Choosing the right snacks
Snacks are an important part of healthy, balanced diet and can “top us up” before the next meal. Choosing the right snacks are the key. However many people often eat the wrong snacks or simply eat too much of a snack, so that it becomes a “mini meal”.
So how do you know if a snack is “good” for you?
There are a few criteria that you can check when choosing your snacks. These include:
- kJ/Cal – The energy content of the snack is less than 600kJ. Take a look at Belinda’s article on “ label reading” for more information on reading food labels!
- Saturated Fat – Look for products that have low amounts of saturated fat. Ideally products that have less than 3g per 100g.
- Fibre – Where possible choose high fibre snacks. Look at food labels and try to choose ones that have above 3g of fibre per 100g. High fibre foods (and snacks!) can help to fill you up and keep you feeling full until your next meal.
- Sugar – Can be hidden in many snack foods so look at the labels and choose snacks that have less than 15g sugar per 100g. Snacks that have dried fruit in them will be high in natural sugars rather than the added sugar that we are trying to avoid. In this case, choose products where the sugar is less than 25g per 100g.
Remember that the key to making healthy snack choices is to plan in advance…and stick to the plan!
What about “swaps”?
Making swaps to the snacks you are currently eating can be a helpful way to save you eating extra energy and fat (to prevent those muffin tops from appearing!).
Smart swaps can include things like:
Potato crisps –> Air-popped popcorn (without the added butter or salt of course!)
Chocolate covered biscuits –> Snack Right Biscuit
Bowl of ice-cream –> Low fat yoghurt and berries
So what do I eat now?
Knowing what to do with the information about choosing a healthy snack can be tricky. If you need further help in choosing the right snacks for yourself contact ENT Wellbeing Diet and Nutrition for a consult with our dietitian Rhiannon Welsh. Call us to make an appointment today on 1300 123 368.