What should you reach for when hunger strikes between meals? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer, given all the conflicting opinions out there about what we should eat and when. The conventional wisdom at any given moment can drive you to make food choices that aren’t always based on fact. Food myths and misinformation proliferate, often because we’re seeking easy solutions to complex problems.
To help you snack smart, we’ve put together this list of five myths about snacking that you should take with a grain of salt.
1. Snacking is a bad habit
Snacking is a surprisingly divisive topic. People in the three-square-meals-a-day camp look at snacking as a bad habit that needs to be broken, while other people believe that snacking can and should be part of a healthy diet, especially if it helps you avoid overeating at regular meal times. Even scientists can’t agree on whether snacking is OK or if it contributes to weight gain and other health problems.
According to Mayo Clinic, indulging in snacks between meals is perfectly fine, even if you’re trying to lose weight. But you need to choose low-calorie healthy snacks, like fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Processed snacks foods should be avoided. Also, try to eat only when you’re hungry. Check to make sure you’re not actually bored or just thirsty before reaching for a snack.