With all the sneaky marketing tricks that food companies like to play on us, it can be difficult to distinguish a healthy snack from its unhealthy counterpart. In fact, if you were to really inspect all the “healthy foods” that we’re surrounded by at the grocery store, you’d be surprised at how many of these foods aren’t actually healthy at all. With all the little advertising tricks and traps that have been so carefully set for us, it’s crucial for us to be hyper-conscious of what we’re snacking on. But rest assured, if you follow these three guiding principles while you’re shopping around for something to munch on, you’ll be well on your way to worry-free snacking.
1. Look At The Nutrition Facts
Every time you’re considering eating something packaged, flip the package around and check out the nutrition facts. Two things to look out for in particular are protein and fiber. If you eat foods that have a high protein and fiber content, you’ll feel fuller than if you were to just eat something that’s full of carbohydrates. Speaking of carbs, watch out for snack foods that are loaded with added sugars. Oftentimes they’ll just leave you craving more sugar!
2. Check Out The Ingredients
Looking at the nutrition facts simply isn’t enough. Harmful ingredients like preservatives, chemicals, dyes, and sweeteners are all hidden in the ingredients; so if you’re only looking at the nutrition facts, you’re going to miss them! And unfortunately, many of the popular snack foods we’ve grown accustomed to are stuffed with these kinds of things, so be on the lookout. If you can’t confidently pronounce the majority of the ingredients listed on a snack food, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it! Products that are proudly marketed as low-sugar, light, fat-free, or something similar, are often filled with a bunch of junk ingredients to maintain the flavor of the product, so be particularly careful with these foods!
3. Choose Whole Grains
Many snack foods are made with grains, but not all grains are created equal! Stick to whole grain foods instead of refined grains when choosing a carbohydrate based snack like granola bars, popcorn, pretzels, and the like. These kinds of snack foods can also be tricky; many of them are advertised as whole grain, multi-grain, or some other variation. Don’t just read that and think it’s healthy! Make sure you read the ingredients list and look for the actual whole grain ingredient. If the whole grain ingredients aren’t within the first couple listed, then the actual amount of whole grains in the product is probably small.
The best way to avoid all the label checking before you eat something is to just eat wholesome foods that don’t have labels! Things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are perfect snacks that you don’t need to meticulously inspect before you eat. But if you are going for something that’s packaged, typically the fewer the ingredients it has, the more wholesome and healthy it is. Here are a few go-to snack brands to look for when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read a bunch of labels!
When it comes to healthy snacking, wholefoods are definitely the way to go. With all of the vitamins and minerals that things like fruits, veggies, and nuts provide, snacking on these foods is a great way to make sure you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs.
P.S If you like a healthy drink to go with your healthy snack, you might want to check out Beyond Latte’s organic Spicy Hot Chocolate. Formulated by yours truly, it’s chocolatey, spicy, delicious and nourishing. Perfect for morning or afternoon cuppa!