How to Live on Snacks, by HealthyVending.com CEO Sean Kelly

Photograph by Elizabeth Renstrom for Bloomberg Businessweek

Sean Kelly started snacking at 6:30 a.m. today. My employees know I can sustain myself on nothing but snacks. We need to accept snacking and make sure we’re eating the right snacks rather than this absolute crap that has been stacking the grocery aisles for decades. A lot of people say, “If you’re not having a whole meal, that’s not a good thing.” That’s a misconception.

Never snack on simple carbohydrates such as potato chips. Simple carbohydrates are high-glycemic, so they convert immediately to energy, and that spikes blood sugar. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or run a marathon, it’s important to maintain a constant blood-sugar level.

Let’s say you love to eat Popchips at 5 p.m. every day. First ask, Is there a healthier alternative with the same taste profile? If not, what can you add to it that will lower the overall glycemic load? Snacks such as almonds, nuts, or other lean proteins and healthy fats are a perfect combo. You need something to slow down that carbohydrate impact on your body. Otherwise it could start turning to fat in as little as 30 minutes.

That’s why trail mix is so fantastic. You have these high-glycemic raisins, but you mix them with nuts. Even if you put chocolate in there, you’re taking this high-glycemic food and making it a sustained-energy food. The worst thing you can do is shove perfection down people’s throats, because then you don’t even change a habit. We’ve ruined our eating over the last generation or two. We’re not going to fix it right away. —As told to Elizabeth Dwoskin

Kelly is co-founder and CEO of healthyvending.com. 

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