Snacking at Certain Times Can Impact Your Health

Before you reach for those potato chips, scientists have now found that it's important to remember what kind of snacks you eat and also when you eat them.

Researchers investigated whether snacking impacts health and whether the caliber of snack items mattered in a recent study involving more than 1,000 participants.

According to Kate Bermingham of King's College London, choosing high-quality snacks over highly processed snacks is probably a good idea since eating quality matters more than amount or frequency. She went on to say that timing is crucial, with late-night munching being bad for your health.

She said that although snacking makes up 20% to 25% of caloric consumption, further research needs to be done. This comprehensive examination of the impact of snacking on health was made possible by PREDICT's extensive follow-up of participants and rigorous data collection on their snacking activities.

The researchers investigated the association of snacking amount, quality, and timing with blood lipids and insulin levels, which are markers of cardiometabolic health, using information from a little over 1,000 participants in the ZOE PREDICT 1 trial in the United Kingdom.

We observed only weak relationships between snack quality and the remainder of the diet, which highlights snacking as an independent modifiable dietary feature that could be targeted to improve health.

- Bermingham

The data revealed that more excellent blood fat and insulin responses were linked to snacking on higher quality meals, which contain large quantities of nutrients compared to the calories they supply.

The researchers also discovered that late-evening snacking, which shortens the overnight fast and lengthens eating windows, was linked to unhealthy blood lipid and glucose levels. Regarding any of the examined health indicators, there was no correlation between snacking frequency, calories consumed, or meal amount.

Bermingham concludes: "We observed only weak relationships between snack quality and the remainder of the diet, which highlights snacking as an independent modifiable dietary feature that could be targeted to improve health."


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