Top 5 Healthy TV Snacks
If your weekend schedule regularly includes curling up in front of the TV to watch your favourite series, you could be adding inches to your waistline and putting yourself at greater risk of long-term health problems.
Time in front of the TV promotes unhealthy behaviours such as inactivity and unhealthy eating, which are directly associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Distracted eating makes you forget about portion control and ignore cues that you are feeling full, so it is easy to overeat. Couple this with indulgent choices such as a box of chocolates, a packet of biscuits or a bag of crisps and you are bound to pile on the weight even before the credits come up.
That said, you can still catch up with that romcom and have a snack, if you arm yourself with nutritious, portion-controlled munchies. Here are five of my favourites to help you make that stint on the couch just that little bit healthier.
Popcorn is a great snack choice if you skip the butter and salt. Try air-popped popcorn or buy low-fat microwave popcorn. Alternatively, you can save yourself some money by making your own microwave popcorn with a paper bag. One teaspoon of vegetable oil is enough fat for half a cup of kernels. Instead of salt give your kernels a kick with garlic powder, dried oregano, and a tiny sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Raw veggies are not only bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they will also satisfy your craving for something crunchy. Carrot sticks, celery stalks, broccoli and cauliflower florets are all great choices. For extra flavour, serve them with home-made hummus, guacamole or your favourite salsa dip.
Nuts have that tasty combination of crunch, flavour and salt which is so hard to resist. Nuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats but, unfortunately, they are also high in calories, so watch your portion size. My advice is to choose raw nuts and not to take the whole packet but to pour a small serving in a dish instead.
Pistachios nuts is the best option as they are the lowest in calories. One serving is about 49 kernels and contains 159 calories and 3 grams of fibre. By buying them in the shell, you will have to open 49 nuts, which will definitely slow down the eating process and can help you limit the amount you consume in one sitting.
Fruits are bursting with vitamins, minerals and fibre. So if you need a sweet fix while immersing yourself in your beloved soap, grab yourself an apple, pear, peach or nectarine, or some grapes. A bowl of berries with some plain yogurt and a sprinkle of nuts is also a great choice. Some apple slices smothered in a tablespoon of natural peanut butter is a sweet and savoury combo made in heaven. Peanut butter adds some protein which will help make you feel fuller.
If your idea of a great night in involves take-away pizza, don’t despair. Make your own healthy version. All you need is a toaster, a whole-wheat English muffin, some tomato sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese. The more vegetables and herbs you add to it, the healthier and tastier it will be.
Just because you want to stay in watching TV does not mean you have to eat poorly. By replacing your junk food cabinet with the foods listed above you will top up your intake of healthy nutrients and save yourself some calories in the process. You can also work some exercise into your TV watching. Stretching out your body regularly, getting up and moving around during commercials or even squeezing in some sit-ups or push-ups can all help burn any extra calories!
Written by Victoria Trowse