Snacking as I was discussing last week, can make or break any weight management plan. Selecting low GI, high fibre and higher protein snacks will help with weight loss and ensure you feel full and energized throughout the day.
In my previous post I wrote about dairy and vegetable based snacks, so today we will cover healthy fats, whole grains and protein based snacks. I may have to save fruit for a separate post so as not to provide information overload!
Make sure you have these in small serves and mix with something less energy dense to ensure you get some bulk in your snack if you are someone who likes to see a bit of volume when you eat.
Unsalted nuts and seeds- if you have trouble measuring serve sizes, how about purchasing some small boxes of sultanas or cashews, and then simply refilling these with your own mix of nuts or seeds to ensure you don’t over eat. Then add in some vegetable sticks, fruit, or dairy products to add some volume to the snack
Watch the serve sizes of premade nut bars, these typically have honey all over them, which is simply another type of sugar, which can bump up the kilojoules of your snack quite quickly. Having said that, a nut bar, is still usually a far better option than many of the other sweet or refined bars that are available.
For example, you are more likely to feel fuller from a 40g nut bar than the dried fruit bar or cereal based bar. Now although the nut bar has around 1000kJ, compared with the others that might be between 450kJ-900kJ, you will find that the slow released energy from the healthy fats, together with the few grams of fibre and protein, will leave you feeling more satisfied, than one of the other bars, and therefore will mean your next meal can decrease in size (hence, it is a good snack option!).
Sesame snaps- although located in the health food isle, are classified as confectionary at a lot of school canteens…I think you can work the rest out from there as to whether it is the best snack option.
Create some healthy muffins or slices yourself using the Goodness Cereal as a base, rather than refined flour, and add some chia seeds and crushed almonds, and you will find you have created quite a filling and tasty snack.
Onto whole grains:
1 slice of wholegrain bread/toast or 4-5 whole grain crackers (e.g. vita wheats) can be enjoyed as a healthy snack if you add some lean protein or healthy fats on top. Some sample toppings include:
- ¼ of an avocado
- 1 egg
- 1 small of can tuna or salmon and salad
- 1 slice of reduced fat cheese
- A few tablespoons of reduced fat ricotta or cottage cheese
- A couple of tablespoons of extra light Philadelphia cheese
- 50g of poultry e.g. grilled chicken breast, lean ham or turkey breast
- Small can low salt baked beans
- Small can 3 bean mix
As you can see, there are a number of lean protein sources that can be paired up with a wholegrain source for a filling snack option. Many of these options could have some salad or vegetables added onto them for a boost of fibre and an easy way of getting an extra serve of vegies in.
You can also have a small bowl or cereal or Oats + Barley 1st as a mid afternoon snack. There are no rules about what time we should really be eating certain foods. Think about how good you feel after your bowl of Goodness first thing in the morning…why not have a mini serve mid afternoon to help you cruise through work or energize you before an exercise session?
You could make up some quinoa as a savoury or sweet dish and have ½ – 1 cup.
If you have a savoury tooth, why not have a small serve of one of your favourite dinner options e.g. pasta with some bolognese sauce, tuna pasta or long grain rice with salmon and vegies- all low GI and full of lean protein.
Muesli bars- these are tricky, most are not great! Having said that, there are a few I would recommend. Fibre Fix (by Fontelle) and BodyWise-Digestive Balance (by Uncle Tobys) both contain around 8g of fibre per bar, and only 400-500kJ. This to me is good bang for your buck! Most other muesli bars have around 1-3g of fibre and anywhere between 400-1100kJ, clearly not as good a ratio for the nutrients I am looking at.
Healthy protein snacks:
I feel I have covered protein based snacks in one of the above lists as well as through my dairy segment last week. Just make sure you don’t rely solely on protein to keep your hunger at bay, as this can leave you quite tired in the head (as our brain will want some glucose to be fuelled). Teaming up lean protein sources with low GI carbs will be your best bet to remaining on top of the snacking game at any time of the year.
A couple extra ideas are:
- Make a quick scrambled egg with 2 eggs and chop up some onion, tomato or red capsicum, and make this in a non stick pan.
- Have a small bowl of Protein 1st cereal (maybe 30g instead of the recommended 45g) with skim milk
- Have 1 sushi roll with salmon
Do you have any other snack ideas you would like to add to the pool that I have suggested? Would be very interested to hear others creations!