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Living Well in Yalobusha County

Snacking Is Often Dubbed The Fourth Meal

We are in the process of getting 4-Hers signed up to participate in summer contests. Club Congress is offered for youth, ages 14-18, at Mississippi State University May 29-June 1.   Project Achievement Day is offered for youth, ages 8-13, in Verona at the old Lee County Agri-center on Friday, June 15. The 4-H North Cookout contest will be held in Winona at the Montgomery County Multi-Purpose Building on June 26th for ages 8-18.  

If you are interested in your child participating in any of these events please contact the Extension Office at 675-2730 to get them registered and to begin preparing for contest. 

Snack Tips

Snacks have been dubbed “the fourth meal” because we consume one quarter of our calories between meals. Though many people think that snacking frequently is good for blood sugar control, weight management, and overall health, researchers have never identified an ideal pattern of eating frequency. In fact, there are several reasons that you may want to cut back on snacking… 

1. It provides extra calories. Lots of people eat just as much at meals whether they snack or not. Americans have gotten heavier over the last few decades. We’ve also started consuming more calories, and most of those extra calories are consumed between meals.

2. Snacking does not boost metabolic rate. Contrary to popular belief, eating more often doesn’t keep your metabolism humming. While it is true that you burn a bit more calories to digest, absorb, and assimilate food and nutrients, there is no difference in a 24 hour period. The bump in calorie expenditure is influenced by what you eat, not how often you eat. In other words, the slight jump in your metabolic rate will be the same if you eat six times per day or if you consume those exact same foods in only three meals.

3. You probably don’t need to snack to prevent low blood sugar.  Years ago, all diabetes medications had the side effect of causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so healthcare  professionals told people with diabetes to eat often. This was good advice then. But today, we have a host of diabetes medications that do not have this unfortunate side effect. Make an appointment with a certified diabetes educator to learn how your medications work and how diet and medications interact.

4. Snack foods are often not nutrient dense. The favorite snacks in North America are chips, chocolate, cheese and cookies, according to a Neilson report. Yet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies fruits, vegetables and dairy as the most under-consumed food groups.

Foods To Choose 

If You Snack

Your best choices of snack foods should be the nutrient-dense foods that you’re lacking throughout the day. And as noted above, that’s probably fruit, vegetables and dairy. Many  people are also low on fish, whole grains, and nuts. Think about what you need more of and go  for that. You should also consider your blood sugar level when choosing your snack. If your blood sugar is already at the high end of your range, avoid pushing it higher by making lower-carb choices. Otherwise, nutrient-dense foods with carbohydrates like fruit and yogurt are just fine

Article Source: Communicataing Food for Health, April 2018 Newsletter

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