It seems counterintuitive to suggest that people should be snacking more but a study published in the November 14, 2011, edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association concluded that increased snacking could positively impact overall diet quality.

Claire A. Zizza, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at Auburn University in Alabama, and co-author Beibei Xu, PhD, found that people who snack between meals tend to have healthier diets than those who stick to eating only at regular mealtimes. Study subjects who snacked more frequently consumed less sodium and ate more fruit, whole grains and milk than their counterparts. In addition, the more subjects snacked, the more likely they were to eat both healthy snacks and healthy meals. Still, frequent snackers fell short of eating enough vegetables, and the overall healthiness of the study participants’ diets left room for improvement.

Remember to decrease your portions at meals. Otherwise you are just consuming more food, not more frequently.