We all love snacks, don’t we?
Whether you’re just filling in the gap between meals or you’re curling up on the couch after a long day, snacks are something we all should look forward too. But researchers and experts have discovered that these popular snacks aren’t as healthy as once thought!
Here’s our list:
1. Trail Mix
Mdlinx put together their own top 10 list, guess what was their #1 snack to avoid?
“Trail mix sounds healthy. Its name is reminiscent of the outdoors. But many brands of trail mix include less-than-healthy ingredients, such as M&Ms or chocolate chips.
Furthermore, many types of trail mix use salted nuts rather than unsalted nuts, which can raise your blood pressure level, and sweetened vs unsweetened dried fruits, which will add excess sugar to your diet.
Nuts are also deceptively high calorie and should be eaten in small portions.”
Women’s Health just had to pick pretzels, didn’t they? Well they are our #2 “healthy” snack to avoid!
This one really hurts. “Pretzels are basically made out of sugar,” says Cara Walsh, R.D., of Medifast Weight Control Centers of California. “The refined-carb product contains no nutrients that are beneficial for health and aren’t satisfying, hence why so many people tend to overeat them.”
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3. Veggie Chips
It seems like Women’s Health is all over this topic, we agree and listed our #3 as veggie chips!
A fried chip is a fried chip, no matter if it’s made from beets or potatoes. “The harmful ingredient isn’t (necessarily) the thing being fried but the saturated and trans fats being used in the frying process,” says Adrienne Youdim, M.D., physician nutrition specialist at the Center for Nutrition in Beverly Hills. Plus, most veggie chips have potatoes listed as their first ingredient and contain the same amount of calories as regular potato chips, adds Rubin. Try baking your own veggie chips from kale, carrots, or zucchini instead to cut back on the fat and sodium and pack in more nutrients.
4. Energy & Protein Bars
Clark suggestion that protein bars are unhealthy is spot on, and it’s our #4 pick!
If you look at the labels on some energy and nutrition bars, they look pretty similar to candy bars. In fact, earlier this year the FDA told KIND brand nutrition bars to stop using the world “healthy,” because the term is supposed to tell consumers that it’s relatively low in fat, which these bars are not. Many protein bars contain high levels of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy fats, chemical additives, artificial colors and flavors, and questionable preservatives.
Solution: If you’re looking for a good protein bar, the fewer ingredients the better. If you’re just looking for an extra boost of energy, experts say try a Chocolate Peanut Butter Quest Bar or a Think Thin Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate Lean Protein & Fiber Bar.
5. Yogurt Parfait
Nutrition Stripped agree’s with us and puts a really popular “healthy” snack on in our top 5 list:
When you’re at a cafe, yogurt parfaits might seem like the healthiest choice among the donuts and pastries. But most parfaits contain sweetened fruit (i.e. fruit with a simple syrup) and top it with granola which is typically high in sugar, and honey. The sugar quickly adds up.
It’s no wonder your stomach may be grumbling an hour later. The spike in blood glucose ultimately leads to a sugar crash, which may leave you feeling a little lethargic or low in energy yet reaching for more quick treats.
Swap in: Instead, try for unsweetened full-fat yogurts such as organic dairy, coconut, or almond yogurt and top with some fresh fruit and a sprinkle of homemade granola (or chia seeds for a fiber boost).
Are any of these on your list of snacks you enjoy?
We know you can’t avoid eating unhealthy snacks for the rest of your life, but we want to help you avoid these trouble spots when you can. Let us know if you this list has helped you buy leaving a comment below!