Healthy snacking is a source of energy for a majority of working women and homemakers in India, with nearly 62 per cent of them preferring to munch on almonds and fresh fruits when low on energy, according to a study.
The study conducted by market research agency IPSOS found that 95 per cent of respondents preferred to snack healthy at all times, of whom 81 per cent of women ranked almonds as the healthiest snack along with fresh fruits.
The quantitative study aimed to identify snacking preferences of working women and homemakers.
A total of 3,055 working women and women homemakers between 21 and 45 years of age were interviewed across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, Bhopal and Visakhapatnam.
Working women and homemakers across the age group want their snack to be healthy yet tasty, while also wanting their snacks to be natural and nutritious, the study found.
There is a definite shift towards healthy snacking across different demographic profiles. This study indicates a promising trend towards healthy snacking with an increasing number of working women and homemakers across India seeing long-term value in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, said Ritika Samaddar, Chief Clinical Nutritionist from Max Healthcare Institute in Delhi.
Making small changes in your life like working out regularly and choosing to replace nutrient-poor snacks with nutritious options like a handful of almonds every day can be important investments for a healthy future, she said.
The findings also reveal that 71 per cent of women are worried about meeting daily nutritional needs. Among cities, women from Pune (99 per cent) and Chennai (87 per cent) are most worried about their nutritional needs while respondents from Mumbai (42 per cent) and Bengaluru (40 per cent) do not worry much about nutritional needs.
"The survey indicates that women across India are turning to snack for keeping pace with demands of a hectic lifestyle. So, having healthy yet tasty snacking options like almonds handy is a good way to overcome the urge to consume unhealthy snacking varieties," said Harini N B, a Chennai-based clinical nutritionist.
Unlike popular perception, a whopping 81 per cent of working women and homemakers polled said that they are aware of nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Mumbai and Chennai led the way with 94 per cent and 92 per cent awareness while respondents from Jaipur (47 per cent) and Bhopal (61 per cent) being least aware.
"Women are becoming mindful of staying fit and healthy not just for themselves but for the overall wellbeing of their families. However, fast-paced lifestyles and erratic habits have led to deteriorating intake of daily nutritious essentials leading to lifestyle related disorders, said Mumbai based nutritionist and fitness expert Madhuri Ruia.
"Hence, snacking healthy with options such as a handful of almonds or a bowl of fruits is a good way to fulfil daily nutritional requirements of the body," Ruia said.
The survey also shows that 51 per cent of the working women and 50 per cent of the homemakers prefer to cook a snack with whatever ingredients are available at home, thus risking the chances of non-nutritious or unhealthy snacking.
"What you eat between meals matters more than you think. Eating a small, healthy snack in between meals can prevent you from overeating during your next square meal," said Anju Sood, a Bengaluru based nutritionist.