Can snacking be healthy?
“Snacking” usually refers to that which we graze on in between our main meals. Snacking can have a bad connotation however, healthy snacks can form an important part of a balanced diet.
Including healthy snacks in your diet can be a good way to increase your nutrient intake - which has benefits to our immune systems and all other systems of the body.
Including some healthy snacks in between meals – for example, a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack - can also help to keep your blood sugar balanced and avoid energy slumps and fatigue as well as reducing cravings for sugar.
Another benefit of snacking is that it can help to save money when out and about – preparing a snack to take with you when you leave the house takes some time and planning but may mean you won’t be spending money on buying a packet of crisps or bar of chocolate when you are out.
Here are some ideas for snacks which include a balance of protein and fat, which can help to reduce blood sugar surges, and also contain a variety of immune-boosting nutrients.
Portion sizes are key when it comes to snacking as we can often take in a lot of extra calories through snacks if we do not keep an eye on quantities.
1. Very portable - a ready-peeled satsuma, mandarin or clementine in a small plastic airtight box with 6 almonds. An alternative could be 10 grapes and 6 walnuts or brazil nuts.
2. Chopped apple or small banana with 6 plain nuts of your choice.
3. Hard-boiled egg with a small salad - choose from grated carrot, leaves, cucumber, grapes, tomatoes, and any leftover vegetables. Sprinkle with toasted seeds.
4. Medium-sized baking potato or sweet potato, pricked and microwaved, served with a thumb-sized portion of cheese and sprinkling of raw or toasted seeds.
5. A cup of hummus with a small handful of sliced carrot and celery pieces. Alternatively, try a sliced apple or a few sticks of cucumber.
6. Slice of wholemeal toast with hummus with an apple or 10 grapes.
7. ½ a 400g can of baked beans with a slice of wholegrain toast.
8. ½ 120g tin of sardines, mackerel or pilchards on a slice of wholegrain toast with 10 grapes or an apple, or green salad.
9. A couple of oatcakes, a slice of toast or a couple of rice cakes with a dessert spoon of cottage cheese with a portion of the fruit of your choice.
10. Make a veggie drink. Blend together 1 small carrot, 1 apple and 1 dessert spoon of seeds. Serve in a favourite mug or glass.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References are available on request.