Cape Town, 08 May 2017 – Our increasingly busy lifestyles mean less and less time for balanced meals, with grab-and-go snacks supplementing our diets. But, says Andrea du Plessis, nutritional expert at Vital Health Foods, many snacks contain large quantities of hidden sugars, fats and salt, and little nutritional value in terms of vitamins and fibre. “Vital Health Foods realised that there was a need to develop a snack that contributes to nutritional needs and is also delicious,” she says.
That’s why the company has introduced tasty snacking options that also ensure you get the nutrients you need, no matter how pushed for time you are. Vital Health Foods’ bars and bites and air-popped rice crisps tick several boxes as the ideal on-the-go snack. The Vital bars and bites contain 12 vitamins at 100% Nutrient Reference Values (NRV), which is your daily recommended nutritional intake. They also have no added sugar or preservatives, and are gluten free.
Vital bars and bites come in three delicious flavours: cashew and coconut; almond and cocoa; and seed, almond and cinnamon. Ideal for those who suffer from sensitivities to gluten and preservatives, they’re also perfect to pack in school lunchboxes or as an after-workout treat.
Air-popped rice crisps, made from wholegrain brown and white rice contain less than 400 kilojoules per 20g serving. They are also free of gluten, trans fat, added MSG, preservatives and aspartame, burst with flavour and are a great alternative to potato crisps. They come in three mouth-watering variants: fruit chutney, sweet and spicy pepper salsa, and cream cheese and chives.
The shift to a healthier lifestyle includes not only getting daily exercise, sufficient hydration and enough sleep, but also smart diet choices. Add to this our increased nutritional demands as a result of a fast-paced and pressured way of life, and the depleting effects of alcohol, smoking and the use of chronic medication, and it becomes obvious why naturally healthy and functional snacks are becoming increasingly popular. “People are far more informed now about eating correctly than ever before, and the demand for smart diet choices is on the rise,” says Andrea.
Dietary guidelines from the 2014 Health Survey for England stipulate that seven to ten portions of fruit and vegetables daily are essential for good health. This figure is up from the traditional five portions per day, due to reduced nutrient density in fresh produce resulting from agricultural soil depletion, prolonged storage and processing of fresh foodstuffs. For most people, meeting this daily requirement is difficult, which is why smart snacking plays an increasingly important role in our daily nutrient intake.
And smart snacking is actually good for you. Not only do smart snacks add valuable nutrients that are scarce in staple foods, they’re easier on the digestive system, which copes better with smaller portions eaten at intervals throughout the day than single, large, heavy meals.