I’m getting pretty sick of those without nutrition or dietetic training pushing ‘healthy diet rules’ that can ruin our relationships with food.
Hard and fast rules or ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels do not have a place here.
Is snacking a bad idea for everyone? Absolutely not!
Should everyone time-restrict their eating and fast for hours for a healthy gut? No!
It’s only natural to want concrete ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers for your health and nutrition – but for the most part, my answer will be… ‘it depends’. Even if it doesn’t make a great headline… Everyone is different and eating is complex, so it needs to be personalised to you
If you’re not a snacker, great – stick to what you like.
If you are a snacker…do not let anyone make you worry or feel guilty about it.
Snacking can be a great opportunity to get in all your daily fibre needs and plant points – 30g a day and 30 plants a week.
Snacking is more about WHAT you’re eating. We all know it’s probably not a great idea to only snack on chocolate biscuits all day long (although by all means enjoy in moderation!)…
But if you’re snacking on things like fruit, nuts, wholegrain crackers, sourdough bread, olives, hummus, quality cheese, yogurt, you’ll be getting good sources of fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.
Especially for people with sensitive guts, spreading the fibre load out across the day, instead of packing in 10g+ in one sitting, can really help and is less likely to trigger symptoms.
Eating and snacking isn’t just about health – it’s about pleasure, so enjoy it! Many people find it’s actually better for their weight management to have smaller more frequent meals too.
Full disclosure: there’s a little bit of evidence to suggest if you’re suffering with constipation or SIBO, it might be worth going 2 weeks or so without snacking. It could help to move things along the digestive tract – but that’s the exception!