For the Salty Snacker

Why we crave them, and what to have on hand.
Published February 27, 2018

Cravings go beyond simply being hungry – we can crave different foods due to stress, certain deficiencies, the sight or smell of foods we like, or even our DNA.

Sometimes the reason we have cravings is because we haven’t eaten, according to a Cleveland Clinic article. If we skip or postpone meals, we’re basically setting ourselves up to experience cravings. And if we’re hungry, we start craving easy fuel – stuff like simple sugars and refined grains.

Similarly, cutting out the things we commonly crave – salt and sugar – altogether, can lead us to crave them more and potentially binge on them later.

Not to mention, salt is pretty addictive. Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD, notes in the Cleveland Clinic article, “sweet and salty foods and beverages are incredibly addictive. That’s why many processed foods are loaded with them. They trigger the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that motivates us to engage in rewarding behaviors.”

By having healthy alternative salty snacks on hand, we can avoid binges, continue eating healthily, and satisfy our cravings all in one.

Salty Snacks to Have on Hand

  • Nuts
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Popcorn – for the healthiest popping method, we recommend getting an air popper, which doesn’t require added oil to pop the kernels
  • Cheese – single rectangles of aged cheddar, Baby Bels, etc

Batch Prep Idea

Roasted chickpeas are versatile, crunchy and full of protein. You can find them in the “healthy snack” section of most supermarkets, but you can also easily make them at home using this recipe. You can a big batch and season with your favourite spice combinations.