Forget chips and chocolate, the key to snacking in the time of self-isolation is about nutrition over quick fixes.
Forget chips and chocolate, the key to snacking in the time of self-isolation is about nutrition over quick fixes.

Your ultimate at-home healthy snacking guide

You probably already know a lot about healthy snacking.

A piece of fresh fruit, a tub of yoghurt, a handful of vegetable sticks. These are the typical snacks we're told are "healthy".

But sometimes, they just don't cut it - and believe it or not, that's perfectly OK.

So with everyone getting a hankering for a salty nibble from time to time, we wanted to highlight the healthiest pre-packaged savoury snacks you'll find in the supermarket.

When it comes to healthy snacks, there's a few things you should probably consider. The first is to ensure your snack is made of real food and not ultra-processed rubbish.

Aussies are turning to comfort foods during the COVID-19 crisis.
Aussies are turning to comfort foods during the COVID-19 crisis.

Aside from fresh produce, some of the best snacks you can get your hands on are made from wholegrains (brown rice, wholegrain wheat, rolled oats) and legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils). Why? Both of these food groups are associated with a long list of health benefits.

Eating wholegrains regularly, for example, is linked to reduced risk of death, heart disease and diabetes. Eating enough legumes, on the other hand, can help to manage blood sugars and cholesterol, and is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as diabetes and cancer.

There are three other important factors to consider when it comes to healthy snacking:

1. The portion size: As a blanket rule, a healthy snack contains just 600 kilojoules (about 150 calories) or less. They are not supposed to be mini meals. Rather, just a couple of bites to keep annoying hunger pangs at  bay.

2. The fibre content: You're looking for at least three grams of fibre a serve. That's not just to support gut health, but to keep you feeling full.

3. The protein content: As much protein as you can get (without resorting to supplements and powders) is a good idea. It will also help to keep you feeling full.

Lockdown mode has got all of us eating more than usual - and sometimes you just want a salty snack rather than an apple. Here, dietitian MELISSA MEIER ranks the healthiest pre-packaged savoury treats to keep at hand.

 

Originally published as Your ultimate at-home healthy snacking guide


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