When you feel like a snack, you can simply enjoy a candy bar or reach for a bag of chips.
But your nutritionist would definitely not be impressed if you unpacked milk every night.
Have you ever wondered what they snack on themselves?
Well, luckily for you, MailOnline asked four top experts to tell us exactly what their favorite treats are – and how to prepare them. So maybe it’s time to put the pastries aside and grab the carrots and hummus…
MailOnline asked four top experts to tell us exactly what their favorite treats are – and how to prepare them. So maybe it’s time to put the pastries aside and grab the carrots and hummus
Priya Tew, a Hampshire-based nutritionist and author, says nuts are her favorite snack.
She recommends eating a handful of almonds or walnuts and raw vegetables with hummus and a sprinkling of seeds.
“A balance of fruits or vegetables along with a protein can help you feel full and also help balance blood sugar,” she says.
But if you’re in the mood for something sweet, she recommends a homemade flapjack made with oats, mashed banana, pumpkin seeds, honey, and canola oil.
Dubai-based nutritionist Kirsten Jackson says one of her favorite snacks is nuts.
Additionally, she recommends roasted chickpeas or sticking to fruit—whether fresh or frozen.
Carrot or pepper sticks with salsa or hummus 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 slathered on top of an oatcake.
She thinks this is the perfect healthy snack even if you’re on a budget.
“Oats contain beta gluten, which may help lower cholesterol, and oats are an excellent source of fiber,” says Ms. Jackson.
Registered nutritionist Dr. Frankie Phillips claims roasted, spicy chickpeas are her favorite snack.
She recommends using a whole can of chickpeas to prepare them, then drying them in a tea towel or kitchen paper before placing them in a lidded saucepan and drizzled with olive oil, cumin, and plenty of ground black pepper.
Then shake the pan to mix the oil and spices and brush the chickpeas with it. Just 15 minutes in the oven is enough to make them crispy.
“Chickpeas are a great way to top up your fiber intake,” says Dr. Phillips, a Registered Dietitian from Devon.
“Fiber can reduce feelings of satiety, slow down the absorption of sugar molecules, and regulate beneficial gut bacteria,” says Dr. Phillips.
Meanwhile, Victoria Taylor, senior nutritionist at the British Heart Foundation, said the simplest snacks are fresh pieces of fruit or a handful of unsalted nuts and seeds.
Raw veggies with hummus and a sprinkling of seeds is Priya Tew’s favorite snack. This healthy and balanced snack provides protein in the form of humus and healthy fats in seeds and vegetables.
She added, “Eat a variety of fruits and nut and seed mixes throughout the day to keep you from getting bored.”
“Your body also benefits from the variety of nutrients that the different varieties offer.”
However, if you have a little more time, she recommends pairing veggie sticks with a yogurt or legume dip like tzatziki or hummus.
“The protein in the dips helps make this choice more filling, and they’re easy to make at home,” says Ms. Taylor.
For something heartier, she recommends preparing a fish pie.
Pair mackerel or salmon with low-fat soft cheese, herbs, black pepper and lemon to serve with whole-wheat crackers and some cucumber or tomato slices, Ms. Taylor says.
What should a balanced diet look like?
According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain
• Eat at least 5 portions of different fruits and vegetables daily. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Base meals are potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This equates to eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat granola biscuits, 2 thick slices of whole-wheat bread, and 1 large baked potato with its skin on
• Consume some dairy products or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks) and choose lower-fat, lower-sugar options
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish each week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat them in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water daily
• Adults should consume less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women and 30g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide