Snacks, if planned right, can be a strong element of a healthy diet, and provide an energy boost in-between meals.
Snacks for less active people should have no more than 200 kcal. Those who are quite active can have a snack with up to 300 kcal.
As we continue to work from home, we might look for food for the wrong reasons. Before you open that fridge, ensure that you:
Drink plain water first
Sometimes we confuse hunger with thirst. Get a good glass of water first.
Check the reason why you are eating
Are you physically hungry, or are you bored or distressed? Eating out of boredom or because you have emotional hunger can lead to weight gain. If you are not physically hungry but feel like eating, try to distract yourself (eg. calling a friend or exercising).
Prepare your snacks ahead of time in the right portions.
Preparing snacks ahead of time can prevent overeating when hunger strikes.
Always eat in the same place
Just like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, avoid eating while distracted, especially when watching tv or browsing on your phone or computer. Having a standard place to eat will promote a more mindful experience and reduce the chances of overeating
Here are some examples of healthy snacks:
One portion of fruit with one tablespoon of peanut butter
Fruits are the ultimate ideal snack. They are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are beneficial to our health. We should aim to have 2 portions of fruit a day. The peanut butter will add some protein and healthy fats that will keep you satisfied for longer.
Make a smoothie
Blend one glass of enriched reduced sugar soy milk or enriched low-fat milk with frozen berries. Enriched dairy or soy milk will give you some of the calcium and vitamin D you need in the day.
One bowl of cherry tomatoes/carrots/celery sticks/edamame with hummus
Hummus is a delicious blend of chickpeas with sesame paste (tahini) and lots of olive oil. Although healthy, it can be quite high in calories depending on how much olive oil is added. If you are preparing at home, use less olive oil.
Have about 2 to 3 tablespoons of hummus with your veggies.
One small handful (30g) unsalted plain nuts or seeds
Nuts and seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients as they are rich in calories, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenoids, and plant sterols. Nuts are an essential source of protein for vegetarian and vegan diets. If incorporated in a healthy and balanced diet, they can protect your heart and improve blood sugar control.
For some, oats are a typical breakfast meal, but who says it can only be eaten at breakfast? Half a cup of uncooked oats has only 150 calories and plenty of fibre that can keep you full for longer. The soluble fibre present in the oatmeal, can also reduce blood cholesterol and control blood sugar. Cook it with water and add non-fat milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract. Some people add a lemon peel while cooking it as well.
Easy to prepare, eggs are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and will not fail to fill you up.
One small tub (150-200 grams) of low-fat yoghurt
Add some berries and a bit of cinnamon for a delicious blend. If you are looking for something that will satiate you even more, look for the non-fat, high protein yoghurt.
Top rice or corn puffed cakes with nut butter
Rice or corn puffed cakes are a low-calorie option for a snack that is also high in fibre. Usually, 3 cakes are the equivalent to one slice of bread! Besides paring with nut butter, you can use:
- low-fat cheese and tomatoes
- hummus with cucumber and tomatoes
- avocado or guacamole
- tuna salad
Low-fat cottage cheese with 2 teaspoons of your favourite jam
Of all cheeses, cottage cheese is the cheese with the lowest amount of fat and still high in protein. Cottage cheese can be eaten on its own or topped with jam, fresh fruit or even with a bit of granola.
Roast chickpeas and season with spices
Rich in protein and fibre this can be an ideal snack that will not only fill you up but also help to maintain a healthy bowel. One of its fibre, called galacto-oligosaccharides, has a prebiotic effect in our gut. Prebiotics bring some health benefits including improvement of the gut microbiota, better mineral absorption, may protect from colon cancer and improve blood sugar and insulin levels.
Do not use oil when roasting the chickpeas and have 2/3 of a cup (170grams)
To find out on which snacks fit with your health goals, talk with a dietitian today at MyDoc.
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MyDoc Healthcare team