Can Snacking Make You Healthier?

Can Snacking Make You Healthier?

According to a study by the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences in Louisiana, American adults get 22% of their total energy intake from snacks. This isn’t shocking since snacks have been a staple of the American diet for decades. 

Still, Richard Mattes from the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University notes that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to snack. More often than not, Americans lean toward the unhealthy. This is partly due to the ubiquity of snacks in our environment and the advertising we see everywhere

But did you know that snacking can benefit your health? 

If you choose the right snacks, you don’t have to worry too much about how they’ll affect your well-being. Healthy snacks can play a key role in maintaining energy levels, preventing overeating, and providing essential nutrients you might otherwise have missed. 

For example, a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit can give you that quick boost of energy without the negative effects of processed, sugary snacks. 

So how often is it healthy to snack?

Contrary to popular belief, most studies have shown that snacking frequency has little to no effect on your metabolism. The important thing is to mind how much your snacks contribute to your daily calorie intake, not so much the frequency of your noshing. 

Benefits of Snacking

Snacking, if you do it right, can be a powerful ally in your quest for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It can be more than a way to stave off hunger between meals. 

image of choco hazelnut bite ingredients

If you add it to your daily routine, you’ll get a few benefits like: 

  • Craving control: A small, nutritious snack between meals may prevent you from getting hungry and reaching for unhealthy options. In turn, this may also reduce the likelihood of overeating. 
  • Sugar level maintenance: When you go too long without eating, your blood sugar can drop, leading to feelings of fatigue and irritability. Consuming healthy snack options between meals can keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day. 
  • Energy level maintenance: Nutritious snacks, i.e. those rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, provide a sustained energy boost instead of a quick spike and crash. 
  • Extra nutrients: Healthy snacks help fill nutritional gaps, allowing you to incorporate many nutrients you might not get enough of during main meals, like fiber and calcium. 

  • How to Snack Smartly

    Now that you know snacking can be a beneficial part of a healthy diet, you should learn to approach it mindfully. 

    By making thoughtful choices and choosing the best healthy snacks, you can feel the benefits of snacking and reap all the rewards. 

    Here are some essential tips on how to align your snacking habits with your health goals:

    Choose Healthy Snacks 

    I already mentioned why it’s more practical to think about the quality of your snacks rather than the quantity. The best healthy snacks provide a good balance of nutrients and help keep you full between meals without shaking up your routine.

    Think of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and yogurt. Or, grab a packet of healthy bites like our Choco Peanut cases. Whenever possible, opt for healthy snack options above all else. 

    image of choco peanut bite inside and outside the packet on a table

    Don’t Snack Late at Night 

    While it’s important to incorporate good healthy snacks into your diet, timing is also crucial. The Cleveland Clinic cautions against eating before bed because it can interfere with your sleep patterns and digestion

    Lucky for us, this tip is easy to take on, because you can decide to eat your snacks during the day when your body is more active. And if you find yourself hungry at night, opt for lighter options like Greek yogurt or an apple, something less likely to disrupt your sleep.  

    Listen to Your Body 

    One of the most significant aspects of smart snacking is learning to listen to your body. This means you pay attention to hunger cues and snack when you feel hungry rather than out of habit. 

    In layman’s terms - if you want a snack, get one and make it healthy; if you don’t want a snack, don’t force one in. And if you notice that you’re always hungry between meals, it may mean your meals are not balanced well. 

    The Bottom Line 

    Snacking is not inherently good or bad. 

    While the prevalence of unhealthy snacks can make mindful snacking a challenge, it’s still up to us to make informed choices. 

    What matters most is the quality of your snacks, not the quantity. So, choosing nutritious superfood snacks like our bites between meals is already better than eating chips and dip. 

    If you’re hungry sometime after your lunch, have a nutritious healthy bite and move on with your day. 

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