Take the snack test

How Healthy Are Your Snacks?

We all know that an apple is healthier than a bag of sweets, and that rice cakes have fewer calories than chocolate cake, finding low calorie food can be a pain – especially if there is no nutrition information available. Some apparently lightweight snacks can be surprisingly high in calories. Test your snack knowledge and discover which choices are best to help you drop pounds.

1. You’ve missed breakfast and your stomach’s rumbling. What’s the best vending machine choice to tide you over until lunch?
A. Peanuts
B. French Fries crisps
C. Cherry Nutrigrain Bar
Answer B.

The crisps are the best dieting option at only 92 calories. Compare that to the Nutrigrain’s 130 calories and you’ll see that things aren’t always what they seem. The peanuts contain a whopping 301 calories per 50g bag. However, the crisps are high in salt – a high salt intake has been associated with increased blood pressure, they are also not very filling so you may find you are hungry again soon after.

Best tip -don’t skip breakfast!

2. You’ve got a major chocolate craving, but which treat hides the most calories?
A. A Mocha Frappuccino
B. A Curly Wurly bar
C. A slice of chocolate cake
Answer. A

Beware those Frappuccinos! A cup of back coffee may be virtually calorie free, but when you add a splash of cream, a sprinkle of chocolate, two heaped teaspoons of sugar, and a dollop of flavoured syrup you’re drinking the calorific equivalent of a cheeseburger providing 380 calories. You’re better off with a small chocolate bar, which contains 250 calories.

Best tip – 3 Jaffa cakes at 48 calories each.

3. Which cinema snack has the fewest calories?
A. A large popcorn
B. A jumbo hotdog
C. A bag of pick and mix
Answer B.

The hotdog has about 250 calories. Unlike the popcorn and the pick and mix, it’s a self contained single serving, so you cant over-indulge. Popcorn can be a healthy, low fat snack, but the large cartons you buy at the cinema contain 1,000 calories and 80g of fat, so make sure you share it.

Best tip – bring your own small back of mixed nuts and raisins to nibble on.

4. You’re at a barbeque, which boozy beverage should you choose?
A. A margarita
B. A glass of sangria
C. A bottle of lager
Answer: C.

At only 92 calories a bottle, a chilled lager is the best choice. The same amount of sangria is 125 calories, and a large margarita packs in 150 calories. Whichever you choose though, don’t binge drink, not only is it unhealthy, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to indulge in food, since alcohol lowers your inhibitions.

Best tip – alternate each alcoholic drink with a soft drink and sip slowly!

5. Which of these has the most calories?
A. A slice of Rasberry Ripple cheese cake
B. A slice of carrot cake
C. Two fig rolls
Answer B.

Just because it contains carrots doesn’t automatically make it a low calorie food. One slice contains 382 calories, due mainly to the high fat cream-cheese icing on top. The cheesecake will give you 300 calories, so if you’re craving something sweet, grabbing a couple of fig rolls is the smartest option.

Best tip – satisfy your sugar craving with a bowl of strawberries.

6. You’re treating the kids some fast food. Where is the safest place for you to nibble?
A. Big Mac
B. Whopper
C. Slice of Thin and Crispy Ham pizza
Answer: C.

If you stick with the right base (thin and crispy), a slice of pizza will only cost you only 170 calories. The thicker bases and cheese stuffed crusts make the calories pile up. The Whopper contains 640 calories (850 calories with cheese). The Big Mac is 570, although a simple hamburger, is only 270 calories.

Best tip – fill up on something healthy before you go.

7. Which party nibbles has the fewest calories?
A. Twiglets
B. Mini quiches
C. Chicken wings.
Answer: A.

At only 20 calories, four Twiglets will make very little difference to your party waistline. But make sure you don’t stand next to them all night and finish the bowl. Chicken wings and mini quiches are of course much higher containing 130 calories and 162 calories respectively.

Best tip – eat a light sensible snack before you go to the party, and stay away from the nibbles.