Healthy snack ideas
Updated: Apr 6
I am always hungry. That's why I learned how to snack: 3 meals a day are not enough for me no matter how nutritious or satisfying.
Sometimes I just need to chew something without adding an enormous amount of calories to my daily diet, and this happens mainly after breakfast (half morning around 11) and after dinner ( around 21). I really tried every single diet on earth but I ended up just binge eating. Food restrictions don't work for me on the long term.
Now, |I understand my body's needs better, therefore I try not to compensate a bad day with junk food and I basically eat regularly to avoid to feel my stomach growling.
It's all about the right choices really. Nothing too difficult! This is a list of healthy snacks I eat when I am peckish and they are suitable for work too.
Preparation is crucial: take your time to plan what you are going to eat every day so you can also be ready with your snacks. If I am going to have a pizza night, I will prepare the lightest snack in order to balance. On the other hand, if I had just a salad on lunch, I won't be precious to choose something indulgent.
Apple or banana + nuts butter
Fresh fruit is always a great choice as it is a source of fibres, vitamins and water. I used to do the mistake of eating it alone and as a result after 10 minutes I was even hungrier. Fruit naturally contains sugar causing a pick of insulin, so in order to avoid it, pair it with something made mainly of fat such as nuts butters!
It can be the classic peanut butter, but I always choose it with the shortest ingredient list on the label: just peanuts, no sugar, no palm oil. Tesco is doing a very good one at a surprisingly cheap price (£1.50). If you fancy something a bit different you could choose for almond, pistachio or cashew butter (Meridian is my favourite brand).
Several people will say to do it on your own: I think it's not worth it. You can find a good quality product for a fraction of the price instead of buying a whole bag of nuts + the time to do it. Save it for lasagne!
Greek or Skyr yogurt:
Source of healthy fats and protein, it is the perfect snack! It's good for your gut and for women suffering of recurrent yeast infection too.
I love the creamy consistency and I like to eat as it is or topped with a teaspoon of honey and berries.
My favourite brands are Arla or FAGE, but I tend to stay away from the flavoured versions as they are too heavy on refined sugars.
My favourite snack for after dinner, when I relax with my boo watching Netflix.
Better if homemade, without adding any sugar or salt. But if you are on the go, try the skinny ones (£1.60)
Here is worth mentioning that I select only the ones with low or no sugar. I prefer opting for a nut bar such as the NAKD or the KIND even if they are a bit expensive because other brands are extremely high is refined sugars. In alternative, I find the NATURE VALLEY oats bar quite a decent compromise. These are the perfect solution when you are on public transports and you want something quick and easy to carry.
Nuts + fresh fruit
Again, fruit is one of the best options available. Even the one with the highest amount of sugar is always a better choice compared to something "lighter" but processed.
I found on Google these amazing charts that made me more aware of the calories and sugar level and helps me to variate accordingly.
Following the lists, I then choose berries more often then grapes and mangoes but I don't eliminate anything. I just alternate the days and the portion size.
Same for nuts: all are great but in moderation.
Veggies + cheese or hummus/taramasalata dips
If you are not a sweet tooth like me, you might want something savoury. Veggies are super tasty and satisfying paired with some cheese. Here again, attention to the calories: there are 1000 kind of cheese available nowadays, so make sure not too eat the super fatty ones every single day. Rotating is key! Don't get rid of your Parmesan if you love it, but have a smaller portion and the next day choose feta instead.
Google is helping me once again: I downloaded all the charts available and I check every time before planning my snack.
What are the best combinations?
I personally like:
-Celery and Brie
-Carrots and Cottage cheese
-Swede and Cheddar
-Radishes and Philadelphia
-Tomatoes and Mozzarella
-Bell pepper and Feta
-Cauliflower and Edam
-Fennel and Goat
-Cucumber and salad cheese
Dark chocolate + espresso coffee
Smashing combo when you energy level is low and you need a boost that will lift you up quickly. That happens frequently to me when I am on my period and I can't just cope with the world. I am a huge fan of the Lidl chocolate which I believe is stunning quality. For the coffee I just drink Lavazza qualita' rossa, nothing else accepted.
Corn or rice thins + ham
Corn cakes are a good swap to avoid eating bread. It is a balanced snack that is source of protein and carbs. Awesome before going to the gym. Even better if you could add a couple of cherry tomatoes.
Rice cakes + honey or hazelnut spread:
Nutella addicted like myself? You don't need to give up your guilty pleasure...I found online an alternative to it that actually tastes nice and it's more environment friendly! Of course this doesn't mean that you can dip the spoon in the jar as much as you want...but for less sugars and no palm oil, we can definitely enjoy it more often.
If you had some porridge left from your breakfast, the best thing is to carry it with you for a dessert-like snack in the afternoon or you can save it in a jar for the next day. I intentionally make more in the morning to have it later on. You can find my recipe in the food section:
Hope this was helpful guys!
Let me know your favourite way of snacking!
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Check out another of my posts with snacks: