What is a snack?
A snack is a small portion of food, drink or a light meal, usually one eaten between regular meals. While most people believe that snacking should be avoided at all costs, it turns out that people who actually plan their snacks tend to be more dedicated to their diet plan.
There is a world of variety and versatility in the way one can snack. One can choose to go the spicy route with snacks like Beef Jerky, pander to your sweet tooth with Oatmeal Cookies, hydrate with fruit juices or fill out idle moments or engaging convos with nuts.
Snacks can be packaged or processed e.g. snack bars or small portions of fresh foods e.g. carrot sticks or grapes.
Snacks are best had between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.
Snacking between dinner and breakfast is generally not recommended as the process of digestion may not be completed before you sleep.
Night snacks are allowed for special instances e.g. Pregnancy, lactation and some insulin-related conditions.
A good and healthy snack should form part of your total caloric intake for the day. If your daily caloric intake is pegged at 2,000KCal for instance, the calories in your snack should be included in this so as not to overstep your targeted intake and consequently gain weight.
Snacks should fit the diet you are on and should fall within your Macros allocations.
A person on the Keto diet (which has become very popular in recent times) should opt for snacks with high fat, moderate protein but very low carb content e.g. Fatbombs. Someone on a Low Carb diet should ideally opt for snacks with good fibre content e.g. Granola bars.
That being said, snacks should be as healthy as possible and the ones with refined sugar should be avoided. Just because a candy bar fits in your daily calories and within your Macros does not make it a good choice due to the high sugar content. A snack should count towards an overall healthy lifestyle.
Some processed snacks are pastries, confectioneries, snack bars and drinks.
Some fresh natural snacks include fruits, vegetables, nuts, yoghurt and cheese.
Local Snack Options
If you are based in Ghana, the snacking possibilities are endless and easily available even in traffic;
LOCAL FOOD SNACKS
- Plantain chips
- Boiled or Roasted corn & coconut
- Roasted plantain & peanuts
- Boiled peanuts
LOCAL SWEET SNACKS
- Adaakowa / Dzowey – Spicy corn & nut balls
- Nkatie Cake – Peanut brittle
- Agbeley Kaklo – Cassava balls
- Poloo – Coconut cookies
- Kuli-kuli – Spicy Corn sticks
LOCAL DRINK SNACKS
- Asaana – Corn drink
- Lamugi – Ginger drink
- Burkina – Yoghurt & Millet
- Fura – Millet shake
- Atadwe Milk – Tigernut milk
LOCAL FRUIT SNACKS
- Alaasa – African Star Apple
- Yooyo – Velvet Black Tamarind
200g roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon chilli powder / paste
Oil for frying
- Grind the peanuts and ginger until smooth.
- Add the chilli pepper and mix well.
- Squeeze the excess oil out of peanut paste to obtain a very crisp Kuli-kuli
- Divide the dough into twenty pieces and shape into sticks or balls.
- Add 2 Tbsp of water to the dough if it is difficult to mould.
- Heat enough oil for frying in a deep pan so it can cover Kuli-kuli.
- Fry over medium heat until golden brown.
- Drain on kitchen towels.
As is advisable for every Fitstyle, plan your snacks just as you plan your diet. Add to your meal plan and have something to look forward to, in order to stay on track.
BY: Vivian Okrah
Meal Planning Associate