95% of participants ate at least one snack a day. The average number of snacks per day was 2.28, which was about 22% of daily calories.
The results show that it is possible to see differences in markers of good health, such as blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin resistance, based on people's reported snacking habits. Higher-quality snacks were associated with better results, even though the study period was only a few days. That is, the power supply can restore some indicators almost instantly.
High-quality snacks are foods that contain a significant amount of nutrients in relation to calories. During the study, participants monitored the consumption of snacks for two to four days. Ideal snacks are often high-nutrient snacks such as raw vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and plain yogurt., crunchy snacks may include raw vegetable sticks, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, or an apple.
The time during which people snack is a critical factor. Snacking late at night (after 21 hours) reduces the time of night fasting and is associated with unfavorable levels of sugar and fat in the blood.
The researchers noted that the frequency of snacking, the number of calories or the amount of food were not associated with any indicators of cardiometabolic health.
Snacks, especially high-quality ones, can promote health and proper nutrition.