DiscoverFitnessNG | A Snacker’s Guide
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A Snacker’s Guide

I love snacking, and I don’t mean all-natural healthy snacks like carrot sticks and apple slices. Oh no, I want the mass produced, processed crunchy stuff that comes out of airtight packaging. It’s non-negotiable. So, what do I do when I get such cravings? I satisfy them – with snacks that allow me to straddle the line between being fit and being an absolute ball of lard (not 100% healthy, but not 100% junk either, or at least that’s what I like to think). Here’s what my typical snack shopping cart looks like. 

Here’s a breakdown of each item in the cart: 

Boom Chicka Pop popcorn

Popcorn is one of the best fitness-compliant snacks out there. It’s very light, and low in calories per gram, high in fiber and (usually) won’t elevate your blood sugar levels. If you’re a sweet tooth like me, however, you want a bit of flavour. This brand of popcorn has about 8 grams of sugar per pack, which isn’t terrible, but adds up if you have more than one bag. If you’re a sugar phobe and completely want to eliminate it, you can always buy plain popcorn and flavour it with spices. But if you can forgive some sucrose, this one isn’t a bad pick.

BHU Keto bites

For a vegan, non-GMO, gluten free snack, these surprisingly don’t taste like the edible incarnation of hell on earth. Made of organic cashews, cocoa butter, pea protein and baobab, amongst other ingredients, Keto bites are a good substitute for anyone looking to get their chocolate fix, coming in both white chocolate and dark chocolate cookie dough flavours. As the name implies, its Keto friendly, just in case you’re on that ungodly diet for whatever reason. Each bite is 130 calories, though, so if you’re counting the cals, you don’t want to go overboard on these.

Dark chocolate

Keto bites might be a distant chocolate substitute, but nothing beats the real thing. If you’re going for real chocolate though, make it dark. The darker it is (the percentage of cacao it has), the less sugar. With Lindt for instance, the 75%, 85% and 90% dark chocolates have 29, 19 and 7 grams of sugar per 100 grams of chocolate. So ideally go with the darkest one if you’re looking to keep the sugar levels down.

Snak Yard Shitake mushrooms

These are my new guilty pleasure, because they taste so damn great. Raw shitake mushrooms are renowned for their health benefits, and while these are their processed cousins, my train of thought is since they’re derivatives, they can’t be that bad (free me abeg). As with anything packaged and with a long shelf life, you want to check for that sodium content amongst other added preservatives, but that aside, I fancy these for the occasional snacking session.

Blue Diamond Almonds

Blue Diamond has some of the best tasting almonds out there, and a whole host of flavors ranging from salt and vinegar, to sriracha, to honey roasted.  I’ve personally encountered over 10 flavours. When it comes to diversity, these guys are the king.  The processing and flavouring add a few grams of sodium and about 2g of sugar, but sans that, its all almond in there. 6g protein, 5g carbs per serving (28 nuts). I don’t think I need to say anymore.

Purely Elizabeth grain-free granola

One look at the nutritional label was all it took for me to yank this product off the shelf. Like a lot of people, I love granola, but most brands are extremely processed and grain/sugar heavy, so you might as well just buy a donut and be done with it. If the labels are to be trusted (and online reviews tend to say they are), this grain free granola has a bit more protein per serving, and a lot less sugar. It’s less crunchy than other snack bar granola brands, but that’s a small price to pay for a bit more health and wellness.

Muscle Milk Light protein shake

Muscle Milk is a popular protein shake that does what it’s meant to do – supplement your protein intake. It’s a good grab and go option when you’re on the run or looking to drink something with flavour that isn’t chock full of sugar (Muscle Milk Light has a whopping total of 0 grams of sugar). Some say it’s a tad pricy, but it’s not meant to be your everyday protein shake (unless you can afford it. If you can, go ahead). It’s great for when you occasionally want a protein shake with a different flavor from the one you’re currently mixing yourself (those tubs can last up to a month, and it can get a bit monotonous).

OWYN protein shakes

I saw this product for the first time when I was shopping this week and picked it up just to try it. Like Muscle Milk, it comes with 20g of protein per serving. It also comes with some extra sugar (4g), even though it doesn’t taste as good as its counterpart in my opinion. The draw of this protein shake is that it’s completely plant based, with ‘nothing artificial’. I find it hard to believe that anything in a bottle and shipped from the overseas is 100% natural, but you’re big on a plant-based diet, perhaps this is the product for you.

Now is the time I chime in that nothing processed and packaged is usually good for you, no matter how ‘healthy’ it seems on paper. But if you’re like me and cannot come and go and die upon the hill that is 100% healthy eating, I believe you can get away with controlled snacking on aforementioned products. The key – as with everything – is moderation. Happy snacking!

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