How do you define what are healthy snacks? Snacks that aren’t high in salt, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugar. OK, so that cuts out a lot of foods, but there are still ways to satisfy your taste-buds without compromising your health or your time. Enjoy WF’s top 5 healthy snacks list.
1. Not Your Every Day Porridge
Porridge can be bland and tasteless, or it can be a yummy way to start your day. Try this:
. Porridge oats (no added sugar)
. 50ml milk mixed with 50ml water (trying to keep milk to a minimum as milk contains lactose, a sugar that isn’t designed for us humans – but baby calves. Consequently people become lactose intolerant.
. 1/3 chopped banana (trying to keep sugars to a minimum with bananas rich in fructose – approx 20 grams of sugar per medium banana.) Bananas are great sources of potassium and vitamin B. Potassium is needed to maintain good heart health as it’s job is to regulate blood pressure. Potassium is responsible for each heart contraction. Vitamin B is important to keep nerves and red blood cells healthy.
. 1 scoop of whey protein for flavour (chocolate). Whey protein is a great source of protein, and with the average scoop containing approx 20 grams of protein, this will leave you feeling full for longer, reducing possible cravings.
. A handful of berries (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries). Berries are packed with antioxidants which are cancer-fighting and can boost your immune system. Do not go overboard with these as they also contain sugar.
. Stevia. A great natural substitute for sugar. Stevia comes from a plant and is very low calorie with just 16 calories per tea spoon.
. A squeeze of lemon juice is another possible way of adding further flavour. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C boosting immunity. Plus it can work wonders for your skin, by being able to reduce wrinkles.
. Grated Dark Chocolate. Not too much of this as dark chocolate contains saturated fat, caffeine and sugar. However if you add a little dark chocolate to your porridge you are adding antioxidants, vitamins, minerals to your tasty breakfast snack!
. A sprinkle of cinammon can also work well on porridge. Cinammon also is good for heart health as it is effective for lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
2. Eggs on toast
People often say eggs “raise cholesterol levels” so they aren’t to be eaten too often. They do in fact raise cholesterol levels. But there are two types of cholesterol – Good (HDL) and Bad (LDL). Eggs have been proven to increase good cholesterol levels. They are also packed with approx 7 grams of protein per medium egg, meaning they will keep you nice and full for hours later.
Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs are all fine variations. Just make sure if you fry them to use a healthy oil such as olive oil which is high in unsaturated (healthy) fats, and that when you heat the eggs the oil doesn’t overheat and start steaming. When olive oil overheats it destroys all the goodness and there have been links to the oil then creating carcinogens due to the heat, which can lead to cancer.
In terms of the bread, go for 100% wholemeal, with a low sugar count per slice (if you can find 1 gram of sugar per slice you’re onto a winner).
Butter is deemed unhealthy due to it containing saturated fat and thus can clog up arteries if too much is consumed. However spreading a little bit of butter is acceptable as it won’t contain a lot of saturated fat. However, if you don’t want to use butter and would like a healthier alternative.
I recommend olive oil spread. This replaces high saturared fat with high unsaturated fat. Basically replacing bad fats for good fats. Usually olive oil spreads also contain vitamins too which is a bonus. Just make sure none of the olive spreads you purchase contain any E numbers as I have seen this happen.
3. Prawn Mayo Avocado
A piece of fruit wouldn’t usually count as a healthy snack on this list, but as avocado’s are particularly high in calories for a fruit due to its high (healthy) fat content it is a worthy mention. Mayonnaise is also high in calories due to it being rich in unsaturated fats.
Avocado’s is rich in vitamin E which protects the body of various illnesses, ensuring general health. They also contain significant amounts of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant which reduces rates of heart disease and cancers.
Mayonnaise contains potassium, phosphorous, vitamin K, E and calcium. Mayonnaise also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are thought to fight depression, improve blood vessel and joint health as well as decreasing inflammation.
Prawns are a great source of protein, with a serving containing around 20 grams of high quality protein. The only drawback to almost perfect prawns is that they contain a fair amount of salt. This isn’t a worry, as long as you don’t indulge in salty foods for the rest of your meals.
4. Tuna mayo salad
The benefits of tuna are the same with prawns, go for brine instead of tuna soaked in sunflower oil, as when soaked in sunflower oil it contains added salt. An average sized can of tuna contains a whopping 35 grams of protein.
breadcrumbs – go for wholemeal breadcrumbs if possible rather than refined.
tomatoes – are a great source of Vitamin A, C, K as well as providing good amounts of folate and potassium. Tomatoes also contain a lot of water adding to hydration and making them filling foods to add to your salad.
cucumber – As well as containing high amounts of water – 95% of a cucumber is just water. Cucumbers also contain lignans known as lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. All three substances have shown to reduce breast , ovarian and prostate cancer.
red onion – red onions are packed with quercetin, another cancer-fighting antioxidant known to remove free radicals from the body (Sorry, this post should really be called “Top 5 delicious healthy anti-cancer snacks!”).
sweetcorn – sweetcorn is a great source of folate which is responsible for keeping the heart healthy and aiding circulation.
vinegar – vinegar is alkaline. Our blood is naturally more alkaline than acidic. So, our diet should reflect this with what we consume. All sugars are acidic and a too acidic PH in the body can result in anxiety, irritability and headaches.
5. Peanut butter sandwiches
As simple as it sounds. Only two instructions. Go for low-sugar Peanut butter and go for 100% wholemeal bread.
Peanut butter is a wonderful source of healthy fats, although it seems too sweet to be good for you! Guess what? Nuts are also anti-cancerous due to the high level of antioxidants. Roasting peanuts increases the antioxidant amount by up to 22% too.
I hope you enjoy the 5 healthy snacks listed. If you go on to try any of these snacks please let us know what you thought in the comments below!