I’m having a bit of a rant today as I’ve read a couple of articles about ‘healthy’ snacks.
It appears that focusing on ‘healthy’ snacks will be a food industry trend in 2019
You may have seen the new ‘air-popped’ snacks, made using hot air technology to create a healthier alternative to fried foods?
And the increase in nut and protein bars and niche products such as organic, gluten free, high protein and high fibre snacks?
So it’s good to see the food industry waking up to healthier options but and it’s a big BUT in my mind…what does it mean when large food companies start talking about snacks not only for adults, but children and wait for it…babies!?
One Irish company, Mackle Snacks, offers such products, exporting baby snacks for key brands in UK, Europe, China and Australia…
And they are not alone….
Plus Mackle snacks say their ‘healthier’ snacks allow for ‘guilt-free snacking’. So we know snacking isn’t a good habit to have but now we’re being led to believe it’s fine and even healthy to snack!
69% of Britons report snacking as a daily habit.
I get it that we don’t all have time to eat well and have regular meals on a daily basis due to our busy work / life schedules, but implying that regular snacking is OK, is not going to help create healthy eating habits. Also,when you’re stressed and grabbing foods on the go that simply disrupt your blood sugar balance, you’re going to feel even more stressed and exhausted later on in the day!
Some other ‘healthy’ snacks you may have seen are protein enriched Mars and Snickers bars. I mean WTF!? Just by adding protein does not make these sugar crammed snacks any heather!!
Have you see any particular new ‘healthy’ snacks on the supermarket shelves that you’ve been tempted by?
According to Whole Foods, the ‘healthy’ snacks emerging for next year include bars packed with MCT oil powder. Now MCT is medium-chain triglyceride – a fat more easily digested and has many health benefits but how beneficial will it be in the form of a powder?
Then we have coconut butter filled chocolates – yummy as I’m sure they will be, there’s the possibility of some additional sugar in there don’t you think? Just a bit? To make them even more delicious?
As for classic meat snacks like crispy beef jerky and chicken chips, I mean – YUK! How processed are they going to be?? And where did the meat originate?
These foods will contain high levels of pro-inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids – already too high in our western diets, preventing the metabolism of the healthier anti-inflammatory Omega 3
Partially hydrogenated fats can be present which contain trans fats.These have a negative effect on your HDL and LDL cholesterol
There are also the additional chemicals that are used in processing and preservatives like nitrites. Nitrites fight harmful bacteria in processed meats but, in the human body, can damage cells and also morph into molecules that cause cancer.
So what to do when you want to grab something healthy to eat?
Here are my top 6 tips to choosing ‘healthy’ snacks:
- Be AWARE of the contents of the ‘healthy’ snacks; Read the labels
- If they have ingredients you can’t read put it back on the shelf
- Avoid partially hydrogenated fats
- Be aware of high content palm, rapeseed and sunflower oil, all Omega 6 fatty acids.
- Look for the “carbohydrates (of which sugars)” figure in the nutrition label to see how much sugar the product contains for every 100g: More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is high
- Look out for sugar under other guises
- corn syrup
- hydrolysed starch
- invert sugar
You can always have an emergency supply of snacks in your desk or bag – mixed nuts such as almonds, brazils and walnuts with coconut shavings and dried fruit, such as goji berries, blueberries, raisins, apricots – all much healthier than anything pre-packed!
If you crave chocolate add some cocoa nibs – less sugar and processed than that snack bar!
Why not try making your own healthy granola and add to some plain yogurt and berries for a quick healthy snack? Yum!!
I hope the above helps you make educated choices about selecting certain ‘healthy’ snacks. Let me know what you snack on?
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
Nicky Rapley Dip NT, mBANT, CNHC
Nutritional Therapist & Yoga Teacher
Mob: 0777 865 1946
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200RYT Yoga & Meditation Instructor
Relax & Renew Certified Restorative Yoga Teacher
Laughter Yoga Leader