3. Biscuit vs Oatcakes with nut butter
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
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
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
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
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.