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Ask the experts: Healthy snack bars

Q: "I'm working hard to cut down on cakes, biscuits and non-healthy snacks and know that fruit is good for these moments. But I want the names of healthy bars/snacks, low in fat and sugar but not too dry. Many bars and healthy snacks seem to be not moist enough to enjoy. What can you suggest, as well as fruit, for the 10am, 4pm or 9pm cravings for a biscuit?"

Joan

A: Dietitiana Kristen Corselius White responds:

"Good on you, Joan, for reminding us that cakes, biscuits, crisps etc are treat foods meant for special occasions, not as snacks that are eaten every day. If you are watching your energy intake but like to snack often, it is especially important to choose snacks that are appetising but lower in kilojoules, fat and sugar. I do not typically recommend muesli bars, as some can be high in energy but short on nutrition. If you choose one, look for a bar with less than 2g saturated fat, less than 10g sugar, more than 1.5g fibre (when listed!) and less than 600kJ per bar. You've already pointed out that there are other healthier options for the picking.

Satisfying snacks take effort to eat (meaning they cannot be gobbled quickly) and contain a bit of protein for staying power. Examples include lite yoghurt topped with berries or kiwifruit; a trim latté; celery sticks or apple topped with 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter; 1 tablespoon hummus spread on a couple of corn thins; 10 almonds mixed with 6 dried apricot halves; baby carrots dunked in flavoured cottage cheese."

First published: Jun 2007



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