The 5 Worst “Healthy” Snacks (and what to snack on instead)
Healthy eating can be a huge challenge when you’re constantly being tempted by sweet or salty unhealthy snacks. Do you know what’s even worse? When you think you’ve made the right choice in a healthy snack but then find out, actually they aren’t healthy at all! To be a healthy snack, it has to be high in nutritional value. This means high in either protein, vitamins or fiber but low in calories, refined sugar, sodium and trans fat.
Whole Wheat Crackers
Crackers seem pretty harmless, especially the “healthy” ones. Unfortunately, they can be quite deceiving. Most of them don’t truly qualify as healthy snacks. The main issues with wheat crackers are that the majority of them contain a mixture of bleached or non-bleached refined grains. That’s not all: a close look at their ingredients list would also reveal substances that many people would struggle to pronounce. It’s a good tip that the more products you have trouble saying out loud the not-so-healthy it is.
Many of the crackers that try to pass themselves off as healthy snacks are actually high in trans-fats and calories. Trans-fats have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Many manufacturers strip down their crackers all of the good nutrients but leave in the fast-acting starches. A key thing to look at though is the sodium amount. Often many crackers have high sodium and high sodium intake can lead to water retention and swelling of the ankles, hands and feet.
Eat This Instead: Paleo Crackers
Nuts are delicious and are good for you but when they are coated in sugar or other flavorings, you are going down the wrong road of a healthy snack. For instance, Planter’s Honey Roasted Peanuts contain 7 grams of added sugars per serving—which is 7 grams more sugar than you’d be eating if you chose an unflavored variety!!
Eat this instead: If you want some flavor on your nuts, opt for spices like cinnamon or cayenne. As for which type of nut, opt for in-shell varieties.
Making your own fruit smoothie is the way to go compared to the store-bought options. Many store-bought options can be blended with high-calorie dairy bases and cheap sweeteners that make them more dessert-like than diet-friendly.
Eat This Instead:
If you have a hankering for something sweet and fruity, nothing beats a whole piece (or two!) of real fruit.
Yogurt Covered Snacks
Many yogurt-covered items use a synthetic yogurt which is filled with sugar, many hydrogenated oils, and yogurt powder, all of which add excessive sugars, saturated fats, and trans-fats to your daily nutritional intake.
Eat This Instead: Chia Pudding Snack Items
Reduced-fat peanut butter
Never eat reduced-fat peanut butter. When peanut-butter makers remove the naturally occurring, healthy fats from peanuts, they replace them with sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated vegetable oil, which increases heart disease risk by a whopping 23 percent. As if that weren’t enough, reduced-fat usually has the same number of calories as regular peanut butter.
Eat This Instead: Stick with regular, heart-healthy peanut butter and almond butter.
What do you snack on when you’re hungry? Let us know!