Are snacks good or bad for you?
Everyone snacks. Okay, maybe not every one but almost everyone.
A snack is a very common practise among people, especially for those with busy schedules. Many people snack at least once during the course of a day. As much as it is essential to keep our bodies fueled and maintain energy levels throughout the day, not all snacks are healthy.
In general, the snacks that people consume nowadays are mostly pre-packaged and processed. Unfortunately, these snacks often provide empty calories that offer little nutritional value. They typically contain high amounts of refined sugar, white flour, gluten, and food colouring. As a result, consuming these snacks is generally unhealthy.
There are only relatively few people who know if they are following a good snacking habit – or even that there is such a thing called a ‘good snacking habit’.
Why We Snack
It is important to understand that “SNACKING” is not only normal but is also a necessary health endeavour as long as the nutritional value of the snack is beneficial.
We snack for many reasons, the primary one being to stave off hunger. But there are also physical and cognitive perks that snacking provides, some of them being :
- It can boost cognitive focus throughout the day by helping us maintain blood sugar levels.
- Our bodies digest whole foods that include fats, proteins, and fibre at a slower and more consistent rate, and therefore release a steadier stream of glucose to the brain.
- Specific food cravings, such as something sweet or salty. This can be a result of emotional or hormonal changes, or simply a desire for a particular taste.
But, on the other hand, a snack that is high in refined sugar will spike insulin levels and cause one to be more hungry and less focused in a shorter time.
How To Snack
One of the main reasons that there isn’t a universal guidebook to snacking is that snacking patterns vary greatly based on the needs of an individual. The snacking frequency of a rambunctious three-year-old who is growing up will be vastly different from a fifty-something office-goer.
That being said, here are some facts that will help with some decision-making while you shop or order snacks the next time.
We all know that protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues in the body. It is also necessary for the production of hormones, enzymes, and other vital body functions. Therefore having a high-protein snack/powder is an excellent way to fuel your body with essential nutrients.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of consuming high-protein snacks or even Origin Nutrition’s plant-based daily protein powder :
- Helps to keep you full for longer: Protein takes longer to digest, and it helps to keep you feeling full for longer. This can help to reduce the urge to snack on unhealthy foods and prevent overeating.
- Supports muscle growth: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles. Consuming high-protein snacks can help to provide the necessary nutrients for muscle growth and repair.
- Boosts metabolism: Protein has a high thermic effect, which means it requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fats. Consuming high-protein snacks can help to increase your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
- Helps to regulate blood sugar levels: Protein can help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.
While high-protein snacks have numerous benefits, it’s essential to keep in mind the potential drawbacks. Here are some of the cons of consuming high-protein snacks:
- Can be high in calories: Some high-protein snacks, such as protein bars or shakes, can be high in calories. It’s essential to read the nutrition labels and choose snacks that are low in calories and sugar.
- May be expensive: High-protein snacks can be more expensive than traditional snacks. However, there are plenty of affordable options, such as hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.
- Can be high in sodium: Some high-protein snacks, such as jerky or deli meats, can be high in sodium. It’s essential to choose low-sodium options or limit your intake.
In conclusion, high-protein plant-based, healthy snacks are an excellent choice for people looking to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, when snacking be sure to eat the right types and amounts of food to reduce hunger and prevent overeating. In the end, it’s really a personal choice. If you’re going to snack, make sure to choose healthy foods that keep you full and satisfied.