Looking for some healthy alternatives for snacking at the supermarkets but don’t know where to start? With so many foods and messages at the shops, it can be tough to find something that you like but isn’t full of calories. So we’ve put together the 8 best supermarket snacks under 100 calories with some suggested brands to look out for to help get you started.
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Is Snacking Unhealthy?
Snacking tends to have a bad reputation for being the reason for an increase in weight. We’ve all been guilty of it; we feel hungry between meals, so we reach for the chocolate biscuits to keep us going until lunch or dinnertime. The reason snacking has such a bad rep is because of this; we’re reaching for the wrong things to keep us going. Now that’s not us saying you can’t reach for the biscuits, just that keeping an eye on your daily intake will help you keep a better idea of what you can eat at snack time.
Or you can swap the chocolate biscuits for something lower in calories but equally as filling. Not to mention snacking can be a great way to get more nutrients into your diet outside of your meal times, not to mention the right foods can give you an energy boost to help get you through the day.
So no, snacking isn’t unhealthy. It’s all about monitoring your daily intake of foods and calories and reaching for more nutritious options.
Hidden Calories & Misleading Labels
When it comes to shopping for snacks, it can be easy to fall for snacks with labels stating things such as ‘Low Fat’ or ‘Sugar-Free’ because this must mean they’re lower in calories, right? Wrong! This just means those aspects have been replaced or removed, often having very little effect on the calorie count.
And something low in fat or sugar-free isn’t even always a good thing. We still need these things in our diets, so it’s always important to check the nutritional information and compare your choice with others on the shelf to see if what you’re actually getting is healthier and better calorie-wise.
The best example of this is cereals. Many cereal brands are often advertised as healthy or vital to your day when in reality, there are so many other options for foods (either as a snack or a meal) that are lower in calories. An average portion of cereal (30g) can easily be over 100 calories, whereas the same portion of Greek-style yoghurt and fruit can be half that, around 40-50 calories.
Best Supermarket Snacks Under 100 Calories
When we go to the supermarket, we’ve got that many things to look out for; adding calorie counting to the list can feel like another chore, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But it doesn’t have to be. If you look in the right places in the supermarket, you can find loads of snacks under 100 calories that are affordable and tasty.
You’ll also find that supermarkets offer snack options in pre-portioned options, which can make things even easier in the long run as it saves you from having to work it all out yourself when you get home and stops you from over-snacking.
1. Greek Style / Low Fat Yoghurt
Average Calories per 100g: 50-80 kcals
Best Brands: Shop Own Brands, Muller Light
Greek and low-fat yoghurts are perfect for snack times. It’s a great source of dairy and calcium and will definitely keep you going between meal times. You can even buy them in portioned pots, so if you work away from home, they’re already portioned into calorie-controlled snacks.
2. Baked Crisps
Average Calories per Portion: 80-100 kcals
Best Brands: Walkers, Mini Cheddars, Pop Chips
If you like crisps with lunch or as a snack, baked ones are the perfect substitute. Whilst you still have to be wary of portion sizes and salt levels, baked crisps are often lower in calories and fat, making the occasional bag ideal for snack times. Grabbing a multipack from the supermarket can be the best way to manage portions and still get enough to fill you between meals.
3. Cheese Snacks
Average Calories per Portion: 80-100 kcals
Best Brands: Babybel, Dairylea
Another good source of dairy and calcium; cheese snacks! Often preportioned and bitesize, you can grab any cheese snack at the supermarket, chuck it in your bag and snack on it later. Do keep an eye on the calories on these, but most types come in a low calorie version that is perfect for those between-meal cravings.
4. Cereal Bars
Average Calories per Bar: 60-95 kcals
Best Brands: Kelloggs, Nature Valley
Whilst cereal on its own can often be quite high in calories, cereal bars could be the perfect alternative, especially for snack time. Like cereal, you do need to keep a close eye on the calories here, but there are loads of options under 100 calories. Unlike most other snacks, cereal bars also provide you with a long-lasting boost of energy whilst satisfying your hunger.
5. Biscuits & Chocolate
Average Calories per Portion: 70-100 kcals
Best Brands: Cadbury, McVities
I know what we said earlier about biscuits, but sometimes, snacktime is that moment for a little treat in the day, and there are low-calorie options if you look for them. Small chocolates and packets of biscuits often associated with children’s packed lunches often fall in the under-100-calories category.
These are almost always preportioned, and the portions are often quite small, but if you have a sweet tooth and you want a little treat in the afternoon, there are sweet options out there.
Average Calories per 20g: 80-90 kcals
Best Brands: Shop Own Brands, Butterkist
Whilst popcorn is often seen as a treat, it can actually be a healthy snack. The type of flavour will affect the calories of popcorn, but most options, in the right portion size, are quite healthy. Popcorn is made from whole grains and high-fibre whole grains, both of which have been linked to a lowering of the risk of health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
7. Fibre Bars
Average Calories per Bar: 80-90 kcals
Best Brands: Shop Own Brands, Fibre One
Fibre bars are what they say on the wrapper; a great source of fibre and slow-releasing energy to get you through the day. Many of them come as healthy alternatives to your favourite cakes, meaning there’ll always be a flavour you like.
8. Rice Cakes
Average Calories per Cake: 30-80 kcals
Best Brands: Shop Own Brands, Kallo, Snack A Jack
Rice cakes can be used on their own as a snack or as part of a bigger snack with things like fruits and spreads. Much like fibre bars, they come in loads of flavours, so whether you like sweet or savoury, you have plenty to choose from depending on your daily tastes and moods.
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