RW Reader Bernhardt Nicklaus asks:
What snacks should I munch on while watching TV, instead of crisps?
OUR DIETICIAN ANSWERS:
Chips are definitely not an ideal option to munch on. They contain a large amount of saturated fat. This means that they’re very high in energy (calories), which, if you’re not burning it off, will settle straight onto your hips, thighs or tummy.
Saturated fat also contributes to diseases of lifestyle, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Eating foods that contain large amounts of saturated fat can lead to increased triglyceride (fat) levels in your bloodstream, which puts you at risk of insulin resistance, heart disease, stroke, obesity and liver disease.
(On this note, remember to check your lipid profile regularly. Commonly known as a cholesterol test, the lipid profile also contains information about your triglyceride levels: it should be below 1.7mmol/L.)
Chips also contain high levels of salt, which is directly linked with high blood pressure.
Lastly, chips contain very few nutrients. Remember those vitamins and minerals? Chips contain virtually none – and if you’re going to snack, you may as well get some nutrients in at the same time!
Some alternatives to chips include:
- Chop up some fresh, crispy veggies into delicious veggie sticks. Use cucumber, baby tomatoes, celery or carrots, and get your crunch on! Remember: the fresher, the better. Nobody wants to gnaw on a soft carrot stick!
- Create a quick and easy low-fat dips like hummus, tzatziki or cottage cheese. For a higher-energy, but loaded with great nutrients, make some guacamole. View our low-fat dip recipes for ideas.
- Make a little fruit salad to nibble on.
- 1-2 cups of air-popped popcorn
- Chop up an apple and lightly smear with peanut-butter
- Low-fat crips – such as Vitasnack Wafers or baked Pretzels
- A handful of nuts or trail mix
- Dried fruit
- 50g of low-fat biltong