How snacking impacts your health

How snacking impacts your health


Evidence shows that all over the world, people are snacking more — with the United Kingdom and the United States leading the way in unhealthy snacking habits. 

But what exactly counts as a snack? And is all snacking unhealthy?

Snacking can be a confusing and controversial topic. There are various opinions and myths about what's good for you. Many people struggle to make healthy choices, while others may be unaware of the impact of snacking habits on their gut health and overall well-being.

In today’s episode, Jonathan is joined by ZOE regulars and renowned experts Sarah Berry and Tim Spector for an enlightening discussion that will help you snack smarter. 

Armed with the latest scientific research, they unravel the complexities of snacking and share evidence-based insights on what's truly beneficial for your body. Along the way, they cover healthy options, snack timing, and what we should all be avoiding.

Download our FREE guide — Top 10 Tips to Live Healthier:


00:00 Introduction

01:23 Quick Fire Questions

04:03 What is a snack?

04:55 How much energy comes from snacks?

05:40 Cultural differences with snacks

08:33 What happens when we snack?

10:29 Are some healthy looking bars actually bad for us?

12:16 Do ulta-processed snacks make us hungrier?

13:57 What effect do additives and emulsifiers have?

15:04 Results of study on healthy vs unhealthy snacks

15:22 What impact does snacking have on our gut?

18:00 Why could snacking be unhealthy?

18:56 What are the concerns around snacking frequency?

19:50 Does the quality of your snack make a difference?

21:31 Could skipping breakfast be healthy for us?

23:17 Does timing of snacking have any influence on our health?

28:42 How could time-restricted eating benefit us?

32:20 What is the impact of snacking on weight gain?

34:15 What impact does snacking have on blood sugar?

36:25 How people on different routines react to snacking

38:27 What does the recent ZOE research show us on the topics of snacking?

40:16 How bad is late night snacking for our health?

42:19 How should we be snacking?

46:30 How has snacking changed over time?

47:26 Actionable advice on snacking

52:52 How much do your meals impact snacking?

56:50 Summary

59:40 Goodbyes

59:44 Outro

In today’s episode:

Meal patterns across ten European countries – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study 

What is a snack, why do we snack, and how can we choose better snacks? A review of the definitions of snacking, motivations to snack, contributions to dietary intake, and recommendations for improvement

Snacking on whole almonds for 6 weeks improves endothelial function and lowers LDL cholesterol but does not affect liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy adults: The

Heart UK