Experts discuss the need for making smart snacking choices to ensure optimal family health
Hyderabad, 23rd June 2022: Snacking has often been linked to unhealthy weight gain and several health problems; however, it can also be an effective way of loading up on essential minerals and nutrients. Emphasizing on the importance of healthy snacking for maintaining good family health, Almond Board of California today hosted a panel discussion on “Smart Snacking Choices and its Impact on Family Health” featuring renowned Soha Ali Khan, Bollywood Actress and Celebrity, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, along with Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head, Dietetics at Max Healthcare – Delhi. The panel was moderated by RJ Shezzi.
The discussion centered around rising family health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and the lifestyle factors triggering their exponential growth. The panelists also deliberated upon the importance of making healthy dietary choices and mindful snacking at home to ensure better health in the family.
Speaking about practicing healthy snacking at home, Leading Bollywood Actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “Feeling hungry in between meals is very common and this is when we tend to resort to eating fast food. To not fall prey to unhealthy foods, in our house we follow a strategy of planning our meals ahead of time. This helps my family and me to stay focused on practicing healthy eating. I keep our pantry free of junk food and fill it with healthier substitutes like fruits, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. Nuts like almonds are very convenient to store at home and munch on throughout the day. I also make sure to keep a handful of almonds handy during shoots or when I am travelling and pack them in my daughter’s lunchbox. Almonds are known to be a source of 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc and more. which makes them a healthy natural snack that I choose to add to our diets. Following these eating habits at home has not only helped us to keep a check on unhealthy weight gain but also take better care of our health.”
Emphasizing on the importance of following healthy eating and snacking at home, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “With ailments and health concerns following an upward trajectory, we need to be more conscious of our health as well as our family’s health. A good way to start is to make mindful food choices and incorporate healthy eating habits at home. Snacks between meals can be full of potential pitfalls if they are high in saturated fat or sugar or salt. However, the right snacks between meals can be a healthy addition. One such healthy snacking option can be a handful of almonds which is convenient to consume and carry to office or school. These nuts are a natural source of several nutrients including vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc etc. that provide a wide range of health benefits across weight and diabetes management, cardiovascular diseases amongst others. This can in turn help us achieve our long-term health goals and keep our family health intact.”
Speaking on smart snacking, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi said, “Busy and demanding daily routines have made people adopt unhealthy eating habits which are detrimental to health. With little or no time to cook or eat, ordering in foods or binging on easily available packaged foods have become a common practice. But this can lead to serious health repercussions like weight gain, diabetes and heart problems. On the other hand, celiac disease is becoming increasingly common in India and a growing number of people are found to be gluten-intolerant. Additionally, amongst health-conscious groups, there is a growing trend in people turning vegans and opting for more plant-based foods for better health. Taking all these concerns and trends into consideration, I would recommend everyone to take better care of family health by learning about the daily dietary requirements and the healthy convenient food options available. This can be followed by making small yet effective changes to our diet at home. It can be simply replacing fried or other empty-calorie snacks with nutritious foods like almonds which can prove to be more beneficial for health. In fact, a study published by the researchers at the University of Leeds (UK) found that snacking on almonds as compared to crackers with equivalent energy resulted in a lower overall hunger drive and suppressed unconscious desire to consume high-fat foods.. Almonds are a natural, plant-based as well as gluten-free snack which are a source of several vital nutrients. They are a rich source of protein – a nutrient that helps in satiating hunger, provides energy, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass. Ensuring your family snack on a handful of almonds instead of any unhealthy alternative can be a healthy and effective way to start the journey of taking better care of your family health, which can make a big difference in the longer run.”