5 Common Snacking Myths Debunked

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

To snack or not to snack? That’s a good question!

Americans are snacking more than ever. Almost two-thirds of adults have two or more snacks per day, comprising nearly 25-percent of daily calories.1 Snacks are powerful – they can derail diets or add good nutrition to the diet. At their best, healthy snacks can satisfy cravings, curb hunger between meals, and even act as a meal replacement when you’re on-the-go. Snack smart, and make one of your daily snacks a handful of pistachios, a crave-able healthy habit.

We’ll help crack some common snack myths, so you can snack with peace of mind.

  1. Myth: Nuts makes you fat.

It’s a popular belief that people who snack frequently may pack on extra pounds.2 However, a UCLA study suggests that pistachios can be a weight-wise snack, and are a better snack choice over pretzels, even for those managing their weight.3 In fact, pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat snack nuts.4 Enjoy a handful of 30 nuts for about 100 calories.4

 

  1. Myth: Snacks are unhealthy.

Not all snacks are created equal. Ditch the overly processed empty calories found in chips and cookies, and opt for minimally processed whole foods like pistachios, oranges, and snap peas. Pistachios are a savory and healthful alternative to snacks loaded with sugars and saturated fats. In fact, nearly 90-percent of the fats in pistachios are the “good-for-you” unsaturated type, making pistachios a snack you can enjoy and feel good about choosing.4

 

  1. Myth: Snacks are high in sodium.

Some salty snacks can go overboard on sodium, but a one-ounce serving of roasted and salted pistachios has 7-percent of the recommended daily value.Since most of the salt is on the outside, it’s easier to taste the salt than in, say, a piece of bread with the same amount of sodium. Still worried about salt? Reach for a bag of unsalted pistachios, which are naturally sodium free.4

 

  1. Myth: Snacking ruins your appetite.

Worried that snacking will spoil your appetite for dinner? Some healthy mid-afternoon munching may help prevent you from overstuffing your face at mealtime, allowing you to eat more mindfully at dinner. Pistachios are a great mid-day snack when you want to answer the craving for something savory, with something healthy. Bonus: pistachios’ protein and fiber may help satisfy your hunger longer.4

 

  1. Myth: Healthy snacks are inconvenient.

While it’s true that eating healthy on-the-go can be a challenge when junk food temptations are everywhere, healthy snacking doesn’t have to be hard. Most convenience stores will have a few healthy items, such as pistachios, whole fruit, and low-fat yogurt. In addition, you can create a snack survival kit with healthy, portable and non-perishable items for easy healthy snacking. Make a kit for both your car and gym bag with foods such as pistachios, dried apricots with no sugar added, and bottled water.

 

Now that you know the skinny on snacking, it’s time to try our favorite pistachio pairings:

apricots pistachios

In-shell pistachios + dried apricots + Gouda cheese

 

pistachios grapefruit

In-shell pistachios + Greek yogurt & honey + grapefruit

 

fig jam pistachios

In-shell pistachios + white cheddar + fig jam + celery & carrot sticks + whole-grain crackers

 

References

1 Sebastian RS, Wilkinson Enns C, Goldman JD. Snacking Patterns of U.S. Adults: What We Eat In America, NHANES 2007-2008. Food Surveys Research Group Dietary Data Brief No. 4. June 2011.

2 Chaplin K, Smith A. Definitions and Perceptions of Snacking. Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research. 2011; 9(1/2): 53-60.

3 Li Z, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D. Pistachio Nuts Reduce Triglycerides and Body Weight by Comparison to Refined Carbohydrate Snack in Obese Subjects on a 12-Week Weight Loss Program J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198-203.

4 U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference