The Disadvantages of Snacking

Snacks provide quick fixes when hunger strikes. Unfortunately, the familiar snacks that tantalize your taste buds often contain ingredients that negatively impact your health. If you wish to change your eating habits, keeping a food journal will shed light on your snacking trends and triggers and provide the information you need to improve your overall health. Talk to your physician if you are unsure about your present health condition.

Oral Health

As the gateway to the digestive system, the mouth and teeth remain an integral part of good health. The sugar left in your mouth from eating sugary snacks, especially when you cannot brush immediately after, provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which leads to tooth decay, reports Colorado State University Extension nutritionist J. Anderson. Additionally, according to A.D.A.M Health Solutions, excessive snacking increases the presence of acids in the mouth. Such acids aid the digestion process, but too much acid eats away at the tooth's surface, thus causing decay.

Blood Sugar Problems

The Effect of Phosphoric Acid on Teeth

Learn More

Eating sweet snacks when you are hungry destabilizes your blood sugar, causing sugar highs and subsequent crashes whether or not you are diabetic. Overconsumption of sugary snacks, which includes sweet drinks, may lead to the onset of hypoglycemia, commonly known as low blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, which is also referred to as high blood sugar. Prolonged blood sugar problems could have dangerous implications for your present and future health that range from circulatory disorders to strokes.

Weight Control and Other Adverse Health Conditions

In addition to undesirable sugar content, the high saturated fat and sodium content in many snack foods make it difficult to keep your weight under control, especially if you have the habit of snacking every day or multiple times during the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that between 15 and 30 percent of American adults struggle with obesity, a condition caused by overeating fatty, salty and sugar foods, which includes snacks. The CDC also states that overconsumption of such foods can be linked to numerous health conditions ranging from heart disease to some forms of cancer.


Nutritional Information for Dubble Bubble Gum

Learn More

Although snacks vary by price, making unplanned snack purchases on a regular basis could take a big bite out of your pay. Nutrition counselor Penny Klatell, Ph.D., R.N., writes that Americans use around 12 percent of their food budgets to purchase snacks at the supermarket, and the figure increases exponentially if you purchase snacks at pricey coffee shops and convenience stores. Buying snacks at gas stations and even at department store checkout counters further increases the cost of this eating habit.


Don't eliminate snacking altogether, even if you must cut calories for weight management or other health reasons. Eating the right foods in between meals keeps you energetic and provides valuable nutrition such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Instead, plan ahead by adding healthy snacks, such as whole-grain granola bars, nuts, dry and fresh fruit, raw vegetables, low-fat cheese sticks and snack-sized cups of yogurt, to your shopping list. Pack enough snacks for your work day. Pack healthy bites for outings with friends and family to help you avoid calorie-intensive snacks such as cookies, ice cream, soft pretzels and pizza.