Sweet or savoury? The ultimate snack debate

Amelia Thorpe gives her answer to the ultimate snack question: sweet or savoury?

Amelia Thorpe
2nd April 2020
Image: Brooke Lark (Unsplash)
I often find myself on midnight pilgrimages to the kitchen, looting the fridge and raiding the cupboards and shelves of all their tasty treasures. But I am always stopped in my tracks and faced with that million dollar question; will it be a sweet treat or a savoury delight?

Being a die-hard sweet-tooth, I naturally gravitate towards anything sugary. From cookies to cake and gummies to chocolate (especially chocolate), no matter how full I am, I always (somehow) have room for dessert. However, I only ever really get an urge to eat sweet snacks when I am getting a craving, and no that’s got nothing to do with ‘that time of the month’ but more to do with the fact I am well and truly addicted to sugar, and you might be too!

Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine actually revealed that sugar has similar effects on the brain as illegal drugs such as cocaine have, such as bingeing, craving, tolerance, withdrawal, dependence and reward. This is because when sugar is consumed, our bodies produce huge levels of Dopamine (AKA: the ‘pleasure hormone’) which in turn, makes us feel good. But when these levels drop we experience a huge come down, which causes us to ‘refuel’ on sugar. Therefore, despite sugary snacks being unbelievably delicious, they are easily addictive and unhealthy in excess as not only sugar can cause tooth decay but surplus sugar in the body turns into fat!

That being said, you can never go wrong with a good Terry’s Chocolate Orange or a delicious Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Furthermore, there are plenty sweet treats that aren’t so bad for you, and they come in the form of fruit! I personally love munching down on a good apple or peach, and snacking on handfuls of grapes or berries as they all provide both delicious flavours and essential vitamins that your body will love. Fruit is also a healthy way to satisfy sugar cravings without putting your body at risk.

On the other hand, something more savoury is always a go-to for snack time, my favourite include sweet potato fries, pretzels and anything dipped in hummus, not to mention the God-tier snack which are Walker’s That sweet chilli sensations! Not only are savoury snacks (usually) more filling but they are (usually) better for you in general as they contain far less refined sugar.

However, they can contain a whole lot of salt, which is a vice in itself as too much salt can cause high blood pressure which puts a strain on vital organs such as your heart, liver and kidneys.

Point being, you should make sure not to eat too much snacks with a high salt content and make sure you maintain a balanced diet and make sure your whole diet doesn’t constitute of just snacks (e.g. trading in a full meal for snacks), which is hard for me as I am a certified snacker, as its hard to get all the nutrients your body needs through just snacking all day! As for snacks, however, I still prefer sweet snacks over savoury ones, but that is just my own opinion.

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