We had great feedback from our Healthy Breakfast article and this issue we’re going to look at how snacks can be healthy. Snacks can be beneficial to your health rather than the cause of those extra kilos. Did you know that snacks can make up as much as 50 percent of many people’s daily food intake? Here are a few ideas to keep you feeling fit and healthy while including snacks as part of your balanced diet.
Ready to eat: soybeans
Soybeans are a protein-rich snack, edamame being full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. A delicious and satisfying way to fill those rumbling gaps.
Nutritional information for one cup: 189 calories, 1g fat, 3g sugar, 8g fibre, 17g protein.
A sweet snack: wholemeal muffins with a tablespoon of fruit
Match one homemade or Duchy Original wholemeal muffin with a tablespoon of fruit for a satisfying, high-fibre sweet snack.
Nutritional information for one muffin: 130 calories, 6g sugar, 1g of fat, 11g of fibre.
A classic: blueberries and Greek yogurt
Be careful here as lots of yoghurts masquerade themselves as being healthy, but can be loaded with artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup or as much sugar as a chocolate bar! Choose low-fat and low-sugar alternatives, topping them off with half a cup of naturally sweet blueberries for some added fibre. Blueberries contain lots of antioxidants too, while the yogurt itself is full of calcium and protein.
Nutritional information per serving: 120 calories, 15g protein, 10g of sugar, 0g fat, 1.6g fibre.
Cheese lovers: cottage cheese with fresh pineapple chunks
Look for cottage cheese with only 4 percent milk fat to keep this all-day snack at around 110 calories per half cup with 5g fat, 15g protein and 2g of sugar. Mix into a half cup of fresh (not canned) chopped pineapple to add flavour and texture. The protein in the cottage cheese helps to balance the sugar content in the pineapple so it will keep you satisfied for longer.
Nutritional information: 151 calories, 15g protein, 10g sugar, 5g fat, 1g fibre.
The cholesterol myth: one egg a day
Eggs often get a bad rap because of the cholesterol they contain. However, cholesterol levels are determined by the fat (not the cholesterol) in the foods we eat, making it perfectly safe to eat an egg a day.
Nutritional information for 4 filled egg halves: 96 calories, 3g protein, 1g fat, 1g fibre.
Back to your childhood: instant oatmeal
Instant oatmeal makes a perfect sweet and fulfilling at-your-desk snack food. However, many brands have way too much sugar. Watch out for low-sugar instant packets for a fast, delicious and satisfying snack.
Nutritional information for one packet (made with water): 120 calories, 2g fat, 3g fibre, 4g sugar, 4g protein.
Pure fibre: carrots and hummus
This snack is a good choice because it’s stacked with fibre and high in all the things that keep you full, as well as being high in nutrients. And you don’t have to lug a huge tub of hummus to the office. Grab a more convenient size from the supermarket or make your own and, eaten along with some baby carrots, makes for a complete in-between snack.
Nutritional information for 2 oz. classic hummus with 10 baby carrots: 170 calories, 12g fat, 3g sugar, 4g protein, 5g fibre.
Easy peasy… roasted pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds with the shell take longer to chew and fill you up faster than if you eat them pre-shelled. Plus, these little seeds are full of magnesium, zinc and anxiety-calming tryptophan.
Nutritional information for a half cup pumpkin seeds (in shell): 143 calories, 6g fat, 6g protein.
Mini lunch: vegetable sushi rolls
Veggie sushi stays fresh longer than the fish variety. Look for rolls made with brown rice for more fibre.
Nutrition information for 5 pieces: approx. 140 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sugar, 3g fibre, 4g protein.
Cinema snack: popcorn
Microwave your own single-serving, 100-calorie pack of popcorn. Then you can eat the whole bag!
Nutritional information for one bag popped: 100 calories, 1.5g fat, 3g fibre, 3g protein.
There are lots more healthy snacks up for grabs. Be creative, try new options and you never will get bored or hungry. The best way to feel good is by eating well and enjoying your food. And then regular exercise will do the rest.