Simple snacking ideas
Tricks to cleaver snacking
What do you do when between-meal hunger calls? Rely on the biscuit tin at work? Or the vending machine at the train station? Failing to plan ahead for healthy snacks could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. Let’s take a closer look at how you can build a smart snack strategy.
To snack or not to snack
It’s a common question and often an area of nutrition confusion. Healthy snacks can boost your energy and concentration, control blood sugar and insulin levels, and help you meet daily nutrient requirements. When it comes to weight loss, a nutritious snack can help keep your appetite on an even keel and prevent overeating at meal time. However, for some people snacking can be a trap, especially when it turns into a pattern of mindless munchies in front of the TV at night time.
Smart shopping strategy:
With an ever-increasing range of grab-and-go items available, there are plenty of healthier snacks to choose from. Always let the SmartPoints® guide you and get to know your favourites. If you don’t know the SmartPoints, you can check the following:
- Kilojoules: As a rule of thumb a snack should have around 500-600kJ or less.
- Saturated fat: Compare similar products per 100g and go for the lower option.
- Sugars: 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to about 5g. Just keep in mind that lactose in milk and fructose in fruit are natural sources that increase the total sugar count of a food. However it’s the added sugars that you should watch out for.
- Dietary fibre: Sources of dietary fibre have at least 2g/serve, whereas excellent sources have 7g/serve. Dietary fibre helps you feel fuller for longer, so the greater the amount the better.
- Salt or sodium: Low salt foods must have less than 120mg sodium/100g. Salty snacks over 500mg of sodium/100g should be limited to a couple of times per week.
Snacking isn't the bad guy. It's making poor food choices that can be detrimental. Here are some tips on how to snack wisely.
Smart snacking means having a healthy, portion-controlled choice on hand when hunger calls. Keep healthy options in your glove box, work drawer and gym bag. In a study by mindless-eating expert Dr Brian Wansink, participants given larger portions ate 77 per cent more food at snack time, yet they didn’t report any stronger feelings of appetite satisfaction than the group that ate the smaller portions. Portion control matters!
Fuel your fitness
If you’re heading to the gym after work and delaying your dinner, you’d be mad not to include a healthy afternoon snack to avoid ravenous hunger and overeating later on. But if you’ve been for a power walk after dinner, you won’t need a recovery bite.
Always curb your hunger with a nutritious food first. Don’t be afraid to shake things up – a small bowl of steamy porridge with cinnamon makes a comforting winter afternoon snack.