Think you can only buy rubbish from 7-Eleven? Think again.
There’s no need to resort to sugar and grease-laden snacks with these five nutritionist-approved options from the store that’s on every corner in HK. Healthy snacking just got a bit easier…
Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Pistachios
Unfortunately, most of the nuts at 7-Eleven are loaded with vegetable oil, which sounds a lot healthier than it actually is (omega-6 rich vegetable oils are prone to oxidation, and when consumed in excess to omega-3, can encourage inflammation). While most of Blue Diamond’s individually portioned nuts are roasted in vegetable oil, their unshelled Pistachios are dry-roasted, making them the healthiest option. They do have a little salt, but for 7-11, these make a wholesome snack!
I also like that these come in a portion-controlled packet, so you don’t go overboard. Pistachios also give you healthy fats and blood-sugar-stabilising protein and fibre, to help tide you over between lunch and dinner.
Meko Coconut Water
A much healthier alternative to soft drinks and ideal for cooling down in the Hong Kong heat, Meko is made from legit, 100% young coconut water from Thailand. And with only 4.4g of natural sugar/100ml (that’s low, about a teaspoon’s worth!), it’s also much lower in sugar than many other coconut water brands, some of which unnecessarily add the sweet stuff.
A can of coconut water is also a great way to rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes post-workout or hike, or while walking up Soho and Mid-Levels!
7-Eleven Organic Chestnuts
Funnily enough, the only raw, unsalted nuts (the healthiest kind) you can get from 7-Eleven are their own brand of chestnuts! A generous serving of these comes in a single-serve packet. Chestnuts are actually much lower in fat than other nuts, but are starchier and sweeter; perfect for a pre-workout snack (I have these between work and yoga) or to satisfy a sweet tooth, the healthy way.
Unsweetened Iced Green Tea
With a little bit of caffeine, this makes a nice sugar-free pick-me-up, sans the artificial sweetener that you get in diet colas and energy drinks. There are a handful of Chinese and Japanese brands at 7-Eleven that do sugar free iced green tea, but just check the ingredients label to make sure the one you pick doesn’t have any sugar or honey added – sweetened varieties add more than several teaspoons of the stuff!
If you’re not really hungry but feel like a cookie come 3pm, green tea is also a great way to curb a sweet tooth; its astringency and mellow, grassy flavour cleanse the palate, so you’ll lose the desire for something sweet. Find green tea too bitter? Try Genmai varieties with roasted rice for a smoother, nuttier, and slightly sweeter flavour. If you prefer more floral teas, you’ll find unsweetened iced Jasmine tea at 7-Eleven, too.
Lindt 85% Dark Chocolate
Yep, you’ll find 35g single portions of this quality chocolate at several 7-Eleven branches. Dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 85% or higher means more antioxidant-rich cocoa and minimal sugar. If you’re not used to chocolate this dark, its bittersweet flavour can take some getting used to… but after a few tries, you’ll be hooked.
Try this dipped in a cup of tea for a melt-in-your-mouth healthy treat. And unlike milk chocolate, which leaves you wanting more (and more!), super dark chocolate has a well-rounded flavour that lingers in the mouth long after eating, signalling to your brain that you’ve had enough. If you can’t find Lindt’s 85% variety at your local 7-Eleven, their 70% cocoa option is your next best bet. Some 7-Eleven’s also stock 35g portions of Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate, my favourite!
Happy snacking, girls!