Thursday, 1 October 2015
Cuting out sugary foods and high fat snacks is an important way to improve your diet and help maintain good blood glucose levels. It helps to have alternatives available when you are feeling that urge to snack on something or when your levels dip and you just don't have time to make a meal. Having alternatives at the ready and achieving a balance are really important for long term success! It's okay to have an occasional sweet treat, but in all reality, those need to be kept at a minimum, and it's best to develop a taste for nutritionally sound snacks.
Nuts and Seeds not sweets
A balanced diet shouldn't contain things like candy on a daily basis. Make your calories count in a positive way. Eating candy bars etc. encourage weight gain and have very little nutritional value. A far better choice would be dried fruits, seeds or nuts. You can make up your own mix of nuts by combining your favourites and then roasting them in a slow oven for about 15 minutes. You can then store them in an airtight jar for snacking convenience. You could add a clove of minced garlic to them and some herbs prior to roasting for additional flavour.
Fruits and Vegetables
Easy to eat fruits and vegetables are a delicious alterative to sugary salty snacks. For family parties you could add mini whole grain bread sticks and potato wedges roasted in their skins.
-Baby carrots, courgette sticks, cauliflower florets, etc. are all good either on their own or with a tasty low fat dip.
- Pysalis, grapes and mandarine orange segments are juicy and delicious with plain yogurt with a sprinkling of chopped nuts.
- Small bananas, strawberries, stoned halved plums and apricots are great and make good lunch box inclusions
-Dried apricot halves are good served with low fat soft cheese and toasted walnuts
-Homemade or purchased oatcakes spread with low fat soft cheese and topped with a dried apple ring
Small sandwiches can also make a good snack, especially for children who are diabetic. You can cut them into little fingers or quarters. Use whole meal bread spread with soft cheese or homemade sugar free nut butters. You can slice whole meal French baguettes crosswise into rounds and make small round sandwiches or open sandwiches.
- Make mini wraps by spreading whole wheat tortilla wraps with savoury or sweet fillings, rolling them up and then cutting into sections. (Banana and sugar free peanut butter are fab!)
-Slices of whole wheat French bread spread with soft cheese and a thick layer of roasted sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds on top.
-Vegetable Pancakes are great. Add chopped spring onions, chives, grated carrots, etc. to the batter prior to cooking. Then spread with some low fat soft cheese or other filling, roll up an cut into slices.
-Sliced or mashed banana or dried fruits mixed with toasted nuts and low fat soft cheese also make tasty sandwich filling alternatives.
I don't know about you, but I enjoy a bit of a crunch when it comes to snacking. It is possible to still get that satisfaction but in a healthy way.
- Cut wholemeal French Sticks into thin slices, rub with a peeled and cut garlic cloves on both sides and then spread them out onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 160*C/325*F/gas mark 3 for about 20 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Rub again with a cut garlic cloves and cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container. This are good as nibbles or with dips or pate.
- Plain or seeded bagels, sliced very thinly and baked in the same way are also very good.
- Slice potatoes, or sweet potatoes (skin on) into very thin slices, toss with just a tiny bit of oil and some seasoning and spread out in a single layer on a plate. Pop into the microwave on high for two minutes, flip over and repeat. Continue to do this until they are starting to brown and crisp. Voila really low fat potato crisps!
When all else fails, don't forget the old faithful . . . a stick of celery spread with some no sugar peanut butter. And if you really want to go retro sprinkle it with a few sultanas. Ants on a log!
Just remember, however healthy your snacks are . . . 100 calories or less is the rule and no more than perhaps two a day.
Hope this helps!