• Snacking smart can be really challenging especially when there is a vending machine down the hall way or McDonalds shop just a few blocks from your office. Often we find ourselves reaching for a bar of chocolate or a crunchy packet of crisp to replenish energy lost from long hours of working from your desk. We are accustomed to eating these readily available snacks but ignore the huge quantity of hidden nasties they contain ( very high amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, salts, sugars etc). Coupled with with the long sedentary hours spent at work, too much of these could be perfect for initiating and speeding up chronic diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • By practicing the following tips on snacking smart, you are a step further to a healthier and happy life.

1. Incorporate the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Daily Snacks

Fruits and vegetables are a high source of vitamins minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommend the consumption of five portions of fruits and vegetables daily to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Fruits and vegetables also contain the sugar needed to replenish low blood glucose levels from a busy day.

  • Considering the long sedentary hours spent at work, swapping unhealthy snacks such as crisps and burgers for fruit and vegetable snacks can be a perfect way to meet up with recommended daily consumption of five a day.
  • Fruits such as apples, bannanas, melons and berries can be conveniently transported to work to serve as a mid-day snack with little or no inconvenience except discarding the peelings

2. Go for healthier options

Snacks can help curb hunger while making a nutritious energy boost to your day. You however have to choose wisely by checking nutrition labels for the nutrients in each product.

Nutrition labels can help you make healthier product choices and keep check on how much salts, added sugars, saturated and fats you are consuming. You can achieve this by practicing following nutrition standards for snacks which have been derived from recommendations by the American heart association;

  • Consume no more than 200 calories per label savings
  • Choose items with lowest salt content preferably 0.1g per 100g serving
  • Avoid candies, sugar free mint and gum are ok
  • No more than 1g of saturated fat per serving
  • Avoid snacks containing hydrogenated oils ( choose the ones with 0g trans fat per label serving)
  • And lastly, choose nuts with a serving size of 1oz but not more than 1.5oz

Carbohydrates are essential source of energy but should be preferably vegetable carbohydrates. What ever your choice of snacks ensure not to exceed 200calories per serving of snacks.

3. Avoid Cravings:

Consuming sugary snacks only leads to craving for more. Hence consuming protein rich snacks would keep you full for a longer time and keep the sugar monster to rest. Consume protein rich snacks like; a cup of natural yogurt with berries and seeds, alternatively a piece of guava or dried apricot mixed with a handful of almonds.

Plan ahead: A lunch box filled with nutritious goodies beats any salty crisps and sandwitch you get from local fast food stores hands down. Not only is it healthier, it may be a cheaper and more convenient option to keep hunger at bay if you just plan your snacks right. Vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower can be nicely packaged in a plastic bowl and refridgerated overnight to serve as a snack at work or part of lunch. Otherwise, using an assortment of different fruits for fruit salads could spice up the snack a little more.

Just in case you can not fix the fruits and vegetable boxes for yourself, you might want to place an order for a fresh delivery to be done in time at your convenience

Lastly, Stock your snack drawer with healthy food for easy access. These should include dry fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals, berries and apricots.

For a healthy trail mix and flavour variety, combine nuts (almonds and peanuts) with dried fruits ( raisins, blue berry ,apricot) and seeds (pumkin seeds)

In need of much more energy? combine whole grain cereals with fat free/ low fat yogurt or skimmed milk as a fibre rich meal. Oat meals could be an easy option for snacks

Practice these tips and you would enjoy a healthier and happier life. Start with baby steps and improve as each day passes by.



Created with images by uberculture - "minicookie" • Aproximando Ciência e Pessoas - "Frutas e Vegetais" • Einladung_zum_Essen - "breakfast healthy banana" • - "healthy oat and fruit nut snack bars on a white plate next to a personalized baking dish with dates nuts and seeds on a wood table" • Shad0wfall - "winning motivation succeed man freedom victory young"

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