Health Benefits of Charcuterie & the Grazing Lifestyle

Grazing – as defined for humans – means eating a variety of appetizers as a full meal, or eating snacks throughout the day in place of a few full meals. According to the American Dietetic Association and the European Food Information Council, eating more frequently throughout the day versus two or three full meals helps increase metabolism, increases concentration, helps lower cholesterol, cuts out on those after-meal slumps, helps control blood sugar, and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

The Grazing Lifestyle – snacking intentionally with Charcuterie – also eliminates the need for those last-minute indulgences on gas-station junk food or whatever carb-heavy snacks are handy. Intentional snacking with Charcuterie can increase our nutrient intake and allow us to get the benefits of many different types of food – things we probably aren’t eating daily on the three-full-meal lifestyle, like raw vegetables, raw fruits and nitrate-free cured meats. And if you are in need of extra protein, vitamins, and fiber, adding more foods that have these nutrients in addition to or in place of your regular meals will give your body more of the good stuff it needs.   

But besides being beneficial to your health and brainpower, it’s fun. It has become an art form on social media, with major news outlets reporting on the growing trend and Charcuterie fans’ obsession with posting photos of their creations.

It’s also fun and exciting “IRL” (in real life, for those who don’t speak social shortcode!). There is actual science explaining why humans get more pleasure from “snacking” than from eating a full meal, as explained in a news report on Charcuterie from The Guardian:

“The way that appetites usually work is that once we’ve eaten numerous mouthfuls of a certain food, we stop enjoying it as much. This is known as stimulus specific satiety. It doesn’t mean we’re full already. If we switch to a different food, we can continue eating, no problem (which is probably why restaurants are increasingly serving small plates – the bigger the variety of foods we order, the more room we’ll find in our stomachs). But the notion of stimulus specific satiety provides further explanation as to why a single mouthful of something is more delicious than a plate full of it.”