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Healthy and crunchy snack options? Does snacking leads to weight gain? -Elaine Vancouver Dietitian

Do you snack in the afternoon or at night? Do you snack when you stress, happy, or sad? Do you find it is hard to control the portion sizes and it is difficult not to snack? In my nutrition consultation, the common snacks I hear from my clients are soft drinks, ice cream, chocolate, chips, cookies, granola bar, cakes. Excessive snacking can be associated with weight gain. We are going to talk about some healthier and crunchy snack alternatives in replacement of salty chips.


Elaine Vancouver Dietitian healthy snack options

  1. Okra chips

Compared with potato chips, it is relatively healthier. Firstly, the fiber inside the okra chips are higher than Lay's potato chips. 28 grams of Lay's potato chips contain 160 calories and only 1 gram of dietary fiber. The calories in 28 grams of okra chips are very similar, but there are about 6 grams of fiber!


Secondly, the salt content in potato chips is very high. For example, 15 pieces of Lay's potato chips contain 170 mg of salt. Similarly, similar amount of okra chips only have 10 mg of salt!


Lastly, when you are choosing healthier chips alternatives, it is still important to control your portion sizes. A 40-gram okra chips contains 15 grams of fat, which come from the rice bran oil added in it (the okra chips as shown in the video). The fat content of 15 grams is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. You can serve it as a snack occasionally, or you can add a few slices on top of your salad for a crunchy texture!


2. Freeze-dried strawberries

These strawberries went through the freeze-drying technology. The only ingredients in the snack are strawberries (the product shown in the video), no additional oil or sugar are added.


Interesting fact: A 34 grams of dried strawberries contains about 340 grams of strawberries! It has about 7 grams fiber, 112 calories, 17 grams of sugar, and 520 mg of potassium.


Strawberries is also a great source of vitamin C and polyphenols. Polyphenols and vitamin C can be reduced in the freeze drying process. Fresh strawberries are definitely a better choice. If we compare freeze-dried strawberries to ice cream or candy, freeze-dried strawberries will be a better choice!


3. Hummus on healthy and high fiber crackers

Hummus is one of the most common food in Middle Eastern dishes. I love it! The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, and it also has tahini, which adds a lot of flavor! You can also make hummus at home, here is a recipe:


You can use a food processor to puree the following ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas,

1/3 cup tahini

1-2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons water

4 tablespoons lemon juice

A pinch of salt


Hope this is interesting and helpful for you!

Cheers,

Elaine Vancouver Dietitian




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