When you get a snack attack most people’s response is to reach for the old classics – chips, cookies, and chocolate.
Admittedly tasty but they’re often full of calories and of little nutritional value. If you’re watching your weight and trying to reduce carbs what are your alternative options?
Remember, low carb doesn’t always mean low calorie.
1. Have a roll!
Think of a sandwich – but without the bread or wrap!
Use a big Romaine lettuce leaf in place of the bread, cut out the hard center stalk at the top and place a piece of turkey, chicken, or ham on top.
Then roll it up in the same way as you’d roll a tortilla wrap.
You can even use a slice of cold meat as the ‘bread’. Spread it with cottage cheese or lower fat cream cheese and roll it up.
Eggs are packed full of protein and virtually carb-free. They help you feel fuller for longer and there are so many ways to cook them. Hard boil in advance and keep in the fridge for when hunger strikes. It only takes minutes to scramble eggs or make a quick omelette. You could even stir a chopped green onion or a few fresh herbs into the egg mixture before cooking.
3. Something fishy
Fish can be an easy low carb snack option. Buy small ring pull cans of tuna, sardines or salmon, and tuck in when you feel hungry.
Another fishy option, from Nicola Graimes author of The Big Book of Low Carb Recipes, is smoked mackerel pate. She says: “Put a fillet of smoked mackerel in a food processor or blender with lemon juice, low-fat cream cheese and pepper then blend until smooth.” Serve with raw veggies.
Remember to buy canned fish in water, brine, or tomato sauce rather than in sunflower or olive oils, which add extra calories to your meal.
4. Have an avocado
Half an avocado provides a mere 9g of carbs, but 15g of fat that gives avocado its smooth texture. Chop half an avocado and serve with a salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber, then use oil, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for additional flavours.
For a spicier hit whizz up some guacamole. It’s just avocado blended with onion, chili, and tomato. Stick it all in a food processor or mix it up with a fork and you have a snack with a hit! Squeeze on some lime juice and scatter with some fresh coriander if you fancy. Serve with carrot sticks or pepper slices. If you’re making it without lemon or lime juice, don’t make too far in advance or the pureed avocado will discolor.
5. Seafood and eat it
Shrimp and shellfish are naturally low in carb. Create a healthy lunch with a shrimp stir-fry. Thinly slice carrot, a few green onions, some cabbage, and mushrooms. Stir-fry the shrimp and vegetables with olive oil, some crushed garlic, and soy sauce for a fast, tasty lunch.