Whether you're on a diet or just looking to watch your weight, it's always worth knowing which healthy snacks you can tuck into through the day! We've rounded up all the best healthy snack ideas to help you
Healthy snacks are great for helping you to feel full and energised in between meals. Slow-release energy foods will help to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and stop you reaching for unhealthy, sugary alternatives when you’re feeling peckish.
We’ve all been there. Perhaps you’ve overindulged a little over the weekend or decided it’s time to start eating a little more healthily, or perhaps you’re doing your best to stick to a diet plan, but either way it’s much easier said than done. Simply deciding to be healthy is one thing, and actually sticking to it every day is quite another.
While it can be tempting to just read the calorie content quickly on a label and opt for a low-calorie snack when you’re feeling peckish, sometimes we need something a little more fulfilling that’s going to leave us fuller for longer, perhaps with some other health benefits thrown in too!
That’s why we’ve been hunting high and low to find a whole host of healthy snack ideas that are not only low in fat (and calories in some cases), but have other amazing benefits for your health and wellbeing – and they’re tasty, too!
If you want to treat your body a little better, these healthy snack ideas are just the thing to get you back to looking and feeling your best. And our favourite part? Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the healthy snack options, you’ll always know what to reach for next time you’re feeling peckish but don’t want to ruin your diet. Finding healthy snacks that are good for you just got easy!
If you're looking to be a little healthier this New Year, these are a great snack. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, Get the recipe: these energy balls are made of oats, peanut butter, honey and protein, and you can decorate them with whatever you like.
Why it's good for you: They're filled with healthy fats and natural unrefined ingredients, and are also gluten free.
Portion size:In order not to take in too many fats, one or two at a time is recommended - but we'd understand if you couldn't resist having more!
2015 was definitely the year of the avocado, reminding us all of just how much we love guacamole! You could save 50 calories just by making your own homemade version rather than buying it ready made in the supermarket - so grab some avocados and get dipping! (With vegetable sticks, not crisps we hasten to add... )
Why it's good for you: Avocado boasts a whole range of health and beauty benefits
. They're high in monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly in the form of oleic acid (known to give significant protection against breast cancer).They also help lower cholesterol, and half a medium avocado counts as one of your five-a-day!
133 (for 85g)
Portion size: Supermarket pots of guacamole are 170g, so aim for a portion that's half this amount of homemade guacamole (85g)
Blueberries don't boast a superfood title for nothing you know! And the best part? There is absolutely nothing taxing about getting more blueberries into your diet as they're so delicious either on their own or added to lots of your favourite things - including your morning porridge or some low-fat Greek yogurt.
Why they're good for you: Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K which all contribute to bone strength. They contain potassium for lowering blood pressure, fibre for managing diabetes, powerful cancer-combatting antioxidants and vitamin C for healthy skin!
Calories: 46 (for 80g)
Portion size: Four heaped tablespoons, or two handfuls if you can't balance them on a spoon, is one portion (80g).
Again, we're not talking about the shop-bought version that comes laden with sugar here. You can make your own granola at home and it's a godsend for hungry tummies at breakfast or as a quick snack during the day!
Why it's good for you: Granola is high in fibre which means slow-released energy for you throughout the day - perfect for when you're running around with no time to stop! Make it at home with wholegrain oats, nuts and dried fruits and you'll be benefitting from lower cholesterol too.
Calories: 140 (120g)
Portion size: Aim for a 122g serving of granola
Nuts are a great snack thanks to their energy-giving powers, not to mention how handy they are! Keep a packet in the car or by the TV so you have something more fullfilling to snack on next time you're feeling peckish and you'll be reaping lots of health benefits along the way.
Why they're good for you: Some American research has indicated that eating 3oz (85g) of walnuts daily in place of other fat sources lowered blood cholesterol levels - although that would be a large amount of calories as a snack. They're also one of the few good plant sources of the omega 3 fats - good news for veggies or those that don't like oily fish!
Calories: 185 (28g)
Portion size: 28g is a good portion size to go for when snacking on walnuts (roughly 14 halves)
Yogurt with banana is not only a great flavour combination, but it packs lots of great health benefits as a quick and easy snack too! Make sure you have a tub of fat-free Greek yogurt tucked in the fridge for emergencies, or as a healthy dessert option.
Why it's good for you: Bananas are loaded with potassium, which is important for muscle contractions (yes, that includes your heart), nerve impulses and electrolyte regulation. They can even lower blood pressure! Yogurt, on the other hand, contains protein to keep you fuller for longer and calcium which, as we all know, we need for strong bones.
Calories: Half a banana = 52 calories. Fat-free Greek yogurt = 59 calories(100g)
Portion size:Half a banana and 100g of fat-free Greek yogurt makes a filling, healthy snack.
Who doesn't love a hard boiled egg? Nutritionists have long been professing the benefits of including eggs in our diets, and hard boiling them to pop in the fridge ensures you always have a filling snack ready at a moment's notice.
Why it's good for you: Don't fall into the trap of thinking it's just egg whites that are good for you, both parts of an egg are rich in nutrients including proteins, vitamins and minerals. The yolk also contains essential fatty acids. According to the NHS, although eggs contain cholesterol, the amount of saturated fat we eat has more effect on the amount of cholesterol in our blood than the cholesterol we get from eating eggs.
Calories: 78 (1 large egg)
Portion size: Snack on one when you're feeling peckish for a real protein hit
Miso soup, found in many Japanese restaurants, is a low-fat, low-calorie snack favoured by many as a way to stave off hunger between meals. It's cheap to buy and is a great alternative to supermarket cup-a-soups which offer hardly no health benefits whatsoever.
Why it's good for you: Low in fat and calories, miso soup is great if you're on a calorie controlled diet. It's a good source of protein, B vitamins (especially B12), helps aid digestion, contains essential amino acids and is high in antioxidants too! According to food chain Itsu, experimental studies carried out specifically with miso have shown it to protect against breast cancer.
Calories: 44 (one cup)
Portion size: One cup mid afternoon should be enough to stop any unhealthy snack cravings!
We love raspberries as a smoothie flavour, and we bet the kids will too! Smoothie bowls have been tipped as one of the big food trends for 2016, and we love the idea of topping them with superfoods like pumpkin and chia seeds too.
Why it's good for you: Did you know that raspberries have anti-inflammatory powers? They also reduce fever, diarrhoea, relieve bladder and prevent urinary tract infection. Packed with vitamins, raspberries contain powerful antioxidants that help to combat cancer. These same polyphenols can protect against heart disease, too!
Calories: 198 (150ml - using skimmed milk and frozen raspberries)
Portion size: 150ml