It can be hard to eat healthy snacks when you are on the go and there are naughty alternatives around you everywhere (hello chocolate bars and donuts!). Although these snacks are ok occasionally, they aren’t good for daily consumption. We share our top ten healthy and easy snacks to have on hand during the day:
Almonds are high in protein, nutrient-rich nuts that help suppress the appetite, beat flab and also keep your heart healthy. They are also packed with minerals, among them manganese, which helps the body form strong bones and regulates blood sugar, and magnesium which is essential for organ, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and regulating blood pressure.
2. Trail mix
Healthy trial mix that includes nuts, seeds and sultanas can stave off the mid afternoon hunger pangs but be careful of trial mix that includes chocolate, banana chips and unwanted added fats and sugars. A lot of dried fruits are actually high in sugar and have a high GI count, so keep this in mind when buying trail mix.
Yoghurt is a bone-building goodie provides 20 percent of your RDA for calcium and vitamin D. It also includes protein, which helps you feel fuller until dinner time. Avoid low-fat versions of yoghurt, as they can be very high in sugar, or artificial sweeteners, to compensate for the lack of fat. Try and buy Greek or natural yoghurt, as they are more filling without the added nasties.
A large banana, at 121 calories, is a perfect snack between meals to keep you satisfied.
5. Air Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is mostly air, you can eat a lot for minimal calories, which mean you can have about 3.5 cups for only 100 calories. And since popcorn is naturally a whole grain, you also get 4 grams of filling fibre. We love Cobs popcorn, which is available at most supermarkets nationally.
Cheese offers healthy fibre and protein, but also come loaded with fat and sodium, so go for the skinny versions. When you’re eating on the go, crackers and cheese offer a convenient and filling snack option.
7. Health Bars and Muffins
Health bars can be an excellent hunger buster but just be aware that some bars are high in sugar and/or fat. Choose a bar that is high in protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Our favourite bars are from Carmen’s Kitchen. My personal favourite is the gluten free nut bar.
Muffins are the perfect go-to snack. They’re on-the-go, delicious mini cakes of fluffy goodness and can be made healthy to keep you feeling full all morning or afternoon long. Look at low GI and low sugar recipes.
8. In season fruit
In Summer, fruit is in plentiful supply. A bunch of seedless grapes, nectarines, apricots, mangoes, peaches are fantastic choices for a mid-afternoon or morning snack. In the cooler months, apples and oranges are in supply and are full of fantastic nutrients.
Keeping it classic, a snack of veggies and dip is always a good option, too, because when in doubt, go for the foods that are the least processed and also the freshest if possible. Also, if you’re a fan of eating more rather than less, this snack is for you, as veggies are low in calories so your portion sizes can be bigger. Take carrots for example. Eat a cup of the orange things and pair it with 2 tablespoons of hummus. The fibre in the veggies will keep you full, and the hummus, whether homemade or store-bought, will take the seemingly boring snack and give it a kick.
10. Dip and water crackers
This can be tricky as some dips are high in fat but if you choose vegetable or yoghurt based dips, like hummus, beetroot or tzatziki dips, you will be fine. Water crackers are virtually calorie free snacks and are a great filler.