Ten snacks that fight fat
26-10-2011, 09:22 AM
Smoked salmon and low fat cream cheese on oatcakes, topped with watercress
If you are a gym-bunny falafel is a great afternoon snack, "it contains contains a good mixture of protein and carbs," says Norris, "so not only does it feed your muscles the right combination of what they hunger for, the full flavour will leave you more satisfied." Make your own tzatziki, instead of buying it from a shop as you can make it with less oil, and live yoghurt (not natural yoghurt), which adds probiotic bacteria - great for maintaining a healthy gut.
Something cold It might sound like an interesting choice for a snack but frozen vegetables are a great option. "Frozen veg often tastes better than fresh produce," explains Norris, "as freezing naturally seals in the sweet-tasting flavours as well as locking the vitamins in and the high-fibre and low-calorie-density combination means they're filling and the frozen part makes them interesting." They're firm, but they melt in your mouth. Go on, try it...
Something dried Dried apple rings - Available at most health food shops, these fruit pieces make an ideal low-salt, no-saturated fat substitute for that afternoon packet of crisps. Research shows that the soluble fibre in apples prevents re-absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream, so is beneficial for heart health too.
Something green An avocado with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil - Quick and easy to prepare, avocados are a dream snack. "They contain 60% more potassium than bananas," explains Norris, "and are also rich in the B vitamins - the stuff your body need to efficiently convert food into energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer." Also, an Arizona state study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that adding vinegar to meals can help naturally curb calorie intake for the remainder of the day by up to 16%. This one change alone is enough to trigger a loss of up to 28 pounds in a year.
Something nutty Mixed nuts, dried fruit and seeds - Trail mix is a healthy snack-food staple and can also be made at home. Raisins are high in antioxidants and provide a natural sugar boost to keep you going till dinnertime.
Something dressed up Apple and walnut salad - The humble apple is back on the menu but this time they need to be fresh. Cut your apple up and mix it with some chopped walnuts (an added satiating bonus) and a teaspoon of maple syrup. "The protein, unsaturated fats and fibre in the walnuts give an added satiating bonus," explains Norris.
Hot peppers - Research shows that eating about one tablespoon of chopped red or green chilli peppers can temporarily boost metabolism by up to 23% and curb cravings, so add a whole chilli pepper as a side to any of the previously mentioned snacks or just eat it on its own.
Something sweet Licorice - Licorice, which has an active ingredient called glycyrrhetinic acid, has been shown to help reduce body fat mass and reduce appetite. This is probably because the sweet taste satiates the palate and tells the body it's full. If you are going to snack on this sweet treat, make sure it is the real thing - licorice root (not the stuff from a sweetshop) and only eat a small handful of the stuff.
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