Health

Grab a Snack: on the go

Nutritious and snack don’t quite go together. However, they don’t need to be exclusive. We all snack at times although it requires some thought and planning.

Convenient snacking

We all know that feeling when your energy level drops and you can’t help but feel you need to grab a snack. However you haven’t prepared a snack and you go for the more convenient, often unhealthy option.

Snacks are easy and have a nice feel in your mouth taste. They also have added sugar and flavouring. Add a bit of caffeine found in coffee and voila you have an easy cheap snack.

However, this is not the way to go. The high from the sugar only lasts for a little while and then you’re back where you started.

There is no doubt that snacking is the main reason people fail to keep their weight off and also a huge contributor to obesity and diabetes.

Snacks have little nutritional value which leads to a decline in health and high salt content contribute to diabetes.

As obvious as it may seem and as you probably already know, it is much better to snack on fruit. Surprisingly it is very rarely done. Be snack savvy by keeping portion sizes small.

It’s meant to be a snack, not a meal. In addition, don’t eat out of boredom or stress and try not to mistake thirst for hunger.

The good in the snack

Apples and berries are a good snack; high in fibre and antioxidants. They have low Glycaemic Load (GL), which means they keep sugar levels down.

Nuts are also a good snack as they are high in fibre, healthy fats, magnesium and vitamin E. They can be high in calories, so eat in moderation. A good alternative to nuts is seeds that are high in zinc and essential fatty acids.

If you have sweet tooth like me, you may want to try snacking on raisins, dates and dried fruit instead of sweets and candy. You could mix up some raisins, nuts and seeds to make a healthy go-to snack.

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Half an avo or low-fat cottage cheese as a spread on crackers is a good snack. Try rice cake or oatcakes (still trying to try them out. I guess it’s an acquired taste) as an alternative to crackers.

There are healthy snack options available on the market such as veggie chips instead of potato. Popcorn is also a good snack, low in calories and high in fibre.

Low-fat yoghurt is good for your bowel, providing good bacteria and calcium. If you love fruit yoghurt, it’s better to add fresh fruits to plain yoghurt which won’t have added sugar and preservatives.

Choose a healthy variety of snacks

Muesli or fruit/health bars are also a better option for chocolate bars. However, watch out for the high sugar level and try to avoid hydrogenated fats found in cakes and biscuits.

Keep snacking, the healthy way

The principals of healthy snack eating are similar to those of healthy eating: low sugar and salt, plenty of fruit and vegetables, the right fats, whole grains and lots of variety. All it takes is a bit more forethought.

I love to snack, and I often find myself just grabbing the first thing that catches my eye. Also, notice how the crisps, chocolates and cookies are at the end of every aisle.

They are also placed at the checkout just in case you “forgot” to grab it. Don’t fall for that trap. Make sure you’re not hungry when you go shopping.

Old habits are hard to break, so be realistic. If you manage to eat healthy snacks for 4 days in a week allow yourself a day off. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Having healthier options on hand makes it easier to pass by the junk.

Eventually, you’ll find that those snacks you used to love aren’t quite the same. And shruggingly munch and crunch on your celery stick and humus.

Love, Everyday

Ntha

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