Dr. Ingrid van Heerden has put together a list of eight easy-to-make snacks that are both healthy and filling for people on the go.
The basic principles of keeping your blood sugar levels steady and preventing hunger pangs are:
- Use high-fibre or low-GI bread;
- Combine your carbs with a serving of protein;
- Use legumes and nuts to stabilize your blood sugar levels;
- Low-fat milk and dairy products are high in protein;
- Deciduous and citrus fruit and berries are low-GI
Here are eight healthy and yummy snack ideas:
1 Wholewheat or Low-GI bread & crunchy peanut butter, jam/honey, & sliced banana
- High-fibre and low-GI carbohydrates combined with the protein and monounsaturated fats in peanut butter keep blood sugar levels steady for longer.
- Add 1 teaspoon of jam or honey and sliced banana to make a tasty snack.
2 Tuna, sweetcorn & apple roll
- Combine drained, flaked tuna with creamed sweetcorn, a chopped apple and a dash of mayonnaise and chutney.
- Eat with one or two wholewheat or low-GI rolls.
- The tuna protein, maize kernels, chopped apple and the low-GI carbohydrate will keep you feeling full for longer.
- Research indicates that individuals who eat fish at least twice a week have a lower incidence of heart disease.
3 Boiled egg, ham, tomato, gherkin & Feta salad
- Cut hard-boiled egg into slices, mix with chopped ham, tomato wedges, gherkin slices, Feta cubes and fresh lettuce.
- Add lite salad dressing or balsamic vinegar.
- Egg, ham and Feta protein are all low-GI foods and the salad dressing or balsamic vinegar also lowers the GI of the meal.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which may protect against prostate and other cancers.
4 Grilled chicken wraps & pineapple
- Fill wholewheat wraps with grilled, cubed skinless chicken breasts, lettuce, tomato, onion, and fresh pineapple chunks.
- Add a 50:50 lite mayo-low-fat yogurt dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- The chicken protein and the dressing are low GI foods that will stave off hunger pangs.
- Use low- or fat-free yogurt to make tasty dressings with a low kJ content.
5 Pita filled & canned or cooked curried beans, salsa, & grated cheese
- Pack wholewheat pitas with canned curried beans, a salsa made with chopped tomato, onions and sweet peppers and top with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese.
- Add chutney if desired.
- Beans are high in protein and fiber and when combined with cheese they make a wholesome meal.
- Combining plant protein and protein derived from animals (such as cheese or fish or lean meat) provides us with the complete protein we need to build new tissue.
6 Vegetarian treat Bulgarian yogurt & chopped dried fruit, nuts and honey
- Mix 2 tablespoons of chopped dried fruit (apricots, dates, figs, etc) and 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts into a tub of Bulgarian yogurt and drizzle with honey.
- Plain yogurt (use low-fat if you are slimming) is credited as being one of the foods that promote longevity.
- The high-fiber fruit and the protein in the yogurt and the nuts make a satisfying meal for lacto-vegetarians.
- Plain Bulgarian yogurt (use low-fat if you are slimming) is credited as being one of the foods that promote longevity in populations in the Balkans and the Caucasus region.
7 Date & cottage cheese sandwiches & a pear & berry salad
- Chop 2-3 tablespoons of fresh dates and mix into a tub of plain low-fat cottage cheese.
- Eat together with a large pear and a small container of fresh, mixed berries.
- Dates have been used by nomadic people for their hunger-preventing properties for centuries.
- When combined with the protein of cottage cheese and a deciduous fruit and berries which are also low GI, this meal will keep you going till supper time.
- Berries are a good source of vitamin C and phytonutrients that protect us against degenerative diseases.
8 Meat & crunchy veg salad
- Chop cooked, lean, left-over meat into bite-sized cubes and mix with strips of sweet pepper, celery and carrot sticks, olives or gherkins and add a 50:50 avo-yogurt dressing (mix equal quantities of ripe avocado, low-fat yogurt, and add salt and pepper to season).
- The meat, vegetables, olives and the dressing are all low-GI foods which help to prevent sugar-lows.
- Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat which increases ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol and lowers ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol.