It’s the snacks!

Plus: Are eggs bad for you?


It’s The Snacks That Are Killing Us 

Episode 12 Eating GIF by One Chicago

Snacking—we all do it. Eating three square meals a day and nothing else is very much a thing of the past. In today’s world, we have access to granola bars, protein bars, chips, yogurt packs, trail mixes, dried fruit, protein snack boxes—you name it.  But is snacking really doing us any favors?

A recent study analyzing dietary data from 20,000 adults (THE STUDY HERE) reveals some eye-opening facts about our snacking patterns, especially as it relates to our overall calorie intake. This study is not just about counting calories; it's about understanding the impact of our food choices on our overall health and well-being.

The study found that, on average, Americans consume 400-500 calories daily from snacks. This means that snacks contribute to a whopping 19.5%-22.4% of an individual's daily energy intake.

Essentially, we're adding an extra meal to our day without even realizing it. The most common snacks consumed are convenience foods high in carbohydrates, fat, and sugar. This combination can lead to increased cravings, weight gain, and even metabolic syndrome, which includes conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Interestingly, the study also focused on people with type 2 diabetes. It showed that those with controlled diabetes consumed more vegetables and less fruit juice compared to other groups. However, people with diabetes, in general, tended to consume more cured and luncheon meats than those without diabetes or with prediabetes. This highlights the need for better dietary choices, especially when it comes to snacking.

If you are going to snack, it's recommended to opt for snacks that combine fiber, protein, and healthy fats from real foods. These nutrient-rich options can provide more satiation and nourishment, leading to less overeating later in the day. Some healthier snack choices include cucumbers with olives and hummus, seed crackers with canned salmon and celery, or carrots with almond butter.

The key takeaway? The study from NHANES (2005-2016) provides valuable insights into the snacking habits of Americans, including those with diabetes. It emphasizes the importance of making mindful choices when it comes to what we eat between meals. By choosing healthier snacks, we can curb unnecessary calorie intake and improve our general health and well-being. 

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