This week, I want to debrief the snack class that I recently taught. At this class, we discussed how when snacking, there’s no need to sacrifice taste for quality. The next time you are looking for a crunch, cookie, etc., keep these things in mind:
1. This first one can’t be stressed enough. Please read the ingredient label of each product that you put into your cart! This way, instead of buying the spiced tortilla chip (yes, I’m thinking Nacho Cheese Doritos) with 28 ingredients, you can opt for a chip flavored without the use of unnatural flavorings and synthetic dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 5. For instance, Trader Joe’s Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips are a better choice because they don’t have artificial flavors or preservatives.
2. When searching for the right pretzel, keep in mind that pretzels should really only have 4 ingredients on the label: wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. The fewer ingredients the better. I recently discovered pretzel crisps, which are delicious and offer much more of a crunch than the regularly shaped pretzels, because these crisps are much flatter.
3. Popcorn is an excellent snack choice that satisfies while also adding antioxidants and fiber to your diet. Try popping your own on the stove and experiment with the different colored kernels. My personal favorite are red kernels (no, they don’t stay red once they’re popped!). Even adding your own butter and salt to freshly popped popcorn is much healthier than the microwavable kind, which you may have already heard are filled with toxins from the packaging and the chemical butter flavor.
While we are on the subject of popcorn, have you ever wondered what makes SmartFood “smart?” Food companies will do anything and everything to make their products seem more enticing and appetizing. Be on the lookout for processed food packages that have celebrities endorse their food/beverages, use words that relate to health/wellness, use patriotism or purposely ignore the negative aspects of their products to make consumers buy into their marketing campaigns. Ingredient labels always tell the truth, so never solely rely on advertising when making an informed decision about a food item! ( By the way, SmartFood is not a completely horrible snack choice).
4. Instead of store bought mini muffins, try making your own. The processed muffins are unfortunately made up of barely any real food and include ingredients like xanthan gum, soy lecithin, and caramel color, which are all things you definitely don’t need in your body. When making your own mini muffins, try to branch out from the corn and the chocolate chip…expand your culinary horizons with zucchini muffins, banana muffins, or pumpkin muffins!
5. Lastly, when choosing cookies, opt for ones that don’t contain trans fats. These fats are used to maximize a product’s shelf life, and overtime can lead to obesity. To satisfy your Oreo craving, turn to the Trader Joe’s version of Oreos called Joe-Joe’s, a much healthier alternative that doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oils in them.
Here are some other awesome snack options:
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,