Driving and Feeling Hungry? Try these Top 5 Easy and Healthy Snacks!
It’s 6 o’clock in the evening, you’re stuck in a traffic jam after a long day, and it seems like you’re in the car all day, feeling bored, frustrated and HUNGRY! Coincidentally you pass by a petrol station and you decided to stop by to get some snacks to munch on. Or, you see a drive-through fast-food chain from far, and you decided to drop by to get some fast food on the go.
Feeling satisfied after munching the snacks? Here’s the bad news, taking junk foods and fast food as snacks regularly will lead to overweight or obesity. These foods are high in energy from sugar and unhealthy fat, with little to no nutrients. Foods with high sugar and unhealthy fat will also increase the risk of getting non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and etc. Malaysia is currently ranked number 1 with an overweight and obese population in South East Asia, giving the statistic of 1 out of 2 adults are either overweight and obese. One of the causes is our diet.
So what are some good food selections for driving? Here’s a list of nutritionist’s favorite choices:
There are plenty of crackers available in the market. But, the best options are the ones without the use of unhealthy oil, like palm oil; no added refined sugar and low sodium. When you are choosing your crackers from the shelves, a tip to identify if it’s made of natural ingredients is you understand the name of the ingredients, if it sounds too scientific to you, then it’s most likely processed. Whole Grain Crackers are packed with high fiber and vitamins, and also helps with lowering our cholesterol levels.
Nuts are good sources of protein, healthy fat, fibers, antioxidants vitamins, and minerals. There are also multiple studies show that eating nuts daily can lower the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. This is due to the high amount of healthy fats in nuts that helps in lowering the bad cholesterol in the body. Nuts like almond, walnut, cashew nut, pecan, brazil nut, pistachios and etc are highly nutritious! Always remember to choose food with least processing, choose trail mix to get a variety of it. Nuts that are lightly roasted with low temperature to sustain its nutritional value is the best option!
Similar to nuts, seeds are also packed with healthy fat, good quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants. Some seeds like chia seeds, basil seeds are very high in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, this will help to regulate our bowel movement and to reduce inflammation in our body. Other seeds are also high in unsaturated fatty acids that will also bring health benefits to us, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and many more. A friendly reminder to choose foods with little to no processing.
Dried fruits and raisins are packed with a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They are also fat-free and cholesterol-free, providing a number of health benefits like lowering the risk of cancer and heart diseases, prevent anemia, and even helps in building and maintaining strong bones.
Granola cereals are usually a mix of oats, nuts, seeds and some with fruits. As mentioned above, these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good quality protein, and healthy fat. With the addition of oats, it helps with lowering cholesterol and may also help with weight loss. Look at the ingredients of your granola cereals when you buy in the store to make sure there are no added refined sugars for a healthier option!
While these snacks are healthier options of snacks to eat while driving, do also make sure you practice safety driving!
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)