Healthy snacks like low-fat biscuits, cereal bars and bran flakes do the opposite of what they were intended to do. Though they provide a temporary energy boost, they are culprits for weight gain, a nutritionist warns.

Nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker shares that eating what people thought were healthy snacks are actually fattening. These snacks are full of added sugars that make people fat. She recommends choosing low-energy releasing foods and averting from drinking smoothies or fruit juices.

"So many people are misled by snacks which we're told are healthy, in reality, people need to be thinking about the nutritional content and how that can help you maintain your energy levels," she said.

She added that snacking is deemed negative by many people which she wants to change. Eating convenient and nutritious foods 'can overcome the stigma of snacking'. In this way, people can be healthier.

She recommends swapping these snacks with nutritious foods. For example, instead of eating low-fat biscuits that are actually full of sugar, eating oatcakes with hummus is better. These contain less sugar and a lot of fiber. Hummus, a thick paste made from ground chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon and garlic, made originally in the Middle East, is a very nutritious snack for it contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals.

Cereal bars promise to give an energy boost but like low-fat biscuits, they contain a lot of added sugars. Instead of snacking on cereal bars, she recommends eating whole wheat bread with peanut butter. Peanut butter contains a lot of protein and can give an energy boost for the day.

Processed fruit bars are labelled as healthy but they contain hidden sugars. Replacing these fruit bars with mixed raisins and nuts is healthier. Nuts and mixed raisins are a couple of the most nutrition-dense foods in the world. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, carbs, protein and healthy fats.

Smoothies and fruit juices are deemed healthy but like the other snacks mentioned, they contain a lot of sugar. Instead on snacking on sips of smoothies, try drinking a glass of milk. Milk provides a good source of calcium and minerals needed for the day. Subsequently, drinking coconut water instead of fruit juices is a healthier option because it contains less sugar.

Lastly, bran flakes are labelled healthy especially because they contain a lot of fiber. However, its added sugar content which can undermine any nutritional value. Eating porridge is better because it will provide a slow release of energy needed for the day and it contains lesser sugar than bran flakes. 

Photo: Justin Smith | Flickr

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