Tips and ideas to balance your snacking habits.
The easiest way to blow a healthy diet – snacking. However, when snacks are healthy and balanced, they can help to boost your diet providing easy sources of fruit and veg, fibre, wholegrain goodness and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Key is just to remember to include your snacks in your daily calorie count.
Crisps, chocolates, sweets, fizzy drinks, desserts and fried snacks are usually delicious and often moreish; however, they tend to provide lots of calories (mainly from fats and sugars) with little other nutritional benefits. Often referred to as empty calories.
But little treats and indulgences such as these can still be included in a balanced diet – just try to enjoy these on occasion and in smaller portions. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a snack that’s no more than 200-250 calories a day. This will help to manage your calories from snacks as well as saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Here’s a few examples of healthier snacks:
- Whole fruit and veg – why not try veg sticks with tomato salsa, humous or guacamole
- Chana Dal pancakes – healthy pancakes made with split chickpeas
- Wholegrain Khakhra – made from any wholegrains and baked rather than fried
- Oat based crackers – try with a veg based dip, sliced banana or spread with cottage cheese
- Roasted and spiced nuts with dried fruit – a small handful of each
- A wholegrain bagel with nut butter (no added sugar or oil)
- Low fat yogurts, cottage cheese or milk drinks – fermented or not
CAN A HEALTHY DIET INCLUDE SNACKS?
Yes, although remember to include them in your daily calorie intake. Healthy snacks can help to increase your daily dose of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, vitamins and minerals.
HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD SNACKS PROVIDE?
Typically, healthy snacks should provide no more than about 150-200 calories (630-830 kJ) a day. That's roughly a small pot of low fat yogurt, a handful of unsalted nuts or a pitta bread with a low fat filling.
ARE FRIED SNACKS AND CHOCOLATES HEALTHY?
Fried snacks, crisps, chocolates and confectonery are typically higher in calories, fats, sugars and salt so are best enjoyed occassionally and in smaller portions.