A snack comes in handy when you feel a bit peckish in-between meals, but you have to be watchful of what and how much you eat. There are tasty but healthy treats you can nibble on without gaining weight of feeling guilty.
Most of us love snacking, however, we are often warned that unhealthy eating is associated with weight gain. It also easily contributes as many kilojoules as your energy intake from three meals, so look out for snack options of about 500 kilojoules.
5 reasons snacking is good for you:
- The digestive system copes better with food intake divided into small portions throughout the day.
- Healthy snacks help to add valuable nutrients that are scarce in the staple foods we consume during main meals.
- Snacking can help with appetite control, notably if the snacks are rich in protein and healthy fats.
- It can support weight loss – regular eating helps maintain a fast metabolism. What you eat, of course, is as important as how much you eat.
Did you know?
The average person’s snacks contribute the same amount of kilojoules as their entire daily kilojoule intake from meals.
- Portion control vs counting kilojoules:
Sensible snacking comprises healthy food items enjoyed in moderation. Check that your treats contain about 500 kilojoules or less per portion to prevent excessive energy intake that would result in weight gain.
- When snacking derails the diet:
Late night eating and goodies purchased on the run contribute the most to unhealthy eating and excessive energy intake. Plan for these eventualities by stocking your late night snack cupboard with healthy options and carry healthy options in your handbag.
5 healthy snack ideas, ideal for your handbag
|500 kJ snack Ideas for your handbag|
|10 – 12 almonds||Snacking on small portions supports appetite control due to the high protein and fat content.|
|5 dried prunes||Prunes are packed with antioxidants that are anti-ageing and they are low GI, so it will keep you fuller for longer.|
|20 g dark chocolate||Dark chocolate is lower in sugar than regular milk chocolate and supports mental alertness due to theobromine in the cocoa.|
|30 g Vital mini rice cakes – flavoured variants||These rice cakes are made with brown rice and are gluten free, ideal for an in-between snack.|
|45 g lean biltong||Biltong is packed with protein, iron and other minerals. A substantial snack to arrest an out of control appetite.|
5 late night snack ideas
|500 kJ late night snacks||Benefits|
|Chamomile tea with 2 rice cake + cottage cheese & honey||The combination of chamomile tea, dairy and honey is known to boost the feel good serotonin levels and calm an anxious mind.|
|1 medium banana + 1 teaspoon peanut butter||Not only a yummy combo, but rich in potassium and protein, important nutrients for rest and recovery.|
|2 corn cakes + avocado and lemon pepper||Ideal way to cram more omega 9 oils into your diet to support a healthy heart.|
|½ cup carrot sticks + ¼ cup low fat hummus||This taste combination is magic and a snack that will chase away a nightmarish late night appetite.|
|½ cup Greek yoghurt = 1 tablespoon blueberries||Greek yoghurt is delicious on its own and very filling due to the high fat content.|