Healthspan January 31, 2018

We all know the feeling. It’s 4pm on a Wednesday, you’re only half way through the week and all you want is a grab bag of crisps or a giant chocolate bar. How many times have you given in to that craving and headed straight for the office vending machine?

There’s no shame in eating a snack – we all need it sometimes. So instead of trying to resist the urge – let’s look at what you can put into your body that will benefit it as opposed to cause an unhealthy spike in your blood sugar levels.

These 5 office snacks – the best snacks to fight hunger – will equip you for that 4pm slump and stop you reaching for the unhealthy option.

1. Chocolate bar vs Nutricious Bar

Why?
It’s a tasty chocolate bar that’s low on sugar and big on vitamins. The Nutricious Bar provides 15% of your daily nutritional requirements of energy, protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibre, plus 11 vitamins and 6 minerals. Think about it…instead of gobbling down a chocolate bar with minimal nutritional benefits, you’re snacking on a bar that gives your taste buds satisfaction whilst also giving your body a helping hand.



2. Chocolate cake vs Chocolate fridge cake

Why?
This healthy chocolate refrigerator cake might seem overly precocious but it tastes great. Sometimes you need a treat that’s really going to indulge your senses and trust us, this cake does just that. Not only that, the ingredients in this cake will gift your body with some good nutrients including vitamin E (sunflower seeds), protein (HiLo bar), fibre and magnesium (almonds) and potassium (dates).

3. Biscuit vs Oatcakes with nut butter

Why?
Nut butters (almond, cashew and peanut) are a good source of B vitamins and minerals, such as iron and magnesium. They keep you fuller for longer due to being a fabulous source of ‘good fats’ and – bonus! – taste absolutely delicious. We probably don’t need to tell you how high in sugar and saturated fat the average chocolate biscuit is.

4. Pastry vs Banana and honey on a slice of wholemeal toast

Why?
White foods are mostly refined foods. The nutritious outer coating of the grain has been removed leaving little more than sugar and starch, which are broken down and released into the blood stream at record speed. White foods don’t satisfy you for long and prompt the need for another ‘top up’. White bread, white pasta, crisps, biscuits, cakes, pastries, fries, buns and sugary, fizzy drinks are the worst culprits. As far as filling snacks go, banana and honey on a slice of wholemeal toast will keep you powering through until home-time.

5. Boxed chocolates vs Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate

Why?
When it comes to vitamin C content strawberries are way up there, and they’re a great source of fibre for gut health, too. But we’re not going to kid ourselves – if you’re craving chocolate a few strawberries simply aren’t going to cut it. Dip them in dark chocolate (but keep them refrigerated) and enjoy as an afternoon pick me up with a cup-of-tea to satisfy your sugar craving. As if you need any further reason to make this chocolate switch, dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium, which has an ‘unexpected’ role in regulating our internal body clocks according to research by the University of Edinburgh.

6. Cheese puffs vs Cream cheese and tomatoes on crackers

Why?
Okay, cheese is a taste sensation and when you’re eating it in the right quantities it’s full of calcium and it’s a healthy, really tasty snack (we were torn between cream cheese and a cut-up apple with cheese for this one). But in fake form i.e. in cheese puff form – not so good. Crackers with cream cheese and tomatoes, on the other hand, will leave you feeling contented and tomatoes are full of vitamin C, vitamin K1 and lycopene which means – along with all of the snacks on this page – you’re giving your body something good!

7. Crisps vs Homemade tortilla chips

Why?
Healthspan head of Nutrition Rob Hobson says, ‘seventy per cent of us eat too much salt, with the average intake currently standing at 8.1g per day; over 2g more than the recommended 6g’. Unfortunately – moreish as they are – crisps are one of the worst culprits. But making your own tortilla chips is as easy as pie and that way you can control the amount of salt that goes on them and add extra flavour with olive oil, herbs and spices. Just chop your tortilla wraps into triangular pieces (any stale packets sitting in the bottom of the bread bin will do), drizzle with a little olive oil and season to taste – add some paprika for a bit of extra pizazz – and whack in the oven for ten minutes flipping them over halfway through.

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