The 10 smartest snacks
It’s only 11am, but your stomach feels like you haven’t eaten in days. Lyndel Costain, SRD, advises that you avoid foods high in sugar and fat. ‘These foods don’t sate you because they’re digested and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, elevating your blood sugar levels and then causing them to plummet,’ she says. The result: you’re hungry in no time.
To prevent a blood-sugar roller coaster, regulate your appetite with 4 or 5 mini-meals a day. Or choose a smart snack from our list for a boost without the fat.
1. A tablespoon of dried fruits
These are low in fat and have a low glycemic index, which means they’re absorbed slowly from the stomach into the bloodstream and make you feel full longer. Dried fruits are also high in iron and fibre.
2. Two handfuls of raw vegetables
Dip carrots, celery, pepper, mushrooms or courgettes in one tablespoon of reduced fat hummus or salsa. Veggies are a healthy treat because they are high in antioxidants, the naturally occurring compounds that help protect the body from disease.
3. A handful of nuts
Packed with protein and minerals like selenium, zinc and magnesium, nuts provide essential nutrients that women tend to skimp on in their diets. They also contain antioxidants, vitamin E and are low in carbohydrates. Just remember to limit your portion to a handful.
4. Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Just a handful of these provides essential omega three fatty acids that help maintain healthy cells and skin as well brain functionality.
5. 150g pot of low fat yogurt or rice pudding
Both of these are rich in calcium and help build strong bones.
6. Two rice cakes topped with cottage cheese.
A low-fat option packed with calcium.
7. A cup of low-fat hearty vegetable, lentil or pumpkin flavoured soup
Very hot or cold fluids are digested more slowly than lukewarm ones so you won’t need to eat for a few hours. The vegetables provide antioxidant benefits.
8. A bowl of whole grain cereal, porridge, shredded wheat or muesli
These low-fat snacks are packed with fibre and minerals, which may be responsible for reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
9. A matchbox-size portion of half-fat cheddar, Camembert, Edam or Jahrlberg
Cheese is an excellent source of calcium as well as a range of vitamins including A, D and the mineral zinc.
10. Half a bagel topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter
Bagels are low-fat and high in carbohydrates which means you’ll get an instant energy boost. And peanut butter is high in healthy unsaturated fats and contains iron, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and Vitamin E.
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