Why snacking throughout the day can be beneficial for blood sugar regulation and prevention for over eating at meal time.
Where nutrition is concerned, one size does not fit all. This point is key to our philosophy and we believe that the better we understand our individual selves; the better our physical and emotional health will be.
While our dietary requirements will vary from person to person, we do all need an abundant supply of nutrients in order for our bodies and minds to function optimally. Requirements for nutrients will differ due to variances in biochemistry, overall state of our health, age, levels of toxins, lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking, stress levels, etc. Of course, more nutrients are required during pregnancy, rapid growth such as infancy and adolescence and during convalescence.
The same applies when it comes to choosing whether or not to snack. It is always contextual and ideally there should be an intuitive aspect. Research is conflicting, probably as a result of not always considering context, such as individual metabolic differences, the amount of exercise the individual does, body composition (ie muscle mass v fat mass), blood sugar regulation and importantly, the type of snack. In order for snacking to be beneficial, the snack needs to have a good quantity of protein, healthy fats and fibre, as well as a range of micronutrients. Pic’s Peanut Butter ticks all of these boxes and in fact, the Hi Oleic acid concentration in Pic’s PB may assist with weight management by helping to signal satiety, via the endocannabinoid response. The higher circulating compound, oleoylethanolamine (OEA), which occurs after consuming high oleic acid foods, was shown to reduce calorie intake at subsequent meals.
What does apply to everyone though is that waiting until we are ravenously hungry is not a good idea. This can diminish our judgement, leading us to reach for a fast sugar ‘fix’ and tends to result in overeating. When we reach for sugary snacks, the quickly absorbed glucose high is followed by a crash. High sugar snacks also leave you craving more, whereas choosing nutrient rich foods, that are high in protein and healthy fats will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.
In summary, here are a few tips for healthy snacking:
- Choose nutrient rich foods that are high in protein, healthy fats and fibre such as Pic’s Peanut Butter
- Read ingredient lists when choosing snacks to ensure there is no added sugar, fillers, artificial additives or preservatives
Key benefits of healthy snacking
- Prevents overeating at subsequent meals
- Stabilises blood sugar levels and avoids spikes
- Encourages healthier food choices at subsequent meals (we are less likely to reach for a quick sugar fix)
- Improves energy levels and cognitive function
For more snack ideas using Pic’s Peanut Butter, head to our blog post “Pic’s Peanut Butter Slugs: The Perfect on-the-go snack”.
Note: Snacking should not be too close to exercise, before or after, to allow the autonomic nervous system to switch into parasympathetic mode (or rest and digest), to allow maximum enjoyment as well as maximum nutrient absorption.