The Science of Snacking

How often do you find yourself mid-morning wanting a little something, something? Or you hit that long stretch between lunch and dinner and you start to feel weak and crave something sweet and satisfying? Your stomach starts to rumble. Mentally, you need a little boost to keep yourself going. For most of us, snacking has become part of our daily routine. In fact, most people snack 25 times per week! There are plenty of snacking options out there that span the spectrum from healthy to not so healthy. Whatever your preference, there are a few things to keep in mind about snacking.

The importance of maintaining blood glucose levels

Too often, we find ourselves grabbing snacks that are high in net simple carbohydrates and/or high in sugar. While these may satisfy our immediate craving and give us a quick boost of energy, they will also lead to our blood sugar spiking. As the old adage says, “what goes up, must come down.” This is usually what we refer to as crashing. Our pancreas senses the sugar spike, it sends out more insulin to manage it and, after 20-30 minutes, our blood sugar comes crashing down. We feel tired, weak, mentally drained. To avoid the sugar peaks and valleys, the healthy approach is to eat low glycemic snacks. That’s what Bridgepeak is all about.

Low Glycemic vs High Glycemic Foods

While carbohydrates are common in our everyday diet, not all carbs are created equal. The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbs on a scale of 0 to 100 on how they affect blood sugar levels after the food is digested. Foods that are high GI, “simple carbs”, are rapidly digested and cause the spike and crash. Low GI, or “slow carb” foods, have been proven to help maintain energy levels, help reduce Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. Foods are considered low glycemic if they have a score of 55 or less. Bridgepeak 70% Dark Chocolate Bark was tested to have a GI of just 23±31. Diets that are low GI and high fiber can reduce total and LDL cholesterol.

A SAMPLE OF THE GLYCEMIC INDEX OF FOODS2

Glycemic index (glucose = 100)

Bridgepeak 70% Dark Chocolate

23 ± 3

Popcorn

65 ± 5

Potato crisps

56 ± 3

Soft drink/soda

59 ± 3

Ice cream

51 ± 3

Yogurt, fruit

41 ± 2

Apple, raw†

36 ± 2

Banana, raw†

51 ± 3

White wheat bread*

75 ± 2

Potato, french fries

63 ± 5

Carrots, boiled

39 ± 4

Data are means ± SEM.
* Low-GI varieties were also identified
† Average of all available data.

 

The Skinny on Sugar

When not kept in check, eating too much sugar can have detrimental effects on the body. Among other things, too much sugar can cause weight gain and increase the risk for diabetes. When your pancreas has to keep sending out all that insulin to control your sugar levels, after a while, our cells lose their sensitivity to insulin, and lose their ability to absorb the sugar. That can lead to Pre-Diabetes, and then, if it’s not controlled, Type 2 Diabetes. It’s important to not only be aware of how much sugar we consume but also the kind of sugar. There are naturally occurring sugars in food, and there are added sugars. The American Heart Association recommends that for most American women they should consume no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars and for men no more than 150 calories per day. To find the number of calories simply multiply the number of total grams of sugar in a serving and multiply by 4 (there are four calories per gram of sugar)3.   

Other Aspects of Healthy Snacking – Eat Real Food!

If you want to snack healthy, make sure you eat real food. Many unhealthy snacks are full of what nutritionists call “empty calories”. They may be high in carbs, but low in protein and fiber, so no matter how much you eat, you don’t feel full or satisfied. That leads to another issue with unhealthy snacks – overindulging. Without protein and fiber to satiate our appetites, or portion control to tell us when we’ve had enough, our bodies don’t get the right signals as to when to stop eating. That’s why Diabetes Canada’s evidence-based guidelines stress eating foods that are balanced - high in protein, high in fiber, low in saturated fats, low glycemic, and portion controlled4.

Don’t Forget to Exercise

Okay, we said this was about the science of snacking, but let’s not forget the importance of throwing some exercise into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be triathlon training, kick boxing or rock climbing. A thirty-minute walk, some yoga, ride a bike … moving your body every day is a great way to keep our bodies healthy5.

Bridgepeak 70% Dark Chocolate Bark – Real Food AND Low Glycemic

Bridgepeak was developed to taste great while being a healthier low glycemic snack. The unique combination of simple, natural ingredients can satisfy the snack craving while giving you the confidence that you are eating healthier food. Our proprietary blend of organic sprouted super grains and seeds help stabilize blood glucose levels while you are enjoying the rich taste of premium 70% dark chocolate and real fruits and nuts. Its balanced nutrition profile should help you feel full after a single serving, and our convenient resealable pouch will help you keep everything fresh so you can enjoy it the next time too. Having said that, Bridgepeak is a delicious and nutritious snack that can, and should, be shared (Sharing is Caring!) so don’t be surprised when the bag is empty.


References:

1. GI Labs Clinical Study Bridgepeak Bark, Data On File
2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods
3. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/sugar-101
4. https://guidelines.diabetes.ca/cpg/chapter11
5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/benefit-to-improving-diet-and-exercise-at-the-same-time-201304266126