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Top 10 Snack Choices

These
days with increasing demands on our time, many of us don’t eat regular
meals and snacks. The result is often poor food choices – like high fat
high sugar snacks, overeating because of long breaks between meals or
simply not getting enough of the right foods we need each day for good
health.

Despite what many people think, snacking can actually be good for you! There are plenty of health benefits for regular snackers:

  • Snacking for energy: about 2-3 hours after eating, our
    energy levels start to drop and we feel tired and sluggish – this is
    when we need an energy boost from a healthy snack.

  • Snacking for a Healthy Weight: Snacking also helps maintain
    a healthy metabolism, which can help with a healthy weight. If you skip
    meals the body’s metabolic rate can slow down and this can lead to
    weight gain.

  • Snacking for a Nutrition Boost: If you choose snacks wisely,
    healthy snacking can also add important vitamins and minerals to your
    diet that you might otherwise miss.

The top ten snack choices…

Choosing the wrong type of snacks is a big problem for many people.
Snacks like cakes, biscuits, lollies and chocolate can add extra fat,
sugar and kilojoules – so these are not good everyday choices. Healthy
snack food choices are those that are low in saturated fat and high in
fibre – but be sure you choose wisely! The following top ten are all
great snack food choices to keep you powering through the day.

1,2 and 3. Fruit

Whether its fresh, canned or frozen – your top three choices for a
delicious and ready to go snack has to be fruit! For good health it is
important to have at least two serves of fruit each day – canned, fresh
or frozen. A serve of fruit is equal to 1 medium or two small pieces, 1
cup fresh or a tablespoon or dried fruit.

Fresh fruit is unique in that its packed a ready to go – try
bananas, pears, apples, oranges and mandarins for an eat anywhere
snack. Canned fruit is another quick and easy snack that has a long
shelf life and is great to keep in your cupboard or drawer at work. And
finally a handful of dried fruit is packed with energy, vitamins and
minerals and can keep you going between meals.

4. Vegetables

Health authorities recommend at least five serves of vegetables each
day, with a serve of vegetables classified as half a cup of cooked or 1 cup
of salad vegetables. Vegetable sticks teamed with low fat salsa makes a
tasty low fat snack, while a mug of vegetable soup makes a great warm
winter snack. For a quick vegie fix on the run try a freshly squeezed
vegetable juice.

5. Low fat yoghurt

For a cool snack you can’t go past, low fat yoghurt, whether its
natural or fruit flavoured,  this quick and easy snack is low GI and is a
great source of calcium.

6. Nuts and seeds

Packed with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, a handful of nuts and
seeds makes an easy snack at work or home and is great for heart health!

7. Low fat milk drink

Whether it’s a hot milk with milo, a low fat fruit smoothie or a low
fat soy drink – for a quick fill up with long lasting energy a milk
drink is a great tasting, yet nutritious snack.

8. Wholegrain crackers

There is a great range of wholegrain crackers on the market – great
for a mid morning or afternoon snack. Try topping crackers with some
avocado or ricotta cheese and tomato for a tasty treat.

9. English muffin, crumpet or fruit loaf

Topped with a drizzle of honey, jam or peanut butter; English muffins, crumpets or fruit loaf makes a hunger stopped snack.

10. Rice crackers

On their own or teamed with a low fat dip, rice crackers make a tasty snack everyone can enjoy.

If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.

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