Healthy Snacking 101
Healthy snacking 101 with Anna Ross
One area of people’s diets that can be a common downfall is snacking. Too many high energy (kilojoule) snacks can lead to weight gain. If you don’t get hungry between meals there may be no need to add snacks in, however if you’re having three meals and are ravenous by the time each meal comes around it’s easy to overeat which can negatively impact weight control and energy levels (you know that lethargic feeling when your body is digesting an overfilled stomach?). In this case adding snacks between meals could be a good option.
Healthy snacking can help your energy levels, regulate your mood (avoid getting hangry!), curb cravings, and assist with weight management. The bottom line is that it depends on your individual needs and goals. It’s important to listen to your hunger cues and avoid eating out of habit or when you’re tired, bored, stressed or emotional. Often thirst can also be mistaken for hunger, so try drinking a glass of water if you haven’t had much to drink and see if you’re still hungry. The size of the snack is also something to think about. A snack should be smaller than a meal to take the edge off your hunger - around 600 kilojoules per snack (150 calories) is a good aim. I also can’t recommend enough being prepared and making sure you have healthy snacks with you when you’re on-the-go. Foods high in fibre and protein are ideal snacks as these help to keep you full.
The next time you’re reaching for a snack or packing snacks for the day ahead, keep these options in mind:
- Air popped popcorn (E.g. plain, cinnamon, smoked paprika)
- Low fat yoghurt (~200g) – natural, fruit or diet
- Whole fruit or fruit salad or around 2 tablespoons of dried fruit
- Wholegrain crackers or bread (E.g. 4 Vita Weats or 2 Ryvitas) topped with low fat cheese/cottage cheese and veggies or nut butter
- Unsalted nuts (~1/4 cup)
- Hummus/guacamole/cottage cheese/tomato salsa and wholegrain crackers or veggie sticks (carrot, capsicum, cucumber, green beans, celery etc)
- Chia pudding
- 1 muesli/nut bar (aim for <15g sugar per 100g on the label)
- Small homemade muffin
- Small tin tuna or baked beans or boiled egg on wholegrain crackers or bread
- 1 cup of vegetable soup (homemade is best, or canned, refrigerated or instant)
- 2 fruit slice biscuits
- 1 slice raisin toast with thin spread of margarine
Thanks for reading, feel free to get in contact if you have any questions that you’d like answered or topics that you’d like covered. For more healthy eating tips and to get in contact head to http://www.activefarmers.com.au/active-farmers-nutrition.