Snack

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For the American football player nicknamed "Snacks", see Damon Harrison.
"Gorp" ("good old raisins and peanuts") is a classic trail mix made with peanuts, raisins, and M&M's.
A picture of some low-calorie vegetable snacks, including apples, asparagus, beetroots, bell peppers, endives, and tomatoes.

A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals.[1] Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.[2]

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Snacks and health[edit]

Healthy snacks include those that have significant vitamins, are low in saturated fat and added sugars, and have a low sodium content.[3] Examples of healthy snacks include:

Nutritional concerns[edit]

Government bodies like Health Canada are recommending that people make a conscious effort to eat more healthy, natural snacks – such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and cereal grains – while avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food.[5]

A 2010 study showed that children in the United States snacked on average six times per day, approximately twice as often as American children in the 1970s.[6] That's roughly 570 calories more per day than they did in the 1970s.[7]

Dieting and exercise have been a major trend for the last three decades although past years have focused on healthy snacks for weight loss[8] through dietary supplements and flat. Fewer people are eliminating whole categories from their diet strategy plan programs and focusing on taking the right foods for weight-loss.

Snacks and cognition[edit]

A Tufts University, Department of Psychology empirical study titled, "Effect of an afternoon confectionery snack on cognitive processes critical to learning" found that a consumption of a confectionery snack in the afternoon improved spatial memory in the study's sample group, but in the area of attention performance had a mixed effect.[9]

Types of snack foods[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Additional sources[edit]

External links[edit]