Many people choose to snack as a quick fix when hunger strikes. Depending on the choice of snacks, the habit could be a harmful or healthy addition to your diet. Many common snacks tantalize our taste buds but comprise ingredients that could negatively impact our health.
Even healthy snacks like fruits provide nutrition but can also elevate blood sugar levels. It's true that snacks aid in weight and appetite control by preventing overeating during mealtimes, but overconsumption means extra calories, which would consequently lead to extra pounds.
If you think replacing meals with snacks is a good idea, think again. By doing so, you're replacing a critical source of nutrients with snacks that might lack essential nutrients.
Unless you're snacking on veggies, smoothies, granola, hummus, nuts, trail mix, and hard-boiled eggs, snacks often have low nutritional value with empty calories that do more harm than good.
Here's how your healthy snacking habit could hurt your long-term overall health.
Oral Health Concerns
As the gateway to the digestive system, the teeth and mouth remain an integral part of good health. When you cannot immediately brush after snacking, the sugar left inside the mouth provides a breeding ground for bacteria. It could lead to increased acids in the mouth and eventually tooth decay.
Issues with Blood Sugar
Eating sugary or high-calorie snacks to ease hunger can destabilize the blood sugar levels, causing a sugar rush and subsequently crashes, regardless of whether you're diabetic or not. It could lead to the onset of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, both of which have dangerous health implications.
Other Adverse Health Conditions
Besides the undesirable sugar content, the sodium and high saturated fats in many snacks make it difficult to keep the weight under control, especially for those who habitually snack multiple times during the day.
The CDC revealed that nearly 28% of American adults struggle with obesity due to overconsumption of salty, fatty, and sugar-based snacks. It further highlighted that overconsumption of such foods may be linked to various health conditions, ranging from some forms of cancers to cardiovascular diseases.
The Right Way to Snack
Don't eliminate snacking altogether, but if your go-to snacks include packaged, processed items, you need to make some significant changes in your lifestyle.
Seek healthier options that provide valuable nutrition and keep you energetic while keeping the nasty hunger pangs at bay. Try to snack a couple of hours post-workout or when you're going over four hours without eating to keep the body replenished with essential nutrients.
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