Eat more bread and chocolate: Salty snacks can cause more overeating


Which snack causes more overeating? Grab the chocolate, cheese or bread, because salty snacks are the enemy.

Have you ever grabbed a bag of chips saying that you will eat just a few chips? About 15 minutes later, the bag is empty. You didn’t mean to eat all those chips. But, you couldn’t resist them. Salty snacks can cause more overeating.

According to a survey by Dr. Glenn Livingston, from Never Binge Again, “more than twice as many people” overate salty snacks, like chips and pretzels, versus chocolate, cheese or bread. The study goes on to examine how snacking links to life stress. Dr. Livingston found that salty snackers are stressed at work, chocolate snackers are heartbroken and bread snackers are stressed at home.

So how can these findings help or hinder you? Simply stated, if you know potential snacking triggers, you can work around them. If you have a huge project due at work, maybe you don’t hit the convenience store for the Lays Do Us A Flavor bags as a snack. While these chips could be quite tasty, the life stress could inhibit you from eating just a regular serving size.

When choosing a snack, think about what’s going on in your life. Do those life stresses influence your snacking choices? Yes, eating chocolate ice cream when you’re sad can make you feel better. But, if you end up eating a huge container of chocolate ice cream aren’t you just going to feel worse? I’m not saying that snacking should go away, just be a little more conscious of the choice.

Salty snacks can cause more overeating, photo by Cristine Struble

Let’s be honest, snacking isn’t going away. Take a walk down any snack aisle and look at the tremendous variety of snacking options available. From traditional favorites to lower calorie/ healthy, there is a snack representing every flavor, style, and trend.

Every new study can tell everyone that too many snacks and overeating can cause weight gain, obesity or other health issues, but snacking is part of everyday life. Also, healthy snacking, like just eating fruits and vegetables, won’t completely replace the less-good for us snacks. While no one should just give up and overindulge on a daily basis, everyone should just be reasonable when it comes to eating choices.

Think of snacking, any type of snacking, like alcohol consumption. A couple of beers watching a game or a glass of wine while reading a magazine isn’t necessarily bad. But, drinking a whole bottle of wine from a straw wouldn’t be a good way to spend every weeknight. Snacking, in moderation, isn’t the end of the world. So instead of bringing the whole bag of chips to the couch, pour some in a bowl and put the rest away for another time.

Next: Impossible Burger, how juicy is it?

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about snacks has made me hungry. Time to snack.