The Do’s & Don’ts of Snacking
- By Debra Holstein, Founder of The 4:00 Cookie
Snacking is a good thing. Our bodies need fuel consistently throughout the day, and we should acknowledge this need. But let’s snack the right way. We've called on Debra Holstein, Founder of The 4:00 Cookie (featured in the 2014 GRAMMY Awards' Swag Bag!), to share healthy ways to keep cravings in check.
1. Don’t Create More Cravings
We all get cravings, but the last thing we want to do is eat something that just creates more cravings. You don’t want to feel out of control. Ironically, the more sugar and simple carbs you eat, the more you crave it because they can spike your blood sugar, which triggers more cravings and can even lead to insulin resistance.
Do Eat Healthy Carbs
Whole grains, on the other hand, are digested and absorbed at a slower pace to help you stabilize your blood sugar and feel calmer and in control.
2. Don’t Crash and Burn
When that afternoon slump happens, we might be tempted to reach for a snack with sugar or simple carbohydrates. They help release a burst of serotonin, so you feel good for a little while. BUT almost as quickly, you “crash” and return to your low-serotonin state, and the cycle starts all over again.
Do Avoid White Sugar
Low glycemic sweeteners and healthy carbs release a steady flow of energy. We call it Calm Energy.They are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar, and thus have a lower rating on the glycemic index (GI). Foods high in white sugar will have the highest GI. This can include high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey and molasses too. Refined carbs, like white flour, bread and pasta also convert to sugar (glucose) upon digestion, and can over-stimulate insulin production.
3. Don’t Confuse the Highs & Lows of Blood Sugar with True Hunger
It’s 4:00 and you need chocolate? If you start with the candy or traditional cookies, you may think you’re still hungry and reach for more. But that’s the blood sugar talking. It’s spiking and dropping, leaving you anxious and unsatisfied. Who needs that?
Do Eat the Good Stuff
You can still enjoy great snacking. Dark chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, whole grains and low GI sweeteners make for a delicious treat, without the blood sugar spikes.