Muesli bars, flavoured yoghurts and chips are often jam-packed with added sugars and preservatives – but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your favourite snacks during the 8-Week Program. Here’s your guide to snacking on foods that are low in sugar, but high in nutrition and taste.
We believe adding in some snacks to your daily meal plan is a good way to get in extra nutrients, provide energy and prevent sugar cravings. Plus, they’re a sneaky solution to getting those 5 serves of veggies a day. Here are a few foods to prioritise when you’re keen to get snacking – minus the sugar overload!
Fruits: So long as you’re not in the fruit detox week, whole fruits make for a nutritious snack between meals. Apples provide a satisfying crunch, along with packing a good vitamin C, B and K kick for their size. They also pair well with healthy fats like Greek yoghurt, cheese, peanut butter and even guacamole.
Smoothies are also a good option to snack on – while not as fibre-packed as whole fruit, they still maintain a sizeable amount of this nutrient. Plus, smoothies allow you to add in extra nutrition from seeds, veggies like spinach and kale, nut butters and milk – from dairy to plant-based alternatives, you really can’t go wrong when jazzing up a smoothie.
While fruit can be an exceptional snack, we advise you steer clear of juice. Unlike smoothies, this stuff is lacking in the fibre department, meaning the sugars are absorbed way too fast for our bodies to handle. The result? A blood-sugar spike. Here are a few of the signs to look out for:
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
- Frequent need to urinate
- Excessive thirst
Plus, the fructose in juice has a different effect on our bodies than that of regular fruit, and this comes back to the fibre content. Without this essential nutrient, the fructose puts our livers to work. It can lead to the build-up of visceral fat and cause obesity and insulin resistance, along with a host of serious conditions, from autoimmune to mental health illnesses. That’s why we stick to whole fruits or smoothies for our snacks – find out more about the differences between smoothies and juices HERE.
Grains: Swap your processed grains out for whole options. White bread is easily switched out for whole wholemeal bread, sourdough or rye for a quick avo toast snack. You can also ditch the white rice for its brown counterpart for some simple rice ball snacks – add in cucumber, avocado, mayo and tofu to liven these up. They also go great in the kids’ lunchboxes!
You can even branch out and try grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat for these ‘rice’ balls. These are flavourful, with a similar texture to rice, but with a lot more nutrients. In fact, quinoa is a whole protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids, meaning no more afternoon slumps – we reckon this bumps it up to snack-worthy status.
A snack should be satiating to tide you over to your next meal – and this is where healthy fats come in. According to studies, monounsaturated fats help balance blood-sugar levels and keep us fuller for longer. Another type of healthy fat, known as medium chain triglycerides, have been found to decrease appetite and sugar cravings throughout the day – you’ll find these in coconut milk, cheese and Greek yoghurt.
But this doesn’t mean it’s open season on all fats – we recommend avoiding trans fats. These are the kind that contribute to weight gain and inflammation, and you’ll find them in commercial baked cakes and cookies, deep-fried foods and fast foods. The nutritious foods to choose instead include avocado, eggs, olive oil, nuts and seeds, so don’t forget to incorporate them into your favourite snacks.
To get you inspired, we’ve listed a few nutritious snack combos to keep you going throughout the day.
- Raw veggies with hummus, cream cheese or guacamole
- Boiled eggs
- Popcorn – plain, without added sugars and excess salt
- Greek yoghurt with heart-healthy hemp seeds and fresh strawberries
- Apple and peanut butter
- Celery and almond butter
- Cheese and nuts
- Roasted nuts with spices
- Roasted kale chips
- Chia pudding
Plus, here are 2 free I Quit Sugar recipes packed with flavour and nutrition to get you started.
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped roughly
- 2 sprig spring onions
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium lemon juiced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Lightly steam broccoli florets for about 1-2 minutes.
- Place broccoli and remainder of ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until creamy and smooth.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Alternatively, you can transfer into an ice cube tray, cover with cling wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Dairy-free option: Replace Parmesan with 1/2 cup of cashews soaked in water for 1–4 hours and drained.
Open Spinach and Ricotta Sandwich
- 100 g ricotta cheese
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander, fresh and finely chopped
- ½ medium lemon juice and zest
- 1 pinch sea salt to season
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to season
- 2 slice sourdough bread toasted
1. Combine ricotta, spinach, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
2. Top toasted sourdough with ricotta mixture. Garnish with lemon zest. Serve.
Dairy-free option: Replace ricotta with one small mashed avocado.
Keen for more nutrition tips and tricks? That’s what we’re here for. With the 8-Week Program, you’ll have the tools to navigate the confusing worlds of food and health. With a team of experts rallying behind you, our program is one of the easiest ways to make sure your health goals become a reality; with ongoing support and exclusive access to recipes, meal plans and exciting content, there’s no better way to get your health back on track. If you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late. JOIN NOW and take back control of your health.