Though snacking culture is on the rise new research has revealed Australian females are not -snack smart', with nearly half of Australian women not eating the recommended daily fruit intake.
According to the Goulburn Valley Snacking Survey, 48% of Australian women are not eating the recommended two serves of fruit daily, with one in ten eating no fruit at all.
Australian dietician, Jaime Rose Fronzek, and TV personality, Lauren Phillips, have teamed up with Goulburn Valley to encourage women to snack smart to feel awesome.
Fronzek says: 'Snacking can make or break a healthy eating plan. A healthy snack between meals will help you receive all your daily nutrients and keep hunger at bay so you don't overeat at mealtime.
'Choosing the right snacks will have a direct impact on your energy and vitality. A sugary snack will initially spike blood sugar levels to give you a quick hit, but then your sugar levels plummet and you're left feeling grumpy, irritable, and lethargic."
Fronzek warns that conflicting information and fad diets have caused confusion around fruit: 'Australian women have become scared of fruit with all the recent focus being on sugar free or cavemen style diets.
'Fruit is an extremely important element of any healthy eating plan because it's high in fibre and low GI so it will curb those cravings and also give you a boost in energy. It's not just fresh fruit that offers these benefits, packaged fruit such as Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water is nutrient rich and a consistent and convenient snacking option."
Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water ambassador, Lauren Phillips shares her top tip for smart snacking: 'Planning ahead is the key! Planning my meals in advance and having plenty of healthy snacks on hand means I'm less likely to stray from my healthy eating plan when hunger sets in.
'I have a massive sweet tooth so I love snacks like Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water, which taste great but also have many nutritional benefits too."
The new snacking rules
To help you snack smart, dietician Jaime Rose Fronzek has created a new set of snack rules.
Keys, wallet, phone… snacks
Don't leave the house without throwing a couple of snacks in your bag. Planning ahead is the key to snacking smart. Fruit and packaged fruit such as Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water will survive the journey.
Learn to read your food labels
When you choose a packaged snack, aim for one that has 10g or less of fat and is low in sugar.
Keep snacks where you can see and reach them
You weren't thinking of that chocolate until your colleague brought hers out. If you have a healthy alternative right there on your desk you're more likely to grab that - then saying no to the chocolate becomes a whole lot easier.
-Veggie' doesn't always = -healthy'
Just because they contain -veggies,' sadly it does not mean it's a healthy option. For example, vegetable chips will more often than not contain just as much oil and fat as regular potato chips.
Focus on what you can snack on, not what you can't
If you focus on what you can't have, you're more likely to want it. Think about the foods you can have and select your favourite snacks based on that.
Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water, RRP $1.99, is now available at Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets, including selected IGA and Foodland stores.
Visit the Goulburn Valley Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Goulburn.Valley
Question: What is the recommended daily fruit intake?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: The recommended daily fruit intake for an adult is two serves a day.
Question: Were you surprised that most half of Australian females are not eating the recommended daily fruit intake?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: I'm not surprised at all that almost half of Australian females are not eating the recommended daily fruit intake. A few years ago, fresh and packaged fruit were considered the perfect snack. Now, many women are completely confused as to whether fruit is in fact a good choice or not.
Question: What else surprised you about the Goulburn Valley Snacking Survey?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: The Goulburn Valley Snacking Survey revealed that 1 in 10 women are eating no fruit at all, which is a real concern. The survey also revealed that more than half of Australian women are snacking for all the wrong reasons. They reach for something in the afternoon because of craving or boredom, not because they are actually hungry.
Question: How have fad diets like sugar-free and paleo made women think fruit is not a healthy snack?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Australian women have become scared of fruit with all the recent focus on sugar free or cavemen style diets. These eating plans bombard women with restrictions and rules so fruit has become the enemy. Fruit obviously contains natural sugars, but these are a vital part of our recommended dietary intake and should be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Question: When is fruit unhealthy?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Obviously everything should be eaten in moderation, and too much of anything is going to be unhealthy. Fruit also becomes unhealthy due to the dense source of sugars when it's juiced.
Question: How can snacking make us feel awesome?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Eating every three hours or so throughout the day means you'll never be starving and tempted to overindulge.
Question: What's a smart snack?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Combine complex carbohydrates (generally a great source of fibre) with protein or fat. This will ensure you'll get the most out of your snack and it'll keep you going for longer. Think: fresh or packaged fruit with a small handful of nuts or a few wholegrain crackers with light cheese or nut spread or a plain Greek yoghurt with a sprinkle of seeds.
Question: How are Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water better for women?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Goulburn Valley Fruit in Coconut Water contains less than 100 calories per serve and is free from artificial colours, artificial flavours and preservatives. By packaging the fruit in refreshing coconut water instead of just sugary syrup, it's healthy snack choice that feels like a treat.
Question: What should we be looking for when reading food labels?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: When you choose a packaged snack, aim for one that has 10g or less of fat and is low in sugar. Many people also get tricked by packaged -veggie' snacks. Just because they contain -veggies,' sadly it does not mean it's a healthy option. For example, vegetable chips will more often than not contain just as much oil and fat as regular potato chips.
Question: How can poor snacking be bad for our health?
Jaime Rose Fronzek: Poor snacking choices can have a large number of negative impacts. Weight gain is the obvious consequence, but reaching for high calorie, sugary snacks can also increase risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A sugary snack will spike blood sugar levels, but then we process those sugars very fast so blood sugars then plummet and we're left feeling grumpy, irritable, tired and lethargic. Finally, studies have shown that poor snacking can have a negative effect on mental health. One study showed snacking on fruit improved mental health but snacking on milk chocolate or chips was associated with greater emotional eating and low mood.
Interview by Brooke Hunter