Why Snacking is Good for your Health


Those of us that have been working with the concept of “healthy eating” for some time, know the basics. We know that we need to eat breakfast. We might even have a pretty good idea of what constitutes a healthy plate. We dream and make plans and know that one day we will be able to convert our impeccable theory into a lifestyle of dietary perfection.

And then life happens.

Days get busy and time is swallowed up and before we know it we are getting home at 6pm and crawling our way to the food cupboard. It’s at this point that anything will do. And I mean anything. The kids’ leftover lunch. Biscuits. Anything that’s not nailed down gets hurtled down the hatch. It’s dark. We feel low. The day has been long. Maybe we should open a bottle of wine as well. Of course we should, we deserve it.

The thing is, none of this has a damn thing to do with the busyness of the day.

None of this has anything to do with how worthy we feel after making it through another day of craziness. It’s nothing more than a blood sugar issue. When we skip meals and don’t maintain balance during the course of the day, our energy levels and our moods mirror the spikes and slumps of our blood sugar. We often don’t register it as hunger, and can even get used to clawing our way through the afternoon thinking that this is just “how it is” for busy, over-stretched people. It isn’t.

By taking care of your blood sugar levels during the course of the day, you can feel the benefits of improved energy, better moods and calmer emotions.

The best way to manage your blood sugar is to eat foods that are low in Glycemic Load (GL). I run full coaching programmes to help you achieve this. In the meantime, start by stocking up on these great snacks to help you through your day:

1. Chopped celery, tomato or carrots with tahini or hummus dip
2. Natural yoghurt mixed with sugar-free peanut butter
3. Handful of raw nuts e.g. pecan nuts or cashew nuts
4. 3 to 4 Nairn’s Oatcakes with sugar-free peanut butter or 200g cottage cheese

Tamari Roasted Nuts are a great snack. You can make a big batch and then keep some on hand for an anytime energiser:

  • 50g mixed nuts and seeds e.g. Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) or soy sauce

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Put the seeds and nuts on a baking tray and our sauce over them, shaking around to coat evenly. Roast for about 5 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through.

(From the Low-GL Diet Cookbook by Patrick Holford & Fiona McDonald Joyce)