- Veg and houmous, roasted chickpeas and walnuts are expert-approved snacks
- Dietitians say the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and obesity
When you’re craving a snack, it can be easy to chew on a candy bar or reach for a bag of chips.
But your dietitian definitely wouldn’t be impressed if you resorted to discarding Dairy Milk every night.
So, have you ever wondered what they eat themselves?
Well, luckily for you, MailOnline has asked four top experts to share exactly what their delicacies are and how you can make them. So maybe it’s time to put the pastries down and get the carrots and humus…
Priya Tew, a Hampshire-based dietician and author, says nuts are her favorite snack.
She recommends eating a handful of almonds or walnuts, plus raw veggies with houmous and a sprinkle of seeds.
“Having the balance of fruit or vegetables along with a protein can help with fullness and blood sugar balance, too,” she says.
But if you want something to satisfy your sweet tooth, she recommends munching on a homemade flapjack made with oats, mashed bananas, pumpkin seeds, honey, and canola oil.
Consultant dietitian Kirsten Jackson, who lives in Dubai, says her favorite snacks also include nuts.
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She also recommends roasted chickpeas or stuck to fruit, whether it’s fresh or frozen.
Carrot or pepper sticks with salsa or houmous will also fill the hole in a healthy way, says Ms. Jackson, who runs the Food Treatment Clinic.
But one of her favorite snacks, she admits, is peanut butter lathered on top of an oatcake.
She suggests that this is the perfect healthy snack even if you’re on a budget.
“Oats contain beta gluten which can help lower cholesterol, and oats are a fabulous source of fiber,” says Ms. Jackson.
Dr. Frankie Phillips, a registered dietitian, says spicy roasted chickpeas are her favorite snack.
To make it, she recommends using a whole can of chickpeas, then drying them in a kitchen towel or paper towel before placing them in a lidded pot and seasoning with olive oil, cumin, and plenty of ground black pepper.
Next, swirl the tub to mix the oil and spices and coat the chickpeas. 15 minutes in the oven is enough to make them crunchy.
“Chickpeas are a fabulous way to supplement your fiber intake,” says Dr. Phillips, a registered dietitian from Devon.
“Fiber can help with feelings of fullness by slowing the absorption of sugar molecules and regulating beneficial gut bacteria,” says Dr. Phillips.
Meanwhile, Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said the simplest snacks are chunks of fresh fruit or a handful of unsalted nuts and seeds.
She added, “Eat different types of fruit throughout the day and blends of nuts and seeds so you don’t get bored.”
“Your body will also benefit from the range of nutrients the different strains provide.”
But if you have a little more time, she recommends trying combining veggie sticks with a yogurt- or legume-based dip like tzatziki or houmous.
“The protein in the sauces helps make this choice more filling and they’re easy to make at home,” says Ms. Taylor.
For something heartier, she recommends making a fish pate.
Using mackerel or salmon, combine it with low-fat soft cheese, herbs, black pepper and lemon to have with whole-grain crackers and some sliced cucumber or tomatoes, Ms. Taylor says.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET BE LIKE?
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. They count all fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits and vegetables
• Meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholemeal
• 30 grams of fiber per day: Equates to eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole grain biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with skin
• Get dairy or dairy alternatives (like soy drinks) by choosing options that are low in fat and sugar
• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish each week, one of which should be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreadable creams and consume them in small quantities
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide