Healthy Snack Swaps
If you’ve read our healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner swap posts then you’ll be fully up to speed with what types of nutritious meals you should be aiming for by now – but what about snacks? If you’re a pro snacker, no doubt a fair amount of your daily calorie intake is coming from the ‘meals’ in-between your actual meals, so keeping them healthy is a priority.
|Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar (36g)||191||2.7||11||20.5||20|
|70% Lindt Dark Chocolate (20g)||113.2||1.9||8.2||6.8||5.8|
|Walkers Ready Salted Crisps (25g)||132||1.5||8||12.9||0.1|
|Walkers Sunbites Salted Popcorn (20g)||84||1.7||2.6||12||0.1|
|Bounce Peanut Energy Ball||184||13||7.1||17||13|
|Salted Peanuts (30g)||184||9||15||1.7||1.5|
|Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits (3 Biscuits / 50g)||249||3.3||11.7||31.2||14.7|
|Jumbo Caramel Snack A Jacks (3 Cakes / 39g)||162||2.1||0.9||33.9||10.8|
|Nature Valley Crunchy Oat/Chocolate Bar (42g)||196||3.7||8.4||25.2||11.1|
|Nakd Cocoa Loco Bar (30g)||106||2.4||2.9||16.6||11.9|
|Rowntrees Random Bag (50g)||97||1.6||Trace||22.6||15.5|
|White Hovis (2 slices) & Strawberry Jam (30g)||264||1||1.6||54.6||17.4|
|Carrot Sticks (100g) & Hummus (50g)||195||4.2||12.6||13.6||7.8|
|Coke Can (330ml)||139||0||0||35||35|
|Summer Fruits Sparkling Water (250ml)||5||0||0||0.8||0.5|
|Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate (18g) (made with 200ml Semi-Skimmed Milk)||165||7.7||4||23.5||22.5|
|Options Hot Chocolate (11g) (made with water)||40||1.4||0.9||5.8||4.7|
Swap your chocolate
It’s easy to grab a chocolate bar on the go, but as you can see – and probably already know without looking – the calorie, fat and sugar content is high. Eating them occasionally is fine, but as an everyday snack? Err – no way! Swap out your usual bar for a couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate and you’ll be eating a much healthier version of what is essentially the same thing. Don’t judge dark chocolate until you’ve tried it! It’s actually really delicious and doesn’t exactly taste ‘healthy’.
Ditch the crisps
Again, crisps are a cheap and convenient snack option. Unfortunately they offer little in the way of nutritional value, with many containing a huge level of salt, so swapping them out for a lower-calorie popcorn option is a great idea. Brands such as Walkers, Tyrell’s, Proper Corn and Metcalfe’s all offer health popcorn snacks. Better still, make your own!
No doubt if you work in a busy office, every time there’s a birthday, a cake of some sort is placed in front of you. As we said, one every so often won’t hurt, but if they’re becoming a weekly (or even daily) snack, perhaps it’s time to turn them away. Instead you could stock up on healthy energy balls which are high in protein, ultimately keeping you fuller for longer. This is again something you can make at home using online recipes.
Leave the salt
Salted peanuts are a classic treat, but the clue is in the name. They’re an extremely salty and calorific snack which won’t do your body any good if they’re eaten too often. You can still eat nuts as they’re a great source of fat and energy, just be sure to eat unsalted ones. Almond and cashews are two good options! Keep an eye on those portion sizes though, because all nuts are very high in calories.
Limit your biscuits
Ah, the biscuit. How temping is a biscuit? If you manage to stop at one, great, but not many of us can. To avoid the dreaded biscuit cravings, stock up on sweet or savoury rice cakes and store them in your drawer at work, and in your cupboard at home. Rice cakes have a negative stigma given their supposedly “cardboard” texture and flavour, but if you get the good ones, this isn’t the case at all. Plain ones, yes, a little ‘cardboard-y’, but top with a bit of healthy peanut butter and you’re good to go.
Check the labels
So many ‘healthy’ snack bars are actually packed with sugar, and ultimately a lot of calories. Read the packet before you buy! Choosing natural, no-added-sugar bars such as Nakd, Kind and Primal Pantry bars are good options. They’re a little more expensive, but it’s worth a few extra pennies to ensure you’re not filling your body with endless unnecessary sugars. Once more, you could always make your own granola-style bars using recipes from the likes of Deliciously Ella and The Body Coach.
Enjoy the naturally sweet stuff
Sweets will always taste nicer than fruit, even we know that, but do you really need to snack on sweets every day? Both your dentist and your dietician would advise not to, put it that way! Snacking on berries is the perfect low-calorie option to see you through the day. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries – you name it – they’re always a good choice. Pair them with fresh Greek yoghurt and you’ve got yourself a dessert!
Dip your veggies
It’s easy to throw some toast and jam together for a quick snack, but the simple carbohydrates and high sugar levels just aren’t needed, and they’ll most likely send you into more of post-lunch slump than you were already in. Instead choose something that takes time to eat, is lower in sugar and has plenty of healthy fats to keep you full. Veggie sticks such as carrot or cucumber dipped in hummus is spot on, and easy enough to prepare in bulk for the week ahead.
Cut back on the cans
Last but not least, the drinks. Unless it’s water, or your standard cups of tea and coffee, any drinks that are higher in calories could actually be considered a snack. They are adding to you daily calorie intake, after all! If you really can’t shake the can of coke, then switch to diet, but your best option is to opt for flavoured sparkling water, squash or better still – good old tap water. Boring, we know, but it’s what your body needs, and you can always add fruit for a little sweet infusion.
Guilt free hot chocolate
If you really fancy a change from your teas and coffees and need something a bit sweeter, steer clear of those sugary hot chocolate powders and replace them with a lower-calorie substitute, such as Options or Cadbury’s Highlights. These aren’t particularly ‘clean’ drinks as they of course contain additives, but they’re better than a full blown, cream covered hot chocolate, mocha or latte.
Get your snack on
Once you get your snacks under control, you’ll feel much more energised and satisfied throughout the day. Less healthy foods don’t need to be eliminated, just limited and moderated! As we all know, snacking isn’t something to fear, but be sure to keep an eye on the snacks you’re consuming before they begin to do more harm than good!