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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SKINNY SNACKS (article first published : 2002-07-31)

One would never think of using the words “snacks” and “weight loss” in the same sentence, but in Skinny Snacks, Karen Protheroe has come up with an original approach to controlling weight through snacking.

Protheroe, a registered dietician, maintains that our 24/7 lifestyles call for healthy and nutritional “skinny snacks” to replace full meals. In her book, she explains that by choosing and eating nutritionally balanced, low-fat snacks, one may lose weight and optimise energy levels.

With a foreword by Shape Magazine’s editor Heather Parker, while Skinny Snacks addresses specific issues such as insulin resistance and picky eaters, it also suggests ways to cut down on fat and cholesterol for the many people trying to lose weight.

I found the tips for low-fat cooking and shopping especially helpful. Protheroe exposes interesting information about decoding food labels and provides some useful addresses and phone numbers at the back of the book. Her ideas for healthy snacks prove useful when trying to decide what to eat or make when entertaining, be it at a cocktail party or a rugby braai. The author also emphasises the importance of substituting unhealthy ingredients with low-fat alternatives such as whole-wheat flour, olive oil and skim-milk.

For parents, there is an interesting section on snacks for children. Whether you are catering for a picky eater or an overweight child, Protheroe provides ideas and recipes to help solve the problem. In her recipe section, all the recipes are low-fat and low cholesterol, while most snacks are suitable for diebetics. Protheroe has also included some fun snack profiles of celebrities such as Bob Skinstad, Mark Gillman and Lynn Bedford Hall.

Whether an active or inactive person, you will find the specialised eating plans beneficial. They outline what a person of your weight, build and activity level should be consuming and offer ideas as to how to balance your diet. More of a practical guide to healthy eating rather than a favourite cook book, there is no doubt you will want to keep Skinny Snacks close-at-hand in the kitchen.

Skinny Snacks is published by Struik and retails at the reasonable price of R79.95 – Anita Ballantyne




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