Wait...Snacking isn't bad ?

Wait .. isn’t snacking “bad”?

Nope. Snacks can get a bad rap from the ultra-processed “snack foods” found in convenience stores and grocery shelves - but consuming snacks can be part of a healthy, normal diet 💪

For example, snacks can:

  • Fulfill your protein needs, especially if you are following an exercise routine or living an active lifestyle
  • Decrease cravings and ravenous hunger, resulting in more balanced meal intakes later in the day 
  • Increase intake of fiber, vegetables & fruits, to help stabilize blood sugar & energy levels while meeting your micronutrient targets
  • Improve quality of life, by allowing yourself to eat the occasional indulgent snack with your family and friends

But … doesn’t snacking spike insulin levels, leading to weight gain?

Insulin is the hormone that helps our body utilize and store energy from food. The hormone rises in response to intake of carbohydrates (sugar) and amino acids (protein).

A big myth that surrounds insulin and weight-gain is that any rise in insulin is equitable to a gain in fat mass, otherwise known as the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity

The truth is that for healthy people¹, eating normal portions of protein and carbohydrates will not drive weight-gain. Why? Because it’s physiologically impossible, as only an excess of nutrients will become transformed into fat for storage.

When consumed in normal amounts, the insulin won’t drive weight-gain, but rather:

  • Stimulate muscle-protein synthesis for the protein you just consumed (a.k.a muscle gains 💪)
  • Stock muscle and liver glycogen, fuelling your muscles and preparing your body for stable blood sugar levels over the next several hours 💫
  • Produce satiety and fullness hormones, helping you feel full and satisfied 🙌

Now that the snack fears are over, let’s get into the building of a perfect snack.

Step #1: Protein

Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps build muscle & is the building block for nearly all body functions (enzymes, hormones, nails, skin, hair). 

A snack with protein helps meet your protein needs throughout the day and can also make you feel fuller & more satisfied 💥. 

Aim to have at least 5 grams of protein per snack, such as:

  • 1 egg (6 grams of protein)
  • 1.5 tablespoon peanut butter (5 grams of protein)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (5 grams of protein)
  • 1/4 cup of hummus (5 grams of protein)
  • 1/4 cup of skyr icelandic yogurt (5-7 grams of protein)
  • 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese (5-7 grams of protein)
  • 3/4 cup of soy milk (6 grams of protein)

Step #2: Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that humans can’t digest. Some types of prebiotic fibres are digested by the bacteria in your gut microbiome while other fibers reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels 📉. 

Aim to have at least 2-3 grams of fiber per snack, such as:

  • 1 whole fruit (banana, apple, pear) or 1/2 cup berries (3 grams fiber)
  • 1/2 cup cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower) (2-3 grams of fiber)
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread (3 grams fiber)
  • 1/4 cup of avocado (3 grams of fiber)
  • 1/4 cup of homemade granola (2-3 grams of fiber)

Step #3: Fat

Healthy fats such as omega-3s are essential, and help reduce inflammation and increase HDL or “good” cholesterol. Fat is also extremely satiating, helping you feel full and satisfied 💫

If your protein or fiber source already contained a source of fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, whole-fat yogurt) you can skip this step. If not, add a small serving of healthy fat to each snack, such as:

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts 
  • 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado 

Putting it all together… 

Now that we have our three nutrients (protein + fiber + fat) we have the building block for a perfect snack with staying power. Try mixing and matching these together, such as:

  • 1 egg with avocado on whole-wheat toast
  • Banana peanut-butter smoothie with soy milk
  • Yogurt parfait with berries and granola
  • Sliced veggies & hummus or guacamole 
  • Ricotta cheese on whole-wheat toast with tomatoes & walnuts 

What’s your favourite protein + fiber + fat snack? Let us know in the comments 👇

 


Why is Gen-Z obssesed with chlorophyll?

 

“It makes my cells so stoked” says one creator on Tik Tok, enthusiastically showcasing her morning routine of putting 6 drops of a dark, green liquid into a tall glass of water.

Another creator reports that “this stuff is great for digestion, inflammation and overall immunity” as she swirls the dark green, opaque drink with a metal reusable straw.

This mesmerizing, dark green drink has liquid chlorophyll in it — and is the subject of the latest trend amongst Gen Z on TikTok.

What is chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes plants green and helps the plant perform photosynthesis, or the process of turning sunlight into sugar for plant energy.

As humans, we don’t rely on photosynthesis for energy, but rather food. That being said, chlorophyll is not an essential nutrient for human health.

It is impossible to be deficient in chlorophyll as our body does not have a need for it in the first place. In fact, our body doesn’t even have a receptor for chlorophyll.

Even if we needed it in small amounts, it is likely we already get enough chlorophyll from fruits and vegetables as it is the most abundant plant pigment on earth.

Chlorophyll is not an essential nutrient for human health

 

Does liquid chlorophyll get rid of acne?

Acne is caused by an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria on the skin. There is evidence to suggest that chlorophyll has anti-bacterial properties, so it could potentially improve acne.

However, the chlorophyll used in this study was in gel form and applied directly onto the skin. In the form of a liquid supplement, any potential anti-bacterial properties of chlorophyll will be destroyed by the stomach acid during digestion.

Is liquid chlorophyll good for weight-loss?

The only “evidence” that exists for chlorophyll and weight-loss exists on Tik Tok — and anecdotes aren’t evidence.

The only imaginable connection I can make here is the link between a diet high in vegetables and fruits (where green vegetables contain chlorophyll) and weight-loss.

 

Can liquid chlorophyll enhance energy levels?

The structure of chlorophyl is similar to hemoglobin, or the protein in our red blood cells that helps deliver oxygen to our cells. Problems with hemoglobin can lead to low energy levels in humans.

However, the atom in the centre of the chlorophyll compound is magnesium, while the atom in the centre of hemoglobin is iron.

While low levels of iron, such as those with iron-deficient anemia will see a boost in energy levels from iron, the same thing can’t be said for the magnesium found in chlorophyll.

Can liquid chlorophyll reduce body odour?

A small study published over 40 years ago suggests that chlorophyll given to nursing home residents improved overall body odour, but not much research has been published since.

Body odour happens when bacteria mixes with sweat, which is why soap is effective in removing the bacteria. One study published in 1957 showed that chlorophyll has anti-bacterial properties, but similar to acne any anti-bacterial properties will be lost once the chlorophyll is digested by the stomach acid.

The bottom line

The evidence is ✨ extremely limited ✨

The only “evidence” we really have exists on 20 second Tik Tok videos. If you are seeing health benefits, its more likely due to increased water consumption or the placebo effect rather than liquid chlorophyll itself.

Eating your greens is more important than a supplement

Green vegetables are rich in chlorophyll as it is what makes the colour possible in the first place. Beyond chlorophyll, vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, water and fiber that will likely reap more health benefits than a concentrated supplement with little evidence.

 

Enjoy liquid chlorophyll if it helps you drink more water

If liquid chlorophyll encourages you to drink more water, then by all mean swirl away (just don’t exceed the maximum dosing as indicated by the manufacturer) as there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to avoid the supplements — it might just drain your pocket.