To snack or not to snack? That is the question…..
Many people think they need to avoid snacks because they are afraid that snacks will contribute to weight gain or may get in the way of their weight loss plan. This is not always the case though. It all depends on the type of snack you are eating and the rest of your calorie intake for the day. If you go for a healthy snack, you can add micronutrients to your diet, complex carbohydrates for energy and protein to fuel your muscles and help keep your fuller for longer. Ideally you should snack about halfway between meals to help keep your energy levels consistent throughout the day. Although this is only the case if you eat a healthy snack. If you choose a chocolate bar as a snack then you will get a spike of energy, followed by a crash and very little nutrients. This snack can contain a lot of fat and calories too.
We tend to snack twice a day – between breakfast and lunch and then between lunch and dinner. Here are a few of our go to snacks:
Nuts & Seed
These are the perfect on the go snack. No prep necessary and can be thrown in any bag. Be mindful of the amount you eat though as they can be high in fat and calories. They do however contain good fats, protein and fibre though. And no, the yoghurt or chocolate covered ones aren’t included in this healthy snack option 😉
Greek Yoghurt & Berries
This is a delicious and nutrient dense snack. It is a great source of calcium, potassium, protein and antioxidants. It also gets rid of sugar cravings. If you don’t like the taste of plain Greek yoghurt you could add some flavour drops or flavoured protein powder. We love to add vanilla protein to ours and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.
Apple/Pear & Nut Butter
This one generally turns a few heads in the office, but it is delicious and filling. This snack contains fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein. Make sure to choose natural nut butters though, without added sugar and don’t go too heavy on the nut butter due to it’s high calorie content.
Fruit is always a good option for a snack. Fruit contains vitamins and minerals, are a good source of fibre and count towards your 5 a day. Plus, a lot of them are easy to eat on the go and easy to find when out and about. Most shops and garages sell fruit of some sort. Therefore no excuses 😉
Corn, Oat or Rice Cakes
These are a great snack to have at home or keep at your desk. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge, they are low in calories and fat. They offer a good base for lots of toppings. Try them with nut butter & banana, hummus, low fat cream cheese or guacamole.
Raw Vegetables & Hummus
Raw veggies are a great way to add to your 5 a day count. Carrots are an easy one and can be bought pre chopped if you are stuck for time. Peppers and celery are good options too. Dip them in hummus to add even more flavour. The chickpeas in the hummus provide protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. There are even low fat versions of hummus available too. If you are using store bought hummus, just make sure to check out ingredients and pick one with only natural ingredients.
Popcorn is a whole grain food that is high in important nutrients. This includes vitamins, minerals and high amounts of fiber. You can make your own or buy pre-packaged versions. Just note not all popcorns are as healthy as they sound. Some brands contain a lot of salt, sugar or fat. Make sure to check out the nutritional information. We like Propercorn. They do a lightly salted version or a variety of flavours. Peanut Butter & Almond is one of our favourites.
Energy or Protein Balls
We regularly make our own protein/energy balls. It doesn’t take very long and there are so many nice recipes out there to try. Check out our social media posts to find our Chocolate Orange Protein Ball recipe. These little balls are packed full of seeds, protein, dates and a multitude of other goodies. If you are buying fresh protein balls in a store, just be aware they may have a high fat or calorie content. A lot of people think that they can have a few protein balls at a time as they are “healthy”.
We love these snacks. They are easy to throw in a bag or keep at your desk. We always bring some when we are travelling. There are lots of flavours to choose from and you can go for a sweet or savoury option. They only use natural ingredients with nutritional benefits such as protein, fibre, energy-boosting magnesium and brain-boosting thiamine. Our favourites are the Cocoa Orange Energy Balls, Energise Cocoa & Orange Super Shots and the Smoky Bbq Crunch Super Shots. We love that they are an Irish brand too. They do a great range of kids snacks as well, which are perfect for lunch boxes.
These bars are also great for travelling, to throw into a bag or grab on the go. There are lots of flavours to choose from too. They are made from natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts which are ‘smooshed’ together for you into a handy bar. Gluten, wheat and dairy free, with no added sugars or hidden extras and they are all vegan friendly.
Eggs are a great source of protein, omega-3 fats, Vitamins A,B,D, E & K and contain a complete range of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Egg muffins are super easy to prepare and last in the fridge for a few days. You can also add in vegetables for flavour and to get extra nutrients. They are a great snack, especially if you are looking for a low carb option.
So, there you have it, 11 healthy snack options to try.
Ali & Ant