July 17, 2020
While quarantine has provided some of us with the time to experiment with new healthy habits, for others having unlimited access to the kitchen coupled with anxiety, stress, and boredom has lead to mindless snacking and seeking comfort in food.
The average American consumes 2-3 snacks a day, which amounts to around 22% of total energy intake. So it's fair to say that our choice of snacks can have a significant impact on our overall diet quality.
The effects of snacking have been widely debated, with some suggesting that snacking makes you gain weight while others don’t agree. Despite the many studies that have investigated the relationship between snacking, nutrition, and health outcomes, it's still unclear whether or not we should be snacking.
What we do know is that by making smarter snacking choices, such as swapping highly-processed snacks for minimally processed whole foods like almonds and choosing foods that don't trigger large blood fat and glucose responses, is likely to be better for our overall health.
As the results from our PREDICT study suggest, there is a huge amount of variation in how we respond to the same foods, which means that the best snack for one person may not be ideal for another.
We spoke to a few of our in-house nutritionists - Abi, Kirstin, Zana, Meaghan and Juliet - to find out what snacks they have been eating during the lockdown period, taking their personalized ZOE scores into consideration.
Abi's favorite lockdown snack has been hummus with chopped red bell peppers or carrots, which for her body score 100 and 98 respectively. The Minimalist Baker has a selection of different hummus recipes worth testing out.
Baba ganoush is similar to hummus in many ways. In its most basic form, baba ganoush is made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. You can serve it with many different things, but Kirstin pairs it with rye crisp-breads for a ZOE score of 92. Check out this epic baba ganoush recipe.
Sliced apples with peanut butter has been the easiest snack option for Zana, which scores 80 for her body. To improve her ZOE score, she sometimes swaps out peanut butter for almond butter. Here's a great video for how to make your own nut butter if you'd like to try it out at home.
Meaghan loves pairing Greek-style yogurt with fresh strawberries and a tablespoon of flaxseed (this snack scores 92 for her, as her body is able to handle both fats and carbohydrates well). To mix things up a bit, you could try baking your strawberries for an even sweeter and juicier flavor.
Juliet's go-to lockdown snack (which scores 80 for her) includes a combination of pitted dates, cashews, dark chocolate, and chopped up apple. This snack boasts a variety of healthy plant-based ingredients, and can the fruits and nuts can easily be swapped out for ones that suit your body best!
To learn more about how your body processes your favorite snacks and discover the best foods for your biology, make sure to sign up for early access to ZOE's home test kit.
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