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Nutrition

Alternatives for crisps and puffed snacks

Sometimes it's an appetite while on the go, sometimes merely a craving for a small snack: snacking is fun and often a welcome comfort food. Crunchy snacks are often eaten far too quickly while their effects often stick to our hips for a long time.

A look at the list of ingredients shows why: the ingredients in some of the most favourite snacks are neither healthy nor slimming; chiefly fat, salt, or sugar, and of course lots of calories. For example, 100 g of crisps can have approximately 540 calories – together with peanut puffs they are one of the leading fattening foods. Chocolate bars with an average value of 250 calories seem to be almost harmless in comparison. But be careful: particularly sugary snacks cause a quick reduction of blood sugar which causes a vicious cycle of cravings. 

It's good to know that there are alternatives. For those wanting to have the healthiest snack, it's best to eat fruits and vegetables, for example celery sticks or a fresh apple, which has only 80 calories. Its fructose provides energy and it contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Even dried apple crisps are still very healthy and provide fibre, which is good for your digestive system. Dried apricots are also recommendable, particularly if you buy non-sulphured fruits. Their high level of beta carotene, vitamin E, and magnesium helps protect the skin and connective tissue from harmful influences and also increases resistance to stress.

Semisweet chocolate is highly recommended for fans of chocolate. It has a high cocoa content and is downright healthy. The theobromine contained in cacao beans improves concentration, while flavonoids have an antioxidant effect and also protect against free radicals. A whole bar is not required – even small quantities are sufficient to achieve this positive effect.

Fans of crunchy snacks must not walk away empty-handed. Crackers, grissini, and salty snacks have significantly less fat and calories than potato crisps. Try some whole-wheat baked snacks, which contain fibre and vitamins. Popcorn also has relatively few calories and is a very light snack so that even large quantities do not carry much weight. Its best of course to make it yourself with very little sugar or salt.

While nuts are a very popular, healthy snack that is rich in satisfying, plant-based proteins, they are also fairly high in fat. The good news: they contain unsaturated fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the body. It is best to choose unpeeled and unsalted products. Even pumpkin seeds taste best when eaten pure; they contain magnesium which counters stress, protects and supports muscles, and the iron content is important for the body's oxygen supply.

The most difficult part of snacking however is keeping the right measure and stopping at the right time. A small trick can help keep one's inner temptation at bay: put your favourite snacks into small bowls, as this helps stay in control and suppress the temptation of continuous snacking. Because Paracelsus' age-old principle also applies to snacking: "It's only the dose which make something poison!“

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