This is a month late, but since March was Nutrition Month, I thought I’d share some facts on five snacks that you thought were healthy, but upon inspection are quite the opposite. I’m not going to go into details about specific calorie count for each food item, but just know this: Think twice before purchasing these snacks the next time you’re grocery shopping!
- Trail mix – Yes, some trail mix is full of plain and natural flax, grains, fibre, oats, unsweetened fruit and good fats from nuts, and that’s the stuff to choose. But there are some trail mixes loaded with sweet stuff like sweetened fruit, white, dark, milk chocolate and clusters of oats rolled in sugar and/or honey. Those will too easily add to your calorie intake.
- Granola bars – These types of grains are the best to put into your body. The main reason lays in the amount of sugary stuff (mainly corn syrup) they put in these bars. Think about it – how else would oats and grains taste that good??
- Yogurt covered raisins – These pop-into-your-mouth snacks would be harmless if they were just unsweetened raisins on their own. But they’re not. The raisins themselves are sweetened, and there’s a coating of creamy and sweet yogurt on top.
- Dole fruit gel bowls or pudding snack packs- I have to admit, I used to love eating these, until I realized how much freaking sugar syrup and carbs there are in one little pack/bowl. One pudding pack can be up to as much as 120 calories!
- Kellogs and Vector cereals – The main peeve I have about these cereals is that there’s so much sugar and carbs and preservatives. And not that much good nutrients, come on. Vector is actually supposed to be a meal replacement!
Rather than these sugary snacks, try having something more wholesome and nutritious like:
- Homemade popcorn – Instead of grabing a handful of trail mix, a healthier alternative is to take a scoop of kernels – control the amount of course – and microwave it yourself. That way you can put a reasonable amount of butter or salt on, rather than having it slathered on, like most popcorn in grocery stores.
- Yogurt – As long as they’re not the drinkable yogurts full of sugar (or something with crazy cartoon packaging really), yogurt can be healthy and a great source of calcium, protein, potassium, iodine and other essential vitamins. If you want to eat a truly healthy yogurt, opt for one with less fat, sugar and additional fillings.
- Fresh fruit – How can you go wrong with fresh fruit – sure there’s sugar, but it’s the good type that your body can turn into energy. And if you’re like me, fruit gets you full so you don’t crave more foods!
- Cheesestring – Maybe I’m being biased here because I love Cheesestrings, but I am quite certain these fun cheesy snacks are low in calories and will keep you satisfied after one! You could also opt for the infamous cottage cheese with honey snack… or something along those lines.
- Edamame beans – Full of both protein and fibre, you can purchase frozen edamame beans from your grocery store and store them in your freezer for a LONG period of time. Boil some and pack yourself a small container if you want to bring a snack to work!
I’m in no way claiming that I don’t consume a couple of the aforementioned “bad” foods – because I do – but I don’t like to make it a habit to snack on them either. Whereas I might have reached for them in the past, I am more conscious of what I put into my body now, and by eating the healthier alternatives, I don’t feel like I’m missing or craving anything! I hope you’re able to take something away from reading this, and consider some healthier alternatives before you grab a handful of that…!