All of us grapple with hunger pangs at our work desk from time to time. However, if we’re habitually reaching for cookies, chips and candy, our waistline might start to suffer, and we might also put ourselves at a much higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. The solution? To place some of these healthy snacks within easy reach, so you can make it to lunch and dinner time without reaching for the cookie jar! Here are some healthy choices.
1. Whole grain cereal
It’s a popular misconception that all cereal is healthy. Mass market cereals like Froot Loops and Honey Stars might taste great, and might even have high levels of dietary fiber — but due to their extremely high sugar content, they definitely aren’t healthy by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, opt for whole grain cereals, muesli, bran flakes and granola. These calorie-dense, low-sugar cereals will give you plenty of energy to see you through the workday. Pair them with some skimmed or semi-skimmed milk!
Who doesn’t love fruits as a midday pick-me-up? Here are some of our favourite snack fruits.
- Bananas are a great choice if you’re feeling lethargic. They contain high levels of fibre and natural sugar. They’ll give you a big energy boost within minutes, making them a great choice for a pre-workout snack. And if you’re feeling peckish post-workout, bananas are an equally great choice. They contain lots of potassium and riboflavin, which are associated with reducing muscle soreness and faster recovery times.1
- Citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis and mangos have plenty of Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and helps fight off those annoying autumn and winter colds. They also help to rehydrate your body as most citrus fruits are around 80% fluids.2
- Dried fruits. If you’re worried about the limited shelf life of fresh fruits — especially in Hong Kong’s humid weather — consider buying some preserved fruits. These will contribute towards your Vitamin C, calcium and iron intake for the day.3
Low-fat yogurt is a good choice if you’re looking for a snack that will increase satiety (the sensation of feeling full) without introducing too many calories into your diet. They’re also full of protein for muscle-building, calcium for bone-strengthening and live bacterial cultures called probiotics which promote digestive health and regular bowel movements.4
4. Dark chocolate
Surprised to see chocolate on this list? Well, the health benefits of dark chocolate are well-established. Dark chocolate contains plenty of good cholesterol which helps to fight the bad cholesterol that clogs your arteries. It’s also been linked to lower risk of high blood pressure and stroke.5 Just make sure you opt for unsweetened or low-sugar varieties rather than your supermarket brand chocolate bars as the latter are high in sugar and fat!
We all get a snack attack now and then. There’s nothing wrong with a quick nibble — just keep it healthy and tasty, with one of these great snack options!
- University of Michigan. Visited 13 April 2016.
- Healthy hydration guide. British Nutrition Foundation. Visited 13 April 2016.
- 5 A Day: what counts? NHS Live Well. Visited 13 April 2016.
- Oral probiotics: an introduction. National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Visited 13 April 2016.
- Are chocolate's health claims for real? NHS Choices. Visited 13 April 2016.