Energy-filled snacks Energy-filled snacks

Help to break up your routine and boost your activity levels. In order to get the most out of their benefits, make sure your snacks are healthy options and that you eat at the right time.

Recipes: Juan Sebastián Alzate – Professional chef (hummus recipe)
María Fernanda Abad González – Chef and professional cook. Nutritionist and Dietician. (Tapas and crackerbread)

Eating a treat at any time of day – midmorning, in the afternoon or at night – is ok as long as you eat the right portions for your individual nutritional needs. Contrary to what many think, and depending on each individual’s needs, snacks offer significant benefits.

As nutritionist Maximiliano Kammerer explains, snacks help maintain muscle mass and even prevent being overweight or obese: “Snacks help stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels. For people who are physically active, snacks are critical because their caloric expenditures are greater, and sometimes eating only three meals a day is not enough to meet the person’s needs. For these people, the recommendation is to eat snacks with carbohydrates, protein and fruit in them.”

For people with a lower caloric expenditure, who do little or no physical activity and whose goal is to lose or maintain their weight, eating three main meals a day is enough.

According to Kammerer, eating less than three main meals a day is not recommended as long periods of fasting lead to a loss of muscle mass and metabolic disorders. If you do feel the need to have a snack and are hungry, however, the recommendation is to eat a portion of fruit either alone, or together with a dairy product.

Allies to performing well

As the nutritionist and professional chef María Fernanda Abad González explains, in addition to their physical benefits, snacks that provide a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fat also provide energy and a feeling of fullness. In her words, “They help us carry out our daily activities with positive results while providing nutrients to make sure our bodies work. In addition to including all the food groups in the right portions, according to each individual’s nutritional needs, it is important for them to be as natural as possible: free of preservatives, coloring agents and low in sodium, sugar and saturated fats.”

But how can you choose the right snacks? The following are some snack options that show how eating healthy can be fun.

Sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. Red peppers contain vitamin C, E and A.

Option 1 Tapas: Whole wheat bread with papaya salsa and fresh cheese

Cal: 234 / Protein: 8 g / Fat: 10 g / Carbs: 31 g

 For the toast

1/4 cup    Cooked brown rice

1/4 cup    Cooked quinoa

1/4 cup    Chia seeds (soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 30 minutes)

1 pinch     Low sodium salt

1 tbsp       Olive oil

1 tbsp       Sunflower seeds

1 tbsp       Sesame seeds

For the papaya salsa

1/4 cup    Diced white onion

1/4 cup    Diced papaya

1 cup        Diced red pepper

1 tbsp       Finely chopped cilantro

1 tsp         Lime

1 tsp         Olive oil

1 pinch    Low sodium salt

Mix all ingredients and set aside


– Mix rice, quinoa, chia seeds, salt and olive oil to form a consistent dough.

– Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and flatten to form a 3-millimeter-thick layer.

– Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

– Bake for 20 minutes at 150 °C (300 °F).

– Remove from the oven once the mixture is crispy and cut with a knife into 8 x 4-centimeter bars.

– Let cool and set aside.

– Put two bars on a plate. Serve with a slice of fresh cheese and top with the papaya salsa.

2,000 to 2,300 calories, on average, is how much a woman who is physically inactive should get a day.

Quinoa provides as much energy and fiber as whole gains. Compared to other fruits, papaya is very low in calories.


Option 2 Whole wheat toast with apples and peanuts

 Cal: 214 / Protein: 3 g / Fat: 7 g / Carbs: 35 g


 1 Slice        Whole wheat bread

1/2  cup      Diced red apple

1 tsp            Cinnamon

1 tsp             Honey

1                   Thyme branch

1 tbsp          Natural peanut butter


– Mix the apple, cinnamon, honey and thyme in a bowl.

– Toast the slice of bread.

– Spread the peanut butter on the toast and cover with the prepared apple mix

– Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with thyme.

Because of its high-water content, apples hydrate the body easily. Natural peanut butter helps keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels under control.

Option 3 Hummus

Cal: 120 per 100 g / Protein: 375 g / Fat: 7.0 g / Carbs: 57 g


375 g           Garbanzo beans

100 g            Tahini (sesame seed paste)

80 g              Greek yogurt

2                    Peeled garlic cloves

To taste        Olive oil

3                    Limes/lemons

To taste       Salt/pepper

To taste       Paprika

1 portion     Parsley


– Soak the garbanzo beans overnight.

– Cook in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes once it boils.

– Remove from the pot, save the water for later and process the beans in a blender until it reaches a smooth texture. (If it needs more liquid, use the left-over water from cooking).

– Remove from the blender and place this paste in a bowl.

– Add the tahini, garlic paste, lime/lemon, yogurt, salt and pepper.

– Serve and garnish with parsley and extra virgin olive oil (optional: paprika).

– Serve with chips or pita bread.

2,500 to 2,600 calories, on average, is how much a physically inactive man should get a day.

Combining chickpeas with grains increases the quality of their protein. Healthy fats from olive oil help protect the brain.

Related: Healthy cooking