Equation For A Healthy Snack
When it comes to choosing a nutritious snack to tide you over, there are three things you need in the equation: Protein + Fat + Fibre. Here’s why. Some snack ideas in here for you too. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine.
By helping to stabilise your blood sugar levels, a protein-rich snack can help keep you fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to have a dip in energy 20 minutes after eating - like you would with a chocolate biccie. Apart from a good quality protein powder (with nothing artificial), nuts and seeds are an easy, healthy and portable protein option.
Fat keeps you full in two ways:
- It delays stomach emptying
- Its well-rounded mouth feel lingers in the mouth long after eating, leaving you feeling satisfied.Its richness also means a little bit goes a long way, so it’s hard to go overboard with it.
When I’m talking fats I’m thinking good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter and coconut; I love how coconut imparts a sweet taste, yet is low in sugar and high in filling fibre. When it comes to oils, olive, coconut or macadamia oil are all good choices.
There’s only so many veggies or so much fruit you can eat in one sitting, largely due to their high fibre content. Fibre fills you up quickly, and because it’s found in plant-based foods like fruit and veg, which aren’t energy dense, you get full on fewer kilojoules. Other good sources of fibre include nuts and seeds and whole or less refined grains, like brown rice and traditional rolled oats.
Fibre also encourages you to chew, a process that makes you aware that you’re eating, and which also gives your brain time to register that you’re getting full.
Tasty Snack Ideas that Give You Protein + Fat + Fibre:
- Medjool date (fibre) stuffed with 1-2 tsp almond butter (protein, fat + fibre).
- Apple (fibre) with a couple slices cheddar cheese (protein+ fat).
- Asian-inspired trail mix made with a handful or two of tamari almonds (protein, fat + fibre) and shredded roasted seaweed from health food stores (fibre).
- Veggie crudités (fibre) with 1 Tbsp hummus or tahini (protein, fat + fibre); I love juicy red capsicum, cucumber and carrots for this.
- Adult ‘ants on a log’: Celery sticks (fibre) filled with a couple tsp natural peanut butter (protein, fat + fibre) and topped with a few goji berries (fibre).
- Single serve tub unsweetened Greek or thick-strained yoghurt (protein + fat) with a dessertspoon of raw muesli (protein + fat + fibre); I’m loving this combo with The Wild’s gluten free Lime + Coconut Muesli.
- Aussie Bodies’ Naked protein bar: A great grab and go option; I’m not usually a fan of protein bars (most of them contain a whole heap of artificial ingredients) but this one’s an exception. It comes in two flavours – Peanut & Cacao and Almond Coconut & Cacao (yum!), and with ingredients like high quality whey protein isolate, coconut oil (opposed to vegetable oil) LSA and chia seeds, the Naked range gets my tick of approval. Sweetened with brown rice syrup too, a low fructose sweetener.
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