11 smart snack swaps
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Handbag-friendly snacks that satisfy those 3pm sugar cravings.
Coca Cola, 600ml
1080kJ, 0g fat, 63.6g carb, 0g protein, 63.6g sugar
Zevia Cola soda, 355ml
0kJ, 0g fat, 7g carb, 0g protein, 0g sugar
Our experts say: “If you really want a soft drink, then this is about as good as I’ve seen. No artificial sweeteners – it just uses stevia and sugar alcohol erythritol. This might upset some people’s gut, but otherwise this is a good choice,” Dr McMillan says.
Kettle Chips Sweet Potato, Beetroot & White Sweet Potato, 45g
945kJ, 14.5g fat, 22.3g carb, 1.7g protein, 11.3g sugar, 236 mg sodium
Loving Earth Red Kale Chips, 35g
828kJ, 15.8g fat, 6.9g carb, 5.6g protein, 3.9g sugar, 349 mg sodium
Our experts say: “A delicious way to get more greens into your day,” Robinson says. “Kale is rich in fibre and vitamins A, C, K and iron. With 5.6 g of protein per serve, this is a highly nutritious snack option.”
Nestle Milkybar, 50g
1165kJ, 17g fat, 24.1g carb, 3.8g protein, 24.1g sugar
Aussie Bodies ProteinFX Lo Carb Mini Bars Cookies and Cream, 30g
450kJ, 3.2g fat, 1.9g carb, 9.1g protein, 1g sugar,
Our experts say: “The small portion size of Aussie Bodies ProteinFX Lo Carb Mini Bars means that you get around nine grams of protein without too many additional calories. Protein bars can be a great snack for active individuals as they are convenient and help keep you fuller for longer,” Polivnick says.
Allen’s Snakes Alive, 13g (one snake)
185kJ, 0.1g fat, 10.1g carb, 0.7g protein, 6.4g sugar
Double D Aussie Gummy Bears, 10g
155kJ 0g fat, 0g carb, <1g protein, 0g sugar
Our experts say: While these won’t fill you up, Dr McMillan says, “If you must have a lolly, these are about as good as they come.” Polivnick’s on side. “This portion-sized pack is the perfect treat for sugar lovers.” Artificial sweetener maltitol can have a laxative effect if you overindulge, so stick to the recommended portion.
Samboy Salt & Vinegar, 45g
954kJ, 13.4g fat, 24.1g carb, 2.9g protein, 0.9g sugar, 635 mg sodium
Slim Secrets Guilt Free Chips Salt & Vinegar, 40g
592kJ, 1.2g fat, 26.3g carb, 4.3g protein, 1.6g sugar, 366 mg sodium
Our experts say: “They’re lower in saturated fat and sodium than competitors, with a serve of fibre and protein,” Polivnick says. Dr McMillan agrees. “These are much lower in fat than regular potato chips, and the fat present comes from olive oil, which is good. However, they do have four additives present, so those with sensitivities might want to avoid these.”
Big M Chocolate Milk, 300ml
879kJ, 5.4g fat, 30.3g carb, 9.6 protein, 29.7g sugar
Up & Go Vive, 250ml
697kj 3.8g fat, 22.5g carb, 9g protein, 13.5g sugar
Our experts say: “If you absolutely must snack and run, these are at least low-GI and provide many nutrients as well as fibre,” Polivnick says. “For busy, active people, Up & Go can be a healthy breakfast option.”
Arnott’s Premier Chocolate Chip Biscuit, 14.8g
315kJ 3.8g fat, 9.4g carb, 0.8g protein, 5.6g sugar
Nairns Dark Chocolate
Chip Oat Biscuits, 25g
183kJ 1.7g fat, 6.4g carb, 0.7g protein, 2.2g sugar
Our experts say: These Scottish IGA-stocked biscuits are among Dr McMillan’s pet snacks. “They do make lovely oatcakes but also sweet oat-based biscuits. They should still be occasional, but are certainly better than biscuits made with white flour.”
Cadbury Dairy Milk
Chocolate Bar 50g bar
1110kJ 14.8g fat, 28.5g carb, 4g protein, 27.8g sugar
Sweet William Sweet As No Added Sugar White Strawberry Chocolate, 25g
575kJ 8.4g fat, 5.9g carb, 1.2g protein, 2.5g sugar
Our experts say: If you’re not sensitive to sugar alcohols and stevia as a sweetener (which can have a laxative effect), this is a preferable option for a choccie hit without the added sugar.
Doritos Corn Chips, 50g
1085Kj, 13.5g fat, 29.4g carb, 4.5g protein, 1.3g sugar
Cobs Natural Slightly Salted, Slightly Sweet Popcorn, 30g
595kJ, 6g fat, 18.9g carb, 1.9g protein, 8.4g sugar
Our experts say: “Popcorn is a great alternative to chips,” says Polivnick. “Cobs Natural Popcorn is a delicious alternative that is low in sodium and in portion-controlled packs, helping you limit your daily energy intake.”
Uncle Tobys Chewy Muesli Bar Choc Chip, 31.3g
565kJ 4.6g fat, 20.1g carb, 2.3g protein, 5.7g sugar
Nakd Cocoa Delight Bar, 35g
567kJ, 5g fat, 17g carb, 3g protein, 15g sugar
Our experts say: “Nakd bars are made from nuts and fruit, natural sources of nutrients like fibre, unsaturated fats and protein, making them a great choice in my book,” Polivnick says. Dr McMillan agrees. “Simple and natural with an appropriate 567kJ per bar.”
Arnott’s Tim Tam Chewy Caramel, 19.4g
405kJ, 4.6g fat, 12.7g carb, 1g protein,
Slim Secrets Crème Caramel Low Carb Fit & Fab Mini Protein Bar, 28g
414kJ, 2.8g fat, 1g carb, 9.3g protein, 0.9g sugar
Our experts say: “With less than 100 calories and 9.3g of protein per serve, Slim Secrets Crème Caramel Fit & Fab Mini Protein Bars pack a nutritional punch,” Polivnick says. “A great snack for after an intense workout. The high protein content will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.”
1. Fruit is still top pick as an inexpensive, convenient and great snack option.
2. Enjoying a wide variety of colourful foods in your diet is the best way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
3. Before eating, consider whether you are really hungry. Listen to your body rather than eating by the clock.
4. Snacks help you manage hunger until your next meal; they don’t replace it.
5. Don’t assume that all foods in the health food aisle are nutritious.