Yes - you read the title correctly. Snacking can have benefits and isn’t necessarily bad for you if you approach it the right way. Is that hard for you to believe? For the longest time, there has been a misconception of snacking - with the “less is more” mentality. Well, that’s not actually the case. Below is an infographic outlining the benefits of snacking:
Are Snacks with Sugar Bad?
It’s nine o’clock at night; all you want is a scrumptious cookie. Sure, it tastes good. However, there’s more at play. The mixture of sugars and carbohydrates provides us with a boost of serotonin to our brains. It’s common to seek more serotonin for when we’re feeling the blues. But despite this upper rush of “happiness” sent to our brains, it doesn’t last forever. And it’s a major reason why we tend to eat these snacks in large amounts.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 Eighth Edition says the average American intakes around 270 calories of added sugars every day; it’s the equivalent to 17 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a lot of sweetness a day, even for me.
Not all sugar is bad though. Sugar is an important part of our diets to stay healthy. The concern comes into play when people consume large amounts of sugar, particularly fructose.
Table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup both contain about half glucose and half fructose. Fructose is harmful if consumed in excess because of its negative effects on your metabolism. And many individuals associate added sugar with bad health, even when it comes to eating fruit. There’s one catch when it comes to this major food group; it’s almost impossible to over-consume fructose by eating fruit.
Never Fear Your Fruit
Enjoy that apple fresh off the tree. The sugary vibrant flavors… it’s almost too good to be true, right? Well, have you ever noticed how long it actually takes to finish an apple? It’s a process. That’s because apples are loaded with fiber and water; they have significant chewing resistance. For this reason, most fruits (like the scrumptious apple in your palm) take time to fully eat and break down in your digestive system. If it’s a slower process, it’ll mean the fructose won’t hit your liver quite as harshly - making it easier for your body to metabolize it. So, enjoy some of Nature’s candy knowing it’s good for your body.
Snacks Boost Your Metabolism
So, how else does snacking help you stay healthy? One word: metabolism. Snacking boosts your metabolism. And why shouldn’t it? If you eat more, your body thinks, “Okay. I need to work harder.” And so it does, making your body burn more calories.
Protein-Rich Foods Boost Metabolism
The Healthline says protein-rich foods could help increase your metabolism for a few hours. Some examples of foods rich in protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and nuts. These healthy foods require your body to use more energy to digest them, the process known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF refers to the calories needed by your body to digest and process the nutrients. PubMed Central® (PMC) states that TEF can increase your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats.
Additionally, eating protein-rich foods can help reduce the drop in your metabolism often seen in weight loss by holding onto the muscle mass in your body. These foods also help you stay fuller for longer - which can help prevent overeating.
Snacking Helps Maintain Your Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar dips three to five hours after you eat. Snacking also helps maintain your blood sugar. Lower-carb, higher-fiber and high-protein snacks consistently show a more favorable effect on sugar and insulin levels than high-carb snacks. By normalizing your blood sugar on a regular basis with these healthy snacks, you can better equip yourself to battle against diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Those protein-rich foods mentioned above? Not only do they help increase your metabolism, but they also contain an amino acid that increases the production of neurotransmitters that regulate concentration and alertness. Next time you’re considering what to grab from the kitchen in-between meals, consider something full of protein to help your brain perform at maximum capacity all day long. And if it’s a weekday, you’re most likely in the office for long hours, so it’s important to have these opportunities available to you and your employees.
Grow Your Company Culture with the Power of Snacks
Nowadays, professionals seek to weigh their perks and benefits before accepting a position. More-so than ever, company culture plays a role, especially for the Millennial generation. And with the demand for a better culture at work, employees look for healthy alternatives in their break rooms. HR Daily Advisor says one of the top benefits trends to look out for in 2019 is company culture. Employees want to feel good. And in feeling good, they want the option to eat right. If you want to send a positive message to your team, providing them with healthy options will let them know they’re valued - and you care about their physical and mental well-being.
By showing this courtesy to your employees, you’re developing a deeper level of trust and respect with them. And those two factors are at the core of a successful business.
Make Snacking Accessible with Micro Marketing + Vending
Better-for-you fruit sugars, honey, low-fat dairy products, protein-rich foods, whole grains, and vegetables are nutritious snacks that can lift your mood and battle muscle fatigue. And when it comes to providing these options, Bernick’s has your back. We value healthy options for your workplace. Whether you’re looking to provide your workers with healthy snacking options for the first time or wanting to change it up like with our EATS program that focuses on quality food, micro markets are a great way to go. They provide unique options, nearly 400, that can be customized to what your team needs to enjoy some healthy snacking.