We all probably snack more than we realise. It’s so easy to grab a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps if we’re hungry, instead of reaching for something healthier, that we don’t notice how often we do it.
If the snacks are there, we’ll eat them! But they can be full of hidden nasties, like saturated fat, salt and sugar. And in time, too much of these can lead to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Try these ideas to get you started:
• It’s the simplest tip in the book – but if you don’t have the snacks in the house, you won’t be able to eat them! Skip that aisle in the supermarket and try to avoid the checkouts with loads of treats on display.
• Aim for three regular meals a day. So if you’re raiding the snack cupboard several times a day, have a think about the meals you’re eating and when. You could be filling up on calories when a meal would keep you going for longer.
• If you’re feeling peckish, try a glass of water instead. Chances are you’re thirsty rather than hungry.
Healthier alternatives to sweet snacks
Try these ideas and see if you can chuck the choccie! Try some healthy ways with fruit - great for counting towards your 5 A DAY:
• Chunks of melon, strawberries, grapes, or whatever you have to hand. Look out for fruit that’s in season, it’s likely to be cheaper.
• Low fat fruit yoghurt.
• A handful of dry, low sugar cereal.
Healthier savoury snack ideas
Instead of crisps, salted nuts, pork scratchings, which can all be high in salt and fat, try:
• Baked crisps
• Small handful of unsalted mixed nuts
• Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
• Pitta and lower fat dips like salsa or reduced fat hummus
• Rice cakes with lower fat cream cheese and cucumber
• Celery sticks filled with lower fat cream cheese
• Homemade popcorn (without sugar or salt)
• Unsalted ricecakes, corncakes or oatcakes
Fun for dipping
Snacking on veg also counts towards your 5 A DAY and ups your fibre intake too. So how about these:
• Veg sticks - carrot, celery, baby sweetcorn, peppers and radishes with a reduced fat hummus dip
• Sliced apple and a lower fat soft cheese to dip