Packaged, ready-to-eat, quick snacks are fast occupying spaces in supermarket stores in large numbers to cater to the increased demands of consumers for these foods. Nowadays, owing to most of the family members engaging in full time jobs, and many devoting minimum time to cooking for the family, these foods have found their way in almost every household. Most of these foods sometimes find their slots as quick snacks during tea time, and rarely as a whole meal, in an average person’s daily food schedule.
The Dangers of Choosing Packaged Foods
These are inevitably added to all quick snacks & packaged foods in form of preservatives, food colours, emulsifiers, stabilizers in order to prolong the shelf life of products for a longer period so that they can retain their edibility from production to consumption. However, going overboard on their limits during production can be harmful for health in the long run in the form of allergies, food intolerances, cancer, abdominal obesity, impaired vitamin & mineral absorption.
Sugar finds its place among those items counted as quick snacks such as biscuits, breakfast cereals, aerated drinks, health bars. Increased amount of refined sugar intake over a long term period can cause hypertriglyceridemia, metabolic syndrome, obesity.
Trans fats are mainly found in quick snacks such as biscuits, chips, cookies, ready-to-cook fried items such as cutlets, pattice & other baked foods. They are added to give a crispy & crunchy taste appeal to the above foods. However, high consumption of these foods precipitates atherosclerosis & coronary heart diseases.
Salts are added, in many savoury & baked quick snacks, over & above the quantity that is required to impart taste. This is because salt (may not be common salt) is also a preservative. High salt consumption for prolonged periods decreases salt sensitivity & causes hypertension & kidney diseases.
So, the above mentioned items are ubiquitously present in almost all quick snacks, so how to choose them?? There is no harm in choosing quick snacks containing these once in a while. But, the problem is that these items make the above food products more craveable, each time you indulge yourself.
Options For Healthy Quick Snacks
Nuts (such as pistas, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews) are a group of magic foods which are calorie rich along with healthy fats. But, choose the unsalted ones, as many are doused with salt.
No other processed, manmade alternative yet made to compete this wonder produce of God. Indulge your taste buds in a platter of mixed fruit salad & enjoy their varied taste combos!
Bars containing enriching health seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, along with whole oats, granola; honey or agave nectar as sweetening agent are a perfect healthy, filling quick snack!
Plain Natural Fruit Yoghurt
Natural, plain, low fat or greek yoghurt is another good option along with a natural fruit, and there goes your perfect combo of carbs, fibre & protein.
Puffed Rice & Roasted whole gram
Its easily available minus the salt or trans fats added to them. Can be picked up easily to satisfy your evening hunger pangs.