7+1 ideas for healthy snacks


In cooperation with Dimitris Grigorakis, Clinical Nutritionist-Dietician, MSc, Scientific Director of the Dietetic Support & Metabolic Control Centre APISXNANSIS - LOGO DIATROFIS, President of the Hellenic Nutritionists Society, www.logodiatrofis.gr, www.activekids.gr, www.care24.gr

7+1 ideas for healthy snacks

Besides total daily intake of calories, the regulation of body weight is also determined by meal frequency. Specifically, it has been shown that individuals who consume small and frequent meals tend to have lower body weight compared with those consuming bigger and less frequent meals or those abstaining from food for more than a 3-hour period.

This is due to the fact that a frequent meal consumption contributes to:

- A sufficient intake of all the necessary nutrients in fixed time intervals.
- A continuous activation of the body’s metabolism due to a steady energy supply, resulting in a decreased fat storage.
- The stabilization of insulin and glucose levels.
- A balance in the regulation of hunger and satiety feelings.

Given the above, snacks consumed throughout the day should be rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, in order to satisfy one’s feeling of hunger, to efficiently provide energy to the body and at the same time to promote fat oxidation (breakdown).

Some ideas for healthy snacks include:

1. Yoghurt with honey, cinnamon and unsalted nuts: A highly nutritious snack rich in calcium, vitamin E, proteins of high biological value and n-3 fatty acids. This combination of nutrients strengthens your body’s bones and muscles and is beneficial for your cardiovascular health.

2. Fruit salad with yoghurt: Both a tasty and a healthy snack, especially beneficial for your gastrointestinal and immune system. Fruits’ high vitamin C and dietary fiber content, combined with the probiotics and prebiotics contained in yoghurt, promote the proper function of the gastrointestinal tract and enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

3. Milkshake with fruits (milk, banana, apple, cinnamon): A delicious combination of foods with a high nutritional value. Milk’s calcium and B-complex vitamins stimulate the nervous system and boost your metabolism, while the high amount of potassium present in bananas and apples contributes to the regulation of blood pressure.

4. Milk with whole grain cereals, cinnamon and raisins: Habitual consumption of cereals, particularly whole-grain ones, is strongly linked to intestinal health and can be an effective strategy for the management of constipation. Raisins are characterized by strong antioxidant properties and therefore exert a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases, while milk’s various nutrients (such as calcium, proteins, vitamins A, B and D, etc.) are beneficial for bones and muscles and enhance the health of the nervous and immune system.

5. 2-3 cream crackers or rusks or rye crisps with cheese: This snack provides less than 100 kcal, while cream crackers’ dietary fiber, combined with the proteins present in cheese, will efficiently satisfy your hunger and help you abstain from other energy-dense foods that can have a negative impact on your weight.

6. Low-fat yoghurt dip with veggie sticks (cucumber or carrot): A simple snack that supplies the body with B-complex vitamins, which are involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

7. Boiled egg with feta cheese and multigrain bread: A snack rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates that can help strengthen your muscles and increase the feeling of satiety.

8. Feta cheese with honey and walnuts: A snack that provides several beneficial nutrients, such as calcium, antioxidants and omega fatty acids, and at the same time triggers the oxidation (breakdown) of your body’s stored fat.

1. Koletzko B, Toschke AM(2010). Meal patterns and frequencies: do they affect body weight in children and adolescents? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr;50(2):100-105.
2. Palmer MA, Capra S, Baines SK (2009). Association between eating frequency, weight and health. Nutrition Reviews; 67(7):379-390.