Our lifestyles are so busy these days, that it is so important to have those healthy snacks on hand to grab when we’re on the go so you don’t end up reaching for that chocolate bar or bag of crisps in the shop.
Here I have compiled a list of my Top 6 go to healthy snacks that I tuck into daily. Sometimes mid-morning for my 11am snack, other days when I’m hitting that 4pm slump. And sometimes, just to combat those late night munchies.
1. Rice Cakes
Eating rice cakes can help with weight management when you substitute them for other high-calorie snacks such as a bag of crisps or tortilla chips.
2 rice cakes contain only 54calories, and 11g of carbs, and you can get them nowadays in so many flavours to curb those sweet or indeed salty cravings. I am currently OBSESSING over the Sweet Chilli flavoured ones from Aldi.
If you wanted to opt for the plain, you could also spread some peanut butter on them, or some honey.
2. Peanut Butter & Apple
Fats have a bad rep – it is ingrained in society to steer away from any ‘fatty’ foods and instead opt for the ‘low fat’ option. However this diet misconception is based on old research, and frankly bad science.
Did you know Fat is actually very satiating? Meaning it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This makes it difficult to overeat on a high-fat, low carb diet. Fat also provides twice the caloric energy as carbs – 9 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram so it will provide you with energy for a longer period of time.
My favourite choice of fat’s (and those who know me will know the answer to this one) but it’s nut butter, specifically Peanut Butter. I buy it in bulk (1kg tubs) and maybe do eat it a little too quickly.
But on the topic of nut butters, there are so many different varieties out there on the market. Be wise with your choice and make sure to check the label as many of them have added preservatives and sugars. I opt for plain, organic crunchy peanut butter and team it with some freshly sliced apple or banana.
3. Dark chocolate
I eat chocolate every day. YES, EVERY DAY.
The reason dark chocolate is considered healthier than standard milk chocolate is because it is less processed and contains fewer additives such as hydrogenated oils, flavours, colourings and sugar – which is why it tastes slightly bitter!
Did you know that the cocoa bean contains certain antioxidants called “flavonoids”, which research has shown may be beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. So there are also health benefits to dark chocolate.
I get my dark chocolate in Aldi as sell 25g bars which come in 5 per pack, and are ideal to slip into your bag and have on you when you’re on the go.
4. Yogurt/Cottage Cheese
So it’s no secret that eating yogurt is a good option for a healthy snack but let’s be honest plain yogurt can sometimes be bland and just doesn’t offer much excitement to your 11am coffee break.
I add a spoon of peanut butter to my yogurt, or add in some honey/sweetner or jam to sweeten it up. But you can also top it with some raspberries or blueberries, some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or raisins. The good thing about yogurt is that anything kind of goes with it. You can also opt for a scoop of protein to sweeten it up.
For those of you however, who like me, maybe have stomachs that don’t agree with yogurt, I opt for cottage cheese and add in the same toppings.
And for a late night treat, and a cheeky alternative to reaching for the ice-cream, why not put some yogurt into the freezer for an hour or 2 and let it freeze. Take it out, top it with your toppings and you have your own healthy Froyo.
5. Carrots and Hummus
This is one of my favourite snacks on-the-go as it has a great nutritional profile and you can pick it up from almost all supermarkets.
Hummus is high in protein, healthy fat, and dietary fibre with a low GI index – meaning you won’t get erratic spikes in your blood sugar.
However, for those trying to lose weight or avoid weight gain, be careful of mindless dunking as it quite calorific!
This is why the pre-packaged, one-serving carrot and hummus packs are great because it stops you going back for extra servings of that deliciously creamy hummus!
6. Protein bars
No matter what supermarket, corner store, health food store, pharmacy even that you step into, shelves always stock some form of protein bar.
Easy to eat when you’re on the go, and as a healthy alternative to a chocolate bar but do beware of eating these in abundance because their calorie count is quite high.
But still nice from time to time for a cheeky guilt free treat or to grab for a quick fix