Do you get struck by mid-morning munchies; continually feel the 3pm sugar craving that inevitably brings you to the vending machine for a sweet treat to perk you up? Okay, it’s not a bad thing to grab a sweet treat now and again, but if you are looking to shave your daily calorie in a bid to shape up – ditching those sugary and fatty snacks will definitely help.
There are five delicious snacks that can be enjoyed at your desk – so even if you swap one vending machine visit per week with one of the following tasty snacks, you will be well on your way to a healthier diet!
For an alternative taste to toast – Avocado Toasty!
Avocado is rich in vitamin E, high in monounsaturated fats and a good source of potassium – as well as vitamin B6 and is something of a ‘superfood’. It aids the process of serotonin synethesis which is a process that promotes good mood, so why not spread half a ‘medium ripe’ avocado on a slide of wholemeal toast for a wholesome, yet low-GI snack containing a healthy dose of fibre. Sprinkle a dash of Tabasco sauce if you like the spicy touch.
Portion Size: Half an avocado on one slice of wholemeal bread = 220 calories.
For a pick up to hide from your boss – Almonds and apricots
Almonds are high in protein and fibre, as well as being low-GI, a good source of magnesium, and rich in the antioxidant vitamin E. On the other hand, dried apricots are rich in carotenes – which may lower the risk of cancers of the throat and lungs and provide you with iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, phosphours and vitamin C. Interestingly, dried apricots have a far greater nutritional value than fresh ones because the nutrient content is so concentrated. Dried apricots have twelve times the iron, seven times the fibre and five times the vitamin A of fresh ones gram for gram. The best way to eat this snack is to impale the almonds in the apricots.
Portion Size: Size to eight apricots plus 20 to 25 almonds = approximately 250 calories.
For a sweet treat that will sustain you – Yoghurt and honey
Yoghurt is good for your gut as it is high in calcium and low in fat. A recent study found that those we got their calcium from yoghurt rather than dairy sources, lost more weight around the yummy area. Opt for a low-fat, unflavoured variety of yoghurt that contains probiotic bacteria, and a touch of honey for sweetness. According to research, using honey instead of sugar or an artificial sweetener can reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol. Honey has also been shown to increase the blood’s level of protective antioxidants. You can now add a sweet taste to your yoghurt and feel the health benefits too.
Portion Size: One 120g (40oz) pot of yoghurt plus one tablespoon of honey = 140 calories.
For a liquid perk up – Banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie
If your work place has a no eating at the desk policy, smoothies are a real filler and can be enjoyed on the sly. It’s very simple to make a batch of smoothie at breakfast time, to last you throughout the day as I don’t think any boss would be too happy if you set up your blender next to the photocopier! To provide a hefty portion of beta-carotene, folic acid, fibre, vitamins B, C and E and essential minerals, a banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie is recommended. The skimmed milk also included in your smoothie, adds protein aswell as calcium.
Portion Size: One serving of smoothie = approximately 177 calories.
For a savoury snack to sustain you – Peanut butter on crispbreads
Peanut butter on crispbreads is the perfect combination of fat, protein, carbohydrate and lots of fibre. Peanut butter is rich in protein as well as high in fat; however it’s the unsaturated (or good) kind and is also a great option for vegetarians too! Peanuts are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin E and magnesium, so opt for peanut butter on rye crispbreads for a low in salt, high in fibre and a low GI snack. Plus you won’t get an energy high followed by crash!
Portion Size: Two teaspoons of peanut butter on two rye crispbreads = 180 calories.
What are your healthy but tasty snacks you eat at your desk?