The impact of snacking on a healthy diet and lifestyle is often overlooked. Most will snack in the evenings and will most likely reach for unhealthy options. This can have a negative impact on weight-loss as they can contain high calories and unhealthy preservatives. Here are 10 healthy snacks to support weight loss and prevent unhealthy snacking.
Dried fruit and nuts
Fruit is dried, removing most of the water content, leaving a small energy-dense dried fruit.
Dried fruit can be preserved for much longer than fresh fruit. Raisins are the most common type, followed by dates, prunes, figs and apricots.
Eating dried fruit has been linked to an increased intake of nutrients and a reduced risk of obesity.
Nuts are a great source of protein, fat and fibre.
Nuts contain a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.
Consumption of nuts has been linked to many positive effects on the body including reduced blood pressure.
Some popular combos:
Apricot and golden raisins paired with almonds.
Cherries paired with cashews.
Apples and raisins paired with walnuts, almonds and cashews.
Canned fish is a fantastic, adaptable, healthy snack that requires no refrigeration.
Salmon and tuna have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. This can decrease your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Fish is a great source of low-fat protein, assisting your weight-loss goals. It contains potassium, vitamin B12 and magnesium.
One can (3.5-ounce) of salmon or tuna contains 17–23 grams of protein and 130–180 calories.
Canned fish can be combined with pasta or rice to create a healthy, low-fat, high protein meal.
A protein shake is a good snack as it will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
Many great whey protein supplements are available online and are relatively cheap. Most protein powders work out to cost under 1$ per serving.
A protein shake will often contain around 150–200 calories and 20–25 grams of protein, depending on the type of protein powder used.
Protein shakes are easily made. Just add a scoop (30 grams) of protein powder to either milk or water and blend until smooth.
There are also plenty of vegan protein powders available.
Biltong (beef jerky) is a great high-protein, portable snack.
Some jerkies are loaded with sugar and preservatives therefore, it is important to select a reliable source. Biltong generally doesn’t contain sugar, but many are made from low-quality meat and contain other unnecessary ingredients.
Look for biltong made from grass-fed beef, with as few added ingredients as possible. Grass-fed beef contains more healthy omega-3 fatty acids compared to grain-fed beef.
Most packs (65g) of biltong contain around 20 grams of protein which provides sufficient protein between meals or a late-night snack.
Consuming biltong is also keto friendly. If you are not familiar with the ketogenic diet, check out on of our other blog posts – Everything You Need to Know about Keto.
Chia seed dessert
Chia seeds contain high levels of fibre and are included in all types of diets, including ketogenic and vegan diets.
They are high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
When chia seeds are soaked in liquid, they have a jelly-like consistency and are relatively flavourless. This allows you to add a variety of flavours using cinnamon, peanut butter or other sweeteners.
Combine chia seeds with water or milk in a small bowl or cup. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Piece of fruit
Healthy snacks don’t need to be complicated. Just a single piece of fruit can be very satisfying, whilst being portable and easy to eat.
Some examples and their benefits:
Bananas – High magnesium levels which is good for your skin.
Apples – High in fibre, pectin, good for stomach health.
Pineapple – Contains enzymes to ease digestion.
Grapes – Contains many antioxidants and is beneficial for heart health.
Mango – High in antioxidants
Oranges – Contains vitamin C which protects your cells from damage amongst many other benefits.
Fruit and peanut butter
A quick and convenient snack, keeping you satisfied until your next meal, with many benefits. Most compatible are bananas and apples.
Bananas have a high level of magnesium which is good for your skin. Also, the potassium in bananas is good for your heart health and blood pressure. Apples are high in fibre which is good for stomach health.
Peanut butter may have additional benefits for heart health. In this study, it has been shown to increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol.
Overnight soaked oats have a high fibre content, if made with fruit, which keeps your stomach filled for a longer period of time.
It even helps in clearing out your digestive tract. The high resistant starch content guarantees faster fat burning and increasing the body’s insulin level.
The carbohydrates in the oats and the fruit will provide your body with energy to smash your day.
Quick and easy to prepare:
Add oats to a container and add enough milk to submerge the oats. Add your choice of fruit and other flavours such as cocoa powder etc. Cover and refrigerate overnight for the perfect breakfast or snack.
Ham cheese crackers/salmon avocado crackers
Combining salmon or ham with avocado and crackers creates a balanced combo that’ll satisfy you in between meals.
Salmon is a lean source of protein and is loaded with nutrients, including omega-3 fats, and B vitamins. This study provides a possible link between salmon consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ham is also a lean source of protein and contains healthy amounts of selenium. Selenium plays an important role in the health of your immune system.
Avocados and crackers provide a great source of fibre and healthy fats.
Protein bars are a popular snack, designed to be a convenient source of nutrition.
Many protein bars may be made from dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and whole grains like oats or quinoa.
The average protein bar contains 5–10 grams of fat, 25–35 grams of carbs, 150–400 calories and 10–20 grams of protein. Many protein bars are a good source of micronutrients, such as calcium, potassium, iron and B vitamins.
Consuming protein bars as a snack has been linked to weight loss. This is likely due to the filling effects of protein, which can curb your appetite and help prevent overeating.
Protein bars are readily available to order online.