Snacking isn’t always that bad – in fact, it can be a healthy way to get extra nutrients into your diet.
So what makes a good snack? The ideal ‘healthy’ treat should be a combination of protein, healthy carbs and good fats, Western Australia nutritionist Alexandra Handreck explained in a chat with Starts at 60.
While the fibre makes you feel full right away, the protein helps you stay full for longer. Meanwhile, the fat works with the hormones in your body to tell you to stop eating.
“When it comes to snacking, I often recommend a protein rich and nutrient-dense food,” she said. “Choose quality wholegrain carbohydrates, good fats and make sure there is a source fibre.”
Alexandra also suggested swapping your snacks around, adding: “Rather than nuts every day, have nuts every second or third day and opt for a boiled egg or two instead.”
Opt for low-GI food choices as well, as these are very slowly absorbed into the bloodstream which means no blood-sugar spikes. Meanwhile, she said ensuring you’re really hungry and not just thirsty is key before snacking at all.
“Our bodies were created with the ability to tell us when we’re hungry and when we’re full. Try to become more in-tune with your body – decipher whether its really hungry, or instead thirsty, tired, bored [and] stressed,” she explained.
Apart from digging into a packet of potato chips or a chocolate bar, Alexandra has listed a few easy ideas to try out next time a snack craving comes on.
She recommended digging into a handful of raw nuts with a side of fruit, or biting into a slice of toast with avocado and a boiled egg. And if you’re craving something sweet, opt for some low-sugar or even try homemade muesli with Greek yogurt.
For those preferring something veggie, she suggested dipping carrot or cucumber sticks into some good old hummus or making some savoury veggie muffins.
Melbourne-based nutritionist Fiona Willox also suggested cutting up an apple and adding nut butter for a protein-rich snack, or making strawberry ‘lollies’ (dehydrate fresh strawberries in a 100 degree oven for three hours).
Sound tasty? Fiona has shared with us a delicious guilt-free slice recipe.