Savoury snacks

Beware savoury snacks full of salt and saturated fat.
 
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01 .Introduction

Savoury-snacks-potato-chips

When it comes to snacks of a savoury variety, the most nutritious options are wholegrain cereals, nuts, legumes, vegetables and lean sources of protein – the less processed the better. But sometimes it’s easier to grab a convenient, pre-packaged snack on the way out the door.

  • To help you make better choices, we looked at a selection of supermarket products to get a snapshot of a few snack categories.
  • Unfortunately, we found some types of savoury snack that even a nutritionist would recommend.

If sweet snacks are more your thing, see our Sweet snacks report.

What to buy

Biscuit and dip combos

Traditionally, these are crowd pleasers, but beware of the pre-packaged snack variety. These biscuits and processed cheese are high in saturated fat. And if you think the classic bickie and Vegemite combo might be better, think again - Vegemite is extremely high in sodium. Keep portion sizes small and opt for rice or water crackers and a salsa-based dip.

 le-snack
Uncle Tobys Le Snak Corn Crackers and Salsa, six 20g-packs
Serve size: 20g
Price: $4.49

While the tiny portions won’t even come close to curing your hunger, if you have a craving for a savoury bickie and dip these might do the trick. Each pack contains about seven corn crackers with a tomato-salsa dip – a snack that provides only a fraction of the kilojoules and fat of most other biscuit and dip packs. It’s still low on nutrients so is best combined with fruit or vegetables.

Nuts

There’s evidence nuts can lower cholesterol levels and stop hardening of arteries. Raw or dry roasted nuts are a great source of important vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. Using our nutrition key, they may not look quite as good as some other snacks, but still pack a huge nutrition punch. While they have good fats, fat is the most energy-dense nutrient, so limit yourself to a 30g handful. Avoid salted or sugar-coated nuts.

lucky-nuts Lucky Walnuts, Cashews and Almonds, six 30g-packs
Serve size: 30g
Price: $3.99

These raw nuts are a great source of nutrients. Walnuts are one of the richest plant-based sources of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, while cashews provide you with zinc. These nuts come in handy 30g-packs – just the right amount for a nutty snack.

Tuna kits

Now here is a snack with potential. Tuna is a great source of protein which can help keep you feeling full for longer, and a good source of omega-3 – an essential fatty acid. Tuna snacks can also be low in saturated fat and energy – provided they aren’t coated in oil or mayonnaise. Another thing to watch is the sodium content as processed tuna can contain high levels of added salt. If you choose wisely, this can be one of the best snack options.

tuna-to-go John West Tuna to Go Tuna dip with water crackers, four 61g-packs
Serve size: 61g
Price: $5.49

This tuna-and-water-cracker combination provides a convenient snack that you can slip into your bag or glove box. The 61g portion size means you are getting the right amount of kilojoules and the protein will keep you feeling full. The only down side is that the sodium content is a little high. A good snack option.

Beans and legumes

This category provides a great snack choice. Beans are a good source of fibre, are low in fat and are an important source of protein. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals that can help protect you from some cancers. Fortunately, there are some great convenience products in this category now available at the supermarket. This just goes to show that pre-packaged foods don’t always have to be bad for you, or a compromise. You will notice that there is no worse buy when it comes to beans and legumes. That’s because they are all good for you. The ones that we have chosen to recommend are really just examples of what’s on offer.

3-beans-corn Edgell 3 Beans & Corn with a Balsamic Vinegar Sachet 150g
Serve size: 150g
Price: $2.39

These bean-and-corn tubs turn potentially boring beans into a very tasty snack. They come in a handy convenience tub – just peel back the lid and pour on the dressing and dig in. They even provide the fork.

Chips and crackers

A look down the chip aisle illustrates our love affair with all things crunchy and salty. Because there’s so much to choose from – and with claims such as “30% less fat than regular potato chips” – it can be a bit of a minefield. On closer inspection, regardless of their claims, nutritionally they all look eerily similar. A good rule of thumb is opt for a rice cracker first, but if you must have chips, keep the portion size small (around 20g) and choose lower-sodium varieties.

Sakata Sakata Minis Chicken, six 15g-packs
Serve size: 15g
Price: $2.99

These crackers come in six handy portion control packs, meaning you can get your savoury fix without the temptation of a whole packet bender. They are also low in saturated fat and gluten free. The only problem is they are low in fibre. Combine them with some carrot sticks, a piece of fruit or low-fat cheese to boost your nutrient intake.

 

 

Interested in finding out more about healthy eating? See CHOICE's Nutrition page.

 
 

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Price ($)Product typeEnergy (kJ per 100g)Total fat (per 100g)Saturated fat (per 100g)Sugars (per 100g)Sodium (mg per 100g)Fibre (g per 100g)Brand
          
Lime and black pepper potato chips (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers206023.43.32.84603.8Red Rock Deli
honey soy chicken potato chips (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers205023.13.24.15823.6Red Rock Deli
sweet chilli and sour cream flavoured potato chips (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers203023.53.52.311803.6Red Rock Deli
sea salt potato chips (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers204022.52.10.64794Red Rock Deli
original crinkle cut potato chips (variety pack) 19g5.49chips and crackers213031.911.31.85963Smiths
original thinly cut potato chips (variety pack) 19g5.49chips and crackers213031.911.31.85183Smiths
sour cream and onion flavoured thinly cut potato chips (variety pack) 19g5.49chips and crackers210030.510.94.15923Smiths
Twisties cheese flavoured snack 19g5.49chips and crackers208023.411.45.810601.5Smiths
Doritos cheese supreme flavoured corn chips (variety pack) 19g5.49chips and crackers21702713.32.65693.5Smiths
sour cream and chives 28g5.99chips and crackers200021.14.27.45636Grain Waves
sweet chilli flavoured (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers199020.53.88.85455.9Grain Waves
cheddar cheese flavour (variety pack) 28g5.99chips and crackers199021.24.46.46175.8Grain Waves
natural (variety pack) 21g7.65chips and crackers195020.1210.55604.2Vege Chips
BBQ flavoured (variety pack) 21g7.65chips and crackers189017.41.912.512305.3Vege Chips
sweet and sour (variety pack) 21g7.65chips and crackers189018.21.714.87505.4Vege Chips
French onion (variety pack) 21g7.65chips and crackers192018.2212.110705.4Vege Chips
Vita Wheat Grain Snacks cheddar and chives flavour (variety pack) 20g4.99chips and crackers180011.54.74.58075.9Arnotts
Vita Wheat Grain Snacks original with sea salt 20g4.99chips and crackers182313.91.64.16458.7Arnotts
Shapes pizza flavoured (variety pack) 25g4.61chips and crackers21422310.82.1657Arnotts
Shapes cheddar flavoured (variety pack) 25g4.61chips and crackers21652813.91.61052Arnotts
Shapes BBQ flavoured (variety pack) 25g4.61chips and crackers218425.211.71.4752Arnotts
Shapes cheese and bacon (variety pack) 25g4.61chips and crackers204118.49.40.9783Arnotts
Original flavour rice crackers 6x20g3.99chips and crackers16803.50.34.6677Fantastic
chicken flavour rice crackers 6x15g2.99chips and crackers16803.50.41.73681Sakata
Rice cracker snacks 12x20g2.49chips and crackers17404.10.61.53950.9Be light (Aldi)
Tuna to go tuna 4 snack packs 4x61g5.49Tuna kits96310.12.61.6596John West
Tuna to go 4 tomato and basil snack packs 4x61g5.49Tuna kits97810.12.61.7596John West
lunch kit tuna + sweetcorn in mayonnaise with crackers 108g2.99Tuna kits160017.73.52368Seakist
lunch kit tuna + thousand island dressing with crackers 108g2.99Tuna kits7538.82.64.6350Seakist
Tuna treat  with crackers mayonnaise with chilli 112g1.99Tuna kits8628.42.81.8592Portview
Tuna and beans roasted capsicum and three beans 185g3.35Tuna kits4784.60.62.1432John West
Tuna and beans casicum, sweet corn, red kidney beans and chilli 185g3.35Tuna kits6457.30.81432John West
3 beans and corn thai sweet chilli 150g1.99Bean kits3781.40.44.12956.9Edgell
3 beans and corn honey and wholegrain mustard 150g1.99Bean kits4212.90.63.12076.9Edgell
baked beans rich tomato 220g1.26Bean kits3690.70.33.42904.8SPC
baked beans in rich tomato sauce 220g1.32Bean kits3750.50.14.53655.2Heinz
walnut, cashews and almonds 6x30g3.99Nuts252053.25.94.457.3Lucky
Almonds 6x30g3.99Nuts233043.83.66.358.8Wholefoods oh so natural (Aldi)
Just Nuts 6x30g4.99Nuts256048.55.24.567Sunbeam
Almonds with yoghurt sultanas 6x30g4.99Nuts223035.66.823.5208.6Lucky
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