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Snack Savvy: How to Enjoy a More Balanced Approach to Snacking

Snack Savvy: How to Enjoy a More Balanced Approach to Snacking
19 April 2024 Samantha Anderson
Cheesies Snack Savvy: How to Enjoy a More Balanced Approach to Snacking RoosterPR

As a nation of serial snackers, mindful eating beyond mealtimes is essential to supporting good heart, gut and overall health. Here, Max Rees, Big Cheese at savoury snack brand, Cheesies, shares his guide to balanced snacking.

As a nation, we love to snack. The rise of trends such as ‘rat snacking’ (whatever’s-left-in-the-fridge concoctions) and viral ‘caught snacking’ videos garnering 157.5 million views on TikTok, are evidence that our obsession with a tasty snack shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Co-founder of The Curators and Big Cheese at Cheesies, Max Rees, reflects: “Despite 95% of Brits grazing between meals(1), snacking still gets a bad rap. Whether it’s an on-the-go panini or a bar of chocolate when sugar levels are running low, snacks are still too often spurned as a naughty or unnecessary treat.

“It’s time this negative perception is challenged. Snacks serve as valid sustenance. Beyond stress eating or cramming a quick bite into busy lives, just like our daily meals, balanced snacking is about making considered decisions and choosing snacks that not only tantalise the taste buds but also provide mind and body with the fuel they need to thrive.

“Finding the balance between indulgence and nutrition can be tricky, but the key is to listen to your body, snack mindfully and opt for smart swaps. And there’s no need to sacrifice on flavour when a snack attack hits.”

To help ensure you enjoy more balanced snacking, benefitting both health and palate, Max Rees, Cheesies Big Cheese, has compiled the following guide.

Snack mindfully

It sounds simple, but the key to balanced snacking is figuring out why you’re reaching for a snack in the first place. Are you feeling low on energy, sad, genuinely hungry, or simply bored?

At its core, mindful snacking is all about listening to your body’s cues and understanding what it needs or wants. True hunger tends to build gradually, and in this case, any food – sweet or salty – should satisfy your appetite. When you’re ‘filling a hole’, you’ll also find it easier to stop before you feel overly full. In instances like this, there won’t be any feelings of guilt or regret because you have simply given your body the fuel it needs.

On the other hand, emotional hunger is usually a response to sadness, stress or boredom. This type of hunger causes cravings for a certain type of food, and it can be difficult to stop once you’ve started eating, leaving you feeling uncomfortably full, lethargic and inevitably, regretful.

Next time you feel like grabbing a snack, consider what the root cause is. Ask yourself if you’re genuinely hungry, whether food will make you feel more energised, or if you’re simply craving some comfort. There’s no wrong answer to any of these questions, but by thinking about why you want a snack, you will be able to make a more informed decision about what to snack on.

And let’s ditch the associated guilt. Snacking isn’t just about refuelling when you’re physically low on energy – it can absolutely be about supporting your mental wellbeing, but it’s important in either scenario to enjoy food responsibly and in moderation, ensuring it leaves you feeling happy and satisfied but not stuffed or remorseful. Sometimes, cheese & crackers or a chocolate biscuit are just what you need, but identifying why you need it might help you avoid going through the whole block or pack.

The sweet and savoury showdown

It’s not just about what you eat, but when you eat it that matters.

The best time to enjoy a sweet treat is mid-morning. This way, your body has a chance to use up the sugar you’ve given it. Whilst many like to enjoy dessert after an evening meal this can lead to bloating, heartburn, and even a restless night’s sleep. Instead, a sugary mid-morning pick-me-up will ensure you’re ready and raring to go through to lunch.

Savoury snacks are ideal for satisfying hunger pangs between meals or as pre-dinner appetisers. Savoury foods such as cheese, hummus or crudités will help keep your energy levels sustained between meals due to their typically higher protein or carbohydrate content, whilst the absence of high quantities of refined sugar means you won’t be left buzzing when it comes to winding down in the evening.

With all snacking, sweet or savoury, make sure to eat in moderation to avoid spoiling your appetite and potentially missing out on the nutritional content of your regular balanced meals.

Consider your choices carefully

Snacking will not negatively impact your health, but balance is key, so ensuring you opt for nutrient-dense foods as part of your everyday and save more processed, sugary or salty foods for occasional treats is important.

Rather than grazing on the empty calories and artificial additives found in many processed snacks, whole foods are far more nourishing and can be just as tasty. Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery are packed with essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Pair with some hummus for an added boost of protein and healthy fats.

Cheese is another great whole food and a fantastic source of protein and calcium – a 30g serving contains over a quarter of an adult’s recommended daily amount . It also offers healthy doses of phosphorous, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin b12, all of which are vital for maintaining overall wellbeing. There are a growing number of fridge-free cheese snacks available on supermarket shelves, making cheese just as easy as crisps or nuts to pack in a bag, ready to tackle any on-the-go hunger pangs.

Opting for fibre-rich snacks is a great way to keep your digestive system happy whilst also keeping hunger at bay. Popcorn, oaty bars and apple topped with peanut butter are tasty options that will keep your gut healthy and help you maintain energy levels throughout the day.

Where possible, try to limit refined sugars in your daily snack regime. Added sugars should make up no more than 5% of our daily diet, but many Brits average twice this. To satiate a sweet tooth without the resulting sugar crash, swap to fruit, malt loaf or yoghurt.

Replace rather than restrict

We are all blessed (or cursed) with either a sweet or savoury tooth. Whilst some dream of salty crisps, hunks of cheese or cured meats, others crave biscuits, chocolate, and cake. And as with most things in life, moderation is key.

Restrictive snacking is the voice in many of our heads telling us not to eat past 8pm, to only have one sweet treat a week or to never save the last slice of our favourite cheesey pizza for a mid-afternoon work snack again. This voice is neither helpful nor realistic and potentially only serves to intensify our cravings. Instead, tune into your body and eat intuitively.

Rather than cutting out snacking on a food group entirely because it is deemed as “bad” or “unhealthy”, try eating in moderation. Instead of devouring a whole sharing bag of chocolate buttons, just have a few and pair these with more satiating, nutritious whole foods like nuts to ensure you’re also giving your body a boost of protein, healthy fat and fibre. Give your body what it wants whilst also fuelling it with what it actually needs.

If you feel hungry at nighttime, don’t force yourself to go to bed with hunger pangs. Choosing nutrient-dense snacks that are low in sugar and fat, such as Greek yoghurt with berries, or a slice of wholegrain toast with avocado will curb your hunger without interfering with your sleep in the same way a sugar-filled or greasy snack might.

It’s unrealistic to think you can cut out entire food groups, so just remember; your body knows what it needs and will tell you. Trust it.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

  • (1) Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2023-24

For further press information, please contact:
Rebecca Claxton | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera-Kemp
Rooster.
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Cheesies
Scrumptious savoury snack brand, Cheesies, launched in 2019 and was acquired by The Curators in January 2023.

Offering an innovative range of delicious, fridge-free cheese bites, made from nothing but pure, unadulterated, mouthwatering cheeses, Cheesies are baked until crunchy and are the perfect (and one of the only) grab-and-go ambient cheese snacks on the market.

A bold, loud, energetic, fun, playful, cheeky, unapologetic, tasty snack brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously and offers a modern, unstuffy twist on cheese snacking, Cheesies is the one to watch for all cheese lovers.

Cheesies are available in Cheddar, Red Leicester, Goat’s Cheese, Gouda, and Chilli Cheddar varieties. They can currently be found on the shelves at Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, a large number of independent stores, and in the virtual aisles of Ocado, Amazon and the Cheesies website. Cheesies are also available to purchase at 33,000 feet from the High Life shop.

Cheesies can be enjoyed individually – a 20g pack (RRP £1.50) is a daily snack essential – or shared with fellow cheese lovers – the 60g sharing bag (RRP £3.50) is ideal with a glass of wine, beer or cider.

For those that find it too difficult to choose their favourite Cheesies, small and large variety packs, priced at £9.99 and £33.99 respectively can be purchased via Amazon and the Cheesies website.

For more information on Cheesies, visit: www.cheesies.co.uk