By Clare Fargher, Nutritionist
This need to satiate your hunger mid-afternoon can be for many reasons other than actually being hungry, such as stress or boredom. Choosing a snack that is packed with sugar might feel like it is helping you to get through the afternoon but it actually provides an energy spike that does not last very long at all.
These 3pm cravings for a sweet treat can play havoc with our best intentions to eat well. Choosing a treat like a chocolate bar will probably provide an emotional fix, but it will not provide any good nutrients to keep you full until dinner. The high sugar content of a chocolate bar will enter your blood stream quickly, providing you with a quick burst of energy and provide you with 68 kilojoules per teaspoon of sugar.
A standard sized mars bar has about seven and a half teaspoons of sugar or 510 kilojoules and that is without considering the saturated fat content too.
The best way to avoid the diet changing sweet afternoon treats is to find a replacement that is healthy but still gives you the taste sensation that you are looking for. Cacao tea could be your secret weapon!
Cacao tea is made from organic cacao husks, which provide a lot of the same health benefits as raw cacao such as free-radical fighting antioxidants and healthy vitamins and minerals. The tea has the same flavour as chocolate, but it does not have the sugar or fat.
A perfect afternoon treat could be a handful of raw nuts, such as walnuts which are full of the good polyunsaturated fats and protein, to get the crunch factor that you might be craving from chocolate and combine this with a cup of fat and sugar free cacao tea to get the chocolate flavour burst too.
Clare Fargher is a degree qualified nutritionist with a passion for teaching people about how to eat nutritious food that tastes delicious. Clare’s passion lies in healthy ageing, helping her clients to live a long and healthy life.
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