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The Impact Your Favourite Snacks Have On Your Body

The Healthy EmployeeBlood pressure & heart disease The Impact Your Favourite Snacks Have On Your Body

The Impact Your Favourite Snacks Have On Your Body

We all have our favourite snacks that we know aren’t the greatest for our health. However, would you think differently about them if you knew the direct effect they had on your body?


  • 1-5 seconds  The salt dissolves onto your tongue, giving you an instant salty hit. We are biologically programmed to crave salt. Our craving for salt only fades when the salt levels in the blood are high, which takes at least 30 minutes.
  • 5-20 seconds  When we eat starchy foods that are cooked in high temperatures, a chemical called acrylamide is produced. This chemical is linked to an increased risk of cancer.
  • 2-15 minutes  Salt is absorbed into the blood, making us feel thirsty. The body reduces the concentration of salt to safe levels, which in turn increases the blood pressure. As you begin to digest the crisps, your body will produce a hunger-suppressing hormone called leptin, however, this hormone is suppressed due to the salt intake, which means you will not feel the effects of fullness and likely continue eating.
  • 3 minutes-2 hours  Your body will continue to dilute the salt, which means your blood pressure works at an increased rate, along with your heart.
  • 2-6 hours  The oil from the crisps are absorbed into the blood, which are then converted into fat cells throughout the body.
  • 6 hours-several days  Your blood pressure will remain elevated for a number of days, working hard to rid the kidneys of the excess salt.



  • 0 seconds  Endorphins (feel good hormones) are released into the body simply by the smell of chocolate. This increases the happy hormone, serotonin, which in turn increases your appetite.
  • 5-15 seconds  Another feel good hormone, dopamine, is released upon the fat and sugar from the chocolate being released in the mouth.
  • 1-2 minutes  As the chocolate is swallowed, acid is released into the stomach. Heartburn is a common side effect of this.
  • 2-5 minutes  Once the chocolate is being digested in the stomach, blood sugar levels and energy begin to rise.
  • 5-30 minutes  Excess energy is converted into fat within 30 minutes. Caffeine from the chocolate is also released, boosting alertness.
  • 30-90 minutes  Caffeine is at its peak, boosting concentration and alertness. Blood sugar levels will begin to plummet, causing lethargy.
  • 90 minutes-2 hours  The body releases a stimulant called theobromine. This will help to give you a mental boost but also increase your rate of urine production.
  • 2-3 hours  Blood sugar levels will hit their lowest point, causing lethargy and grumpiness.
  • 5-6 hours  Fat from the chocolate continues to seep into the bloodstream, being stored in the organs and under the skin.


Sugar laden cereal

  • 5-10 seconds  High in both sugar and salt, your taste receptors will be doing backflips, and will be more sensitive to the sugar content, making your cereal taste even sweeter.
  • 10 seconds-10 minutes  Sugar laden cereals are low in fibre and fat, which makes it incredibly easy for the body to break down. This can be done in as quickly as 10 seconds after swallowing – thus leaving you feeling hungry almost immediately after eating. Most cereals have added vitamins and minerals to give them a nutritional boost. However, because they are not natural sources, a large percentage of it is passed straight through the body, not allowing it to reap the nutritional benefits.
  • 10-40 minutes  Your cereal can be digested within 10 minutes, leaving your stomach empty. The refined starch within the cereal is quickly broken down into sugar, making you want more shortly after finishing your breakfast.
  • 40 minutes-2 hours  Your blood sugar level will begin to nose-dive, leaving you feeling lethargic and hungry.


Energy drinks

  • 0-1 second  Most energy drinks are extremely high in acid, but this is masked with the high quantity of sugar. However, the acid will erode tooth enamel.
  • 10 minutes  Your blood pressure and heart rate will begin to rise due to the caffeine intake.
  • 15-40 minutes  You will feel more alert due to the caffeine influx. Your blood sugar levels will also begin to soar.
  • 40-50 minutes  All of the caffeine has now been absorbed, causing your liver to work hard to flush it out. This can take up to 12 hours.
  • 1 hour  Both the caffeine and sugar rush are now beginning to plummet, this will leave you feeling low, lethargic and grumpy.
  • 12-24 hours  Headaches, irritability and constipation are common side effects from energy drink consumption. This can last up to 9 days for someone who drinks a lot of caffeine and then suddenly stops.


Our full range of employee nutrition services provide an end-to-end campaign aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of your employees, and therefore your business. 

Give us a call on 07778 218009, give us a call to find out more.

The Healthy Employee
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