Top 5 snacks to eat at your desk
Healthy snacks for work
Do you get struck by the mid-morning munchies? Continually feel the 3pm sugar craving that inevitably brings you to the vending machine for a sweet treat to perk you up? Okay, it's no bad thing to grab a sweet treat now and again, but if you are looking to shave your daily calorie count in a bid to shape up, ditching those sugary or fatty snacks will definitely help.
We've come up with five snacks that can be enjoyed at your desk, so even if you swap one vending machine visit per week with one of the following you'll be on your way to a healthier diet.
For a sweet treat that will sustain you - Yoghurt and honey
Yogurt is low in fat, high in calcium and good for your gut. A recent study also found that people who got their calcium from yogurt rather than other dairy sources lost more weight around the tummy area. Opt for low-fat, unflavoured varieties that contain probiotic bacteria, and add a touch of sweetness with honey. Honey has been shown to increase the blood's level of protective antioxidants, and may also be a useful diet addition for people with high cholesterol. According to research, using honey instead of sugar or an artificial sweetener can reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase HDL (or 'good') cholesterol.
Portion size: One 120g (4oz) pot of yoghurt plus one tablespoon of honey = 140 calories.
For an alternative taste to toast - Avocado toasty
Avocado is something of a 'superfood', as it's rich in vitamin E, high in monounsaturated fats and a good source of potassium - as well as vitamin B6, which aids the process of serotonin synethesis (a process that promotes good mood). Spread half a 'medium ripe' avocado on a slice of wholemeal toast to get a tasty, wholesome, low-GI snack containing a healthy dose of fiber. And if you like a spicy touch, sprinkle it with a dash of Tabasco sauce!
Portion size: Half an avocado on one slice of bread = 220 calories.
For a pick up to hide from your boss - Almonds and apricots
Almonds are high in protein and fiber, as well as being low-GI, a good source of magnesium, and rich in vitamin E (an antioxidant). Dried apricots, on the other hand, are rich in carotenes - which may lower the risk of cancers of the throat and lungs - and provide you with potassium, iron, calcium, silicon, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Interestingly, dried apricots have a far greater nutritional value than fresh ones because the nutrient content is so concentrated. Gram for gram, dried apricots have twelve times the iron, seven times the fibre and five times the vitamin A of fresh ones. The best way to eat this snack is to impale the almonds in the apricots.
Portion size: six to eight apricots plus 20 -25 almonds = approximately 250 calories
For a liquid perk up - Banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie
Smoothies are a real filler and can also be enjoyed on the sly if your place of work has a no eating at the desk policy. Granted, you can't just set up your blender next to the photocopier, but you can easily make up a batch for brekkie, save and chill the rest for later. We recommend a banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie, it provide a hefty portion of beta-carotene, folic acid, fiber, vitamins B, C and E and essential minerals. The skimmed milk also adds protein and calcium.
For two servings you'll need the flesh of one ripe mango, chopped ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped, one small banana or ½ large banana, chopped, juice of ½-1 lime (according to taste), 150ml skimmed milk and eight ice cubes. Simply crush the ice cubes in the blender and then add the rest of the ingredients - then blend until smooth.
Portion size: One serving of smoothie = approximately 177 calories.
For a savoury snack to sustain you - Peanut butter on crispbreads
This is the perfect combination of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and lots of fiber. While peanut butter is high in fat, it's the unsaturated (or 'good') kind - and peanuts are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin E. Peanut butter is also rich in protein - so is an especially good option for vegetarians - and a good source of magnesium. Opt to spread the peanut butter on rye crispbreads - which are low in salt, high in fiber and have a low GI - so you won't get an energy high followed by a crash.
Portion size: Two teaspoons of peanut butter on two rye crispbreads = 180 calories.