Have you ever stood in front of a vending machine trying to figure out which of the items on display will be the lesser evil? Finding a healthy and nutritious snack on the go can be tricky, but with a little forward planning you can avoid this conundrum by keeping a few simple items in you handbag, car, desk drawer or laptop case.
Dried fruit is a great source of energy and can easily be kept in your bag for snacking emergencies. About a handful of dried fruit (40g) equals a healthy portion.
A good protein snack, but only if you avoid the fat! Look out for lean biltong and portion handfuls (40 g) into sealable bags or plastic containers.
Nuts and seeds
Keep raw, unsalted nuts such as almonds, cashews or walnuts in your purse or close at hand. A handful (40g) will give you a sustained energy release along with lots of goodness. Why not also try seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds or make your own trail mix by mixing your favourite seeds and nuts.
Not all health bars are healthy so watch out that the portion size is correct, usually 30-40g is appropriate. A healthy snack bar should contain about 500 kJ for women and 750 kJ for men. The fat content should be about 8-10 g per snack (although for weight loss closer to 5 g is better).
Low GI baked goodies
Homemade or bought low-GI muffins, biscuits and rusks can be made in larger quantities and used throughout the month. Usually a small muffin or two biscuits would be a snack. See my blog and book for delicious recipes such as low GI ginger biscuits and biscotti. A great resource for low GI snacks in South Africa is www.eatritefoods.co.za.