Is snacking necessarily bad for you? How can you cut down if you're trying to lose weight?

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How do you stop raiding the office pantry for snacks? And why do some people crave salty snacks, while others prefer sweet treats? We put down our bag of chips to ask the experts.

It’s 3pm and like clockwork, your brain – and colleague – are nudging you to make that trip to the office pantry for coffee and snacks. Or if you’re working from home, you can’t help but be drawn to the fridge like, every five minutes.

“However, once you get above that age, all sorts of things determine our eating behaviour”, such as “social interactions, pure enjoyment, boredom, stress and sleepiness”, he said. That’s because the stress hormone cortisol “leads to an increase in appetite and drives up your motivation to eat," said Toh Hui Moon, a senior clinical psychologist at National University Polyclinics. You start to crave high-fat and high-sugar snacks as such foods can “dampen stress-related responses and emotions, and act as a relief,” she said.consultant with Alexandra Hospital’s Chronic Programme, who has a special interest in sleep medicine.

Even what you had for lunch – pasta, carb-heavy economy rice or a salad loaded with honey mustard dressing and croutons – can induce you to snack in the afternoon. That’s because these foods have a high glycaemic index and load. They raise blood sugar levels rapidly – and just as quickly, cause them to dip, said Goh. “This is why having a high-starch, high-sugar meal may leave you feeling tired.

 

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