How many treats can you eat? Dietitian reveals amount of kilojoules you can devote to sweets

Australian dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured)

Australian dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured)

Australian dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured)

An Australian dietitian has warned against over-indulging in ‘treats’ heading into winter – and revealed how many kilojoules people should stick to each day.

A ‘treat’ differs from a ‘snack’ as it’s high in kilojoules, sugar and fat, and provides more by way of taste and pleasure than it does in nutritional value, whereas a snack – like an apple – still fuels your body in between meals. 

Susie Burrell told Body and Soul eating too many treats per day is a common faux pas as even small 600-800 kilojoule (150-200 calorie) options add up over time. 

‘When you consider that a small female requires around 6,276kJ (1,500 calories) each day, an additional 1,255-1,673kJ (300-400 calories) via chocolate and a couple of glasses of wine can slowly lead to weight gain,’ she warned.

The average female will eat three meals a day that will provide at least 4,184kJ (1,000 calories) of those 6,276kJ (1,500 calories) a day, leaving her with anywhere between 800 and 2,000kJ (200-500 calories) to spend on snacks and potential treats. 

The average female will eat three meals a day that will provide at least 4,184kJ (1,000 calories) of those 6,276kJ (1,500 calories) a day, leaving her with anywhere between 800 and 2,000kJ (200-500 calories) to spend on snacks and potential treats.

The average female will eat three meals a day that will provide at least 4,184kJ (1,000 calories) of those 6,276kJ (1,500 calories) a day, leaving her with anywhere between 800 and 2,000kJ (200-500 calories) to spend on snacks and potential treats.

 The average female will eat three meals a day that will provide at least 4,184kJ (1,000 calories) of those 6,276kJ (1,500 calories) a day, leaving her with anywhere between 800 and 2,000kJ (200-500 calories) to spend on snacks and potential treats.

How can you consume alcohol in a safe and healthy way? 

 As is the case with many areas of nutrition, there are no hard and fast answers to these questions – every person is different, particularly in relation to health risk factors that play a key role in determining the recommendations on alcohol consumption for individuals. 

From a physiological perspective, alcohol contains 27 kilojoules per gram (almost as much as fat which contains 37 kilojoules per gram) and is considered a toxin by the liver. 

Public health recommendations suggest adults aim for at least two alcohol free days a week, and a maximum of two standard drinks on days after that. 

The high kilojoule load of alcohol, particularly when it is mixed with juices, colas and energy drinks means that regular and high intakes of alcohol can easily result in weight gain. 

While a small glass of wine contains the same amount of kilojoules as a row of chocolate, the jumbo sized glasses that wine is frequently served in can contain three times this amount and it is not uncommon to polish off an entire bottle of wine in a single setting. 

For most people, one or two standard drinks a night will not cause weight gain per say but drinking this much alcohol regularly does mean that the foods we commonly enjoy with a glass of wine or over a beer such as cheese, dips, potato chips and crackers are less likely to be used for energy as the body is too busy digesting the alcohol. 

‘For most people this equates to one small 400-800kJ (100-200 calorie) treat each day to prevent weight gain,’ Susie said.

The average man will need 8,368kJ (2,000 calories) a day to function, and therefore are permitted, on average, 900kJ (215 calories) a day to be eaten as snacks or potential treats.

While you are allowed to have one small snack a day – particularly if weight loss is not your goal – as part of a balanced diet, you might be inclined to limit your treats mid-week if you’re likely to binge on a weekend of drinking or takeaway food.

‘You may enjoy dessert, or a decent sized chocolate bar, a more indulgent ice cream or a few glasses of wine a couple of times each week as opposed to limiting yourself to small portions on every day of the week,’ she said.

A chocolate Paddle Pop (pictured) only contains 330kJ

A chocolate Paddle Pop (pictured) only contains 330kJ

Meanwhile oil-popped popcorn will set you back 293kJ

Meanwhile oil-popped popcorn will set you back 293kJ

‘You may enjoy dessert, or a decent sized chocolate bar, a more indulgent ice cream or a few glasses of wine a couple of times each week as opposed to limiting yourself to small portions on every day of the week,’ she said

Dietitian-approved low calorie treats:

1. Paddle Pop: Yes, ice cream can be healthy and with just 330kJ (80 calories) per single serve, how could you go wrong with a Paddle Pop?

2. Strawberries with icing sugar: A long time favourite with few kilojoules and you could even dip your berries in a little dark chocolate for an extra treat.

3. Lindt Excellence Extra Fine Squares: So you can have your chocolate and eat it too just try and limit to 2-3 squares or 20g of chocolate.

4. Popcorn: Skip the butter and you have a great treat to munch on with just two cups containing <10g of total carbohydrates.

5. Lemon Sorbet: Few kilojoules, maximum pleasure. Gelato is also a relatively low calorie option, just choose the small cup.

Source: Shape Me 

Susie recommends reaching for lower kilojoule treats on the days you are wanting something sweet to maintain that balance

Susie recommends reaching for lower kilojoule treats on the days you are wanting something sweet to maintain that balance

Susie recommends reaching for lower kilojoule treats on the days you are wanting something sweet to maintain that balance

Susie recommends reaching for lower kilojoule treats on the days you are wanting something sweet to maintain that balance.

Chocolate, strawberry or rainbow Paddle Pops contain 330kJ (80 calories) per single serve and therefore are a welcome alternative, while strawberries with icing sugar give you a treat hit with a side of healthy fruit. 

Two squares of Lindt Excellence Extra Fine Squares will only cost you 481kJ (114 calories), while oil-popped popcorn is even less at 293kJ (70 calories) for two cups.

Finally, gelato is a relatively safe treat option so long as you choose a small cup.  

Recommended


Latest Female Stories

Great Tips

Nail Care Tips

Beauty Tips For 2019