Why Snacking Is Important (And How to Do It Better)

Snacking gets a bad reputation in the health world. I’m not really sure why this is, though I would guess it has something to do with mindlessly eating whole bags of chips or whole boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. For whatever reason, almost every “diet plan” and “health tip” page recommends avoiding snacking. But there’s zero research suggesting that snacks cause weight gain or harm our health. In fact, the opposite of true. Keeping snacks handy is actually a health-promoting behavior. Here’s why:

1. Reduced Inflammation

Letting too much time pass between meals (or intentionally delaying meals) causes physical changes inside our bodies’ chemical environments. These long stretches of time can cause everything from blood sugar swings to elevated cortisol, which creates long-term increases in inflammation. Inflammation contributes to everything from heart disease to diabetes to cancer, and it makes sense to do what we can (within reason) to reduce it.

When we eat regular, balanced snacks, we keep blood sugar stable and stress at bay, staving off inflammation. Let’s not lie, eating regular meals and snacks also helps us feel better overall, maintain our energy levels, and put our best selves forward every day. However, what we eat for snacks does matter.

In order to keep our blood sugar stable, we need to keep our snacks as balanced as possible. The best way to do this is by including a carb, a fat, and a protein source each time. But achieving this source of balance doesn’t mean you need to pack a mini-portion of steak, potatoes and broccoli. Our snacks don’t need to be “perfect,” whatever that even means. With my own snacking, I try to include at least two macronutrients, so either protein and carbs (like yogurt with fruit) or carbs and fat (like pretzels, carrots and hummus). I’m not always a fan of energy bars because I don’t find them as satisfying, but KIND bars are the exception. They combine fruit + nuts to cover all three macronutrients in a wonderfully delicious, chocolate-covered bar. They even have multiple sizes, which is awesome because sometimes I just want a few bites, but sometimes I need a few more.

The Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew flavor is my all-time favorite, and I buy them in both the full-size and MINI versions.

2. Hanger Prevention

My husband and I joke that “hungry” is its own emotion. It looks a lot like other emotions — anxiety, anger, sadness — but is, in fact, its own thing. And sometimes, the hunger is REAL. Like, really. Most of our less than stellar moments as a married couple can be 100% attributed to being hungry. And were solved with a very simple food + apology combo. It’s amazing what a snack can do!

In addition to unfortunate emotions, hunger can also trigger overeating. When we let ourselves reach that point of ravenousness, it’s significantly more likely that we’ll end up overeating at our next meal — far more than we would if we’d just had a snack! It seems paradoxical, but eating more actually helps prevent weight gain. The best way to allow your body to find its natural set point is to eat regular, balanced, meals and snacks in response to hunger and fullness cues. Eating shouldn’t be hard, hunger is a form of suffering, and snacks are not the enemy.

Take 15% off a single purchase with code ALEXANDRAM15 at KINDsnacks.com 2/7-3/7/20.

3. To Eat Healthy Snacks, Keep Them Within Reach

If I’m hungry and a snack isn’t easily accessible, my human nature kicks in and I find one. Sometimes, that means a vending machine, or McDonald’s, or a snicker’s bar. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with choosing those foods, but I don’t always feel the best after eating them. Generally, I make sure my office snack stash is well-stocked, and I even keep a box of KIND bars in the door of my car. Yes, I’m that committed.

Another benefit of keeping snacks handy is money. Buying a quality energy bar in a vending machine or at a gas station costs at least $2, sometimes $3. But buying them online with a Snack Pack subscription is just over $1 each. Even the Costco brand of fruit/nut bars are more expensive than that.

Keeping snacks on hand is the most practical way to respond to hunger. When you’re hungry and it’s not a meal time, eat a snack. Then, move on with life — because there are far more important things to think about than food!

Take 15% off a single purchase with code ALEXANDRAM15 at KINDsnacks.com 2/7-3/7/20.

Take 15% off a single purchase with code ALEXANDRAM15 at kindsnacks.com. Valid only on kindsnacks.com. Discount will not be applied to Snack Club recurring orders. Excludes wholesale orders. Cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. In-stock product only. While supplies last. Offer is non-transferable, has no cash value and cannot be applied to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards. Limit of one use of promotional code per customer. Void where prohibited by law. To redeem, use code ALEXANDRAM15 in your Shopping Cart. Terms of offer are subject to change. Offer begins on 2/7/2020 at 12:01AM EST and ends on 3/7/2020 at 11:59PM PST.


2 thoughts on “Why Snacking Is Important (And How to Do It Better)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s