Despite what some may think, choosing nutritious snacks is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet, especially if you are watching your weight. Snacking has been given a bad rap in the past, but this mid meal can provide you with energy and protein during the day, managing your hunger and keeping you alert.
A healthy snack between meals means that you are less likely to overeat at your next main meal. Snacks don’t have to be ridiculously expensive protein bars or shakes, sometimes even the simplest options are the most satisfying. However, not all snacks are created equal. Below are some common, less nutritious options, and how you can swap them.
Swap your potato chips (~1200kJ) for crackers and cheese (~600kJ)
It’s very easy to scoff down a packet of potato chips, however these snacking choice is energy-dense rather than nutrient-dense. Crackers and low fat cheese is easy to munch on-the-go, can provide you with a serve of breads and cereals, and dairy, and will keep you fuller for longer. Choosing wholegrain crackers will provide a healthy source of carbohydrates, and include fibre, which is great for your gut.
Swap your chocolate bar (~1000kJ) for 30g of nuts (500kJ)
Nuts are a great snack option; they are high in healthy fats, protein and fibre. In fact, consuming an appropriate portion of nuts (30g or approximately 10-15 nuts) is associated with weight loss. A study found that women who ate this serve each day for five or more days of the week had ~30% less risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, compared to those who did not consume nuts. Yes, they can be expensive. However, if you purchase a large bag, and portion them up correctly, you will find that they last much longer.
Swap ice-cream (~1200kJ) for 170g tub of frozen yoghurt (~600kJ)
Do you often get cravings for the sweet, creamy taste of ice-cream? Try and swap this dessert for a tub of frozen low fat yoghurt. Not only do you add to your dairy serves for the day, but yoghurt is a great source of calcium, protein and other nutrients such as vitamin B, potassium and magnesium. Additionally, yoghurt contains probiotics, or good bacteria, which is great for gut health.