Early evening is the time when our taste buds are in junk food mode and our eyes can focus on nothing but chaat and vada pav stalls. Priyanka Singh & Dev Goswami tell you just how many calories there are in common snacks and how much you should be eating
W hen the clock strikes five, the glutton in you stirs and eventually, becomes a rumbling monster. And it rumbles not just for anything that will pacify it, but a few specific food items that have nothing to do with the word ‘healthy.’ From bhajiyas, samosas and vada pavs, to sandwiches, dosas and potato chips — these are the kind of foods that we crave for in the evening. Ideally, the 5 o’clock munchies should consist of 200 calories. Ever wondered if you’re going overboard with that heavenly bite of samosa? We pick the most common evening snack options and tell you how big a portion of that food item has 200 calories and how often you should indulge your cravings.
Plain Vegetarian Sandwich (White Bread)
1 sandwich = 200 calories
A vegetable sandwich falls under the category of healthy snacking options. Mostly, a regular vegetable sandwich consists of light butter on two slices of white bread, with slices of cucumber, tomato, onion, beetroot and boiled potato stuffed in between. You can eat a sandwich every day, but tell the vendor to go easy on the butter.
3 pieces = 200 calories
Onion bhajiyas don’t only make it to our favourite food list during the monsoon. The combination of sweet onion, chilli and coriander is hard to resist through the year. But, you need to have this snack just once a month as the rice flour, chickpea flour and method of cooking (deep frying!) causes the calorie intake to shoot up. And we know that it will be impossible to limit yourself to ‘just’ a couple of pieces. So, avoid them!
¾ piece = 200 calories
Samosas are deep fried and are made of maida with a potato filling. Need we say more? Samosas make for easy evening snacks as they are a convenient take-away (and mouth-watering) option. You can have a samosa while you’re on the go and within a couple of minutes, it’s polished off. Plus, if you have it regularly, it’s also pretty heavy. While it might seem like an ideal snack item, it plays havoc with your calorie count. You can eat it once in three weeks.
¾ piece = 200 calories
Like a samosa, a vada pav is also a convenient snack option. But when it comes to calories, it is also one of the worst culprits. The vada is made of potatoes and besan (gram flour) and the pav is made of white flour. Anything healthy in here? Sadly, not. Gorge on it only once in three weeks.
5 tbsp with cow milk = 200 calories
As far as snacks are concerned; cornflakes are one of the least offending foods. You can actually eat them daily to satiate your hunger pangs. However, make sure you have cornflakes that have no added sugars, as they have a higher calorie content and are lower in nutrition. You can also replace cow milk with skimmed milk, goat milk, soy milk or almond milk, if you feel the need to lower your calorie intake.
Bread & Butter (Bhite Bread)
Three slices = 200 calories
One of the most healthy and fuss-free snacks is plain bread and butter. You can have three slices of bread and butter every day. But don’t use a generous amount of butter. Just a thin layer should suffice. Also, switch to whole wheat bread.
Dosa (With Light Oil)
1 medium sized dosa = 200 calories
Dosa is made of raw rice and urad dal (split black lentils). A lot of people might argue that rice is fattening, but when it comes to dosa, a mixture of rice and urad dal is a healthy mixture as it undergoes fermentation. You can have a medium sized, plain dosa (no filling) everyday. However, go easy on the butter smearing.
1 puri and meagre bhaji = 200 calories
One plate (four puris and some bhaji) = 600 calories
This is another high-calorie snack that most of us are in love with. Puris are deep fried, which obviously makes them dangerous for your body as they are full of unhealthy fats. Even the bhaji is made of nothing healthy, but fried onions and potatoes. A puri bhaji treat can be had only once a month.
¾ Frankie = 200 calories
Considering that it is wrapped in maida, a Frankie is a treat that you should let yourself indulge in only around once a month. If you really can’t resist it, prepare one at home and instead of maida, use whole wheat flour to make the roti.
Potato. Oil. Salt. Is it any wonder that studies have shown that people who snack on chips put on weight with each passing year? A regular `5 packet has 160 calories, which doesn’t fill you up. So, you tend to buy another packet, or a bigger one, which obviously increases the calorie count. You can eat a regular `10 packet once a week. But, it has very little nutritional value so make sure it’s just an occasional treat.
The problem with biscuits is that no one can stop at just a few. And if you have a cup of tea, these crisp treats turn into something you can just wolf down before realising you’ve finished the entire packet! The most common ingredients in biscuits are maida, sugar and oil — all of which are not your diet’s best friends. However, as a 200 calorie snack, you can munch on 6-8 biscuits a few times a week. They give you a quick energy boost that may help perk you up. However, skip cream-filled biscuits as those are loaded with extra calories.