Snacking is an inevitable part of most of our daily lives, but choosing which snacks to opt for can be confounding (besides the obvious healthy choices like apples and carrots…). To find out what to eat when we’re not in the mood for celery sticks, we turned to nutritionist Stacy Goldberg and Lexi Sinclair, both of Savorfull. See their breakdown to find out exactly which snacks to reach for and which to avoid!
Not that: Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar
The natural, “outdoorsy” packaging of Clif Bars advertises “nutrition for sustained energy,” yet the high sugar content (22 grams per bar) may lead to a mid-afternoon crash and leave you feeling unsatisfied due to its “empty calories.”
Eat this instead: KIND Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Bar
KIND bars are an excellent alternative, as they contain 15 grams of heart-healthy, unsaturated fat from nuts, six grams of protein, and only five grams of sugar.
Not that: Tostitos Original Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
While these chips contain less fat than their greasy, regular potato chip counterparts, they provide nearly no nutritional value. With 19 grams of carbohydrates, a mere two grams of protein, one gram of fiber, and very little fat, these chips are the epitome of “empty calories.” Additionally, they contain 115 grams of sodium for a one-ounce serving (only seven chips!).
Eat this instead: Beanitos Restaurant Style White Bean Chips
These chips, made with navy beans and brown rice, are far more nutritious than regular baked potato chips in every category. They are high in fiber, with six grams per 140 calorie serving, which helps control blood sugar and keeps you feeling full for longer. Additionally, they contain double the amount of protein and less than half the amount of sodium in baked chips. The ingredients are also high quality, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, preservative-free, all-natural, and certified low glycemic, making them an excellent fit for all nutritional needs.
Not that: O.N.E. Coconut Water with a Splash of Pineapple
O.N.E. coconut water is heat pasteurized. This process leads to a significant reduction in nutrients and enzymes that are destroyed in the heating process. Additionally, the label does not specify if the coconut water comes from young or mature coconuts. Many companies use mature coconut water, which contains fewer nutrients, as a cost-cutting measure. Furthermore, with 16 grams of sugar per eight-ounce serving, this coconut water is less nutritious than it appears.
Eat this instead: COCO5 Pineapple
COCO5 coconut water derives from natural young coconuts, thus containing more of the beneficial nutrients that make coconut water a more nourishing source for hydration. Each flavor contains only seven grams of sugar per eight ounce serving, giving it a fresh fruit taste that is not overly sweetened. COCO5 also has fewer calories than most coconut water brands (40 per eight-ounce serving), which is beneficial for those trying to cut back on extraneous calories from sugary drinks.
Not that: Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt
Dannon Light & Fit advertises its 0% fat and low calorie content (80 calories for one container) at the price of 14 grams of carbohydrates, 10 of which are sugars. It also has very little protein and a number of additives, including corn starch, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. In addition to a high sugar content, this yogurt also contains added artificial sweeteners.
Eat this instead: Siggi’s Icelandic Vanilla Yogurt
For just a few more nutrient-packed calories and a nearly identical serving size, Icelandic yogurt contains live active cultures and probiotics that promote a healthy gut. This yogurt contains no artificial sweeteners or additives, and has only 9 grams of sugar from a much healthier source: organic agave nectar. It also has a very high protein content.
Not that: Rold Gold Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks
For only eight pretzels, you’ll get 110 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and only three grams of protein, making these a snack based almost exclusively on carbohydrates.
Eat this instead: Kay’s Naturals Cinnamon Toast Protein Pretzels
One serving size includes 120 calories, about the same as the Rold Gold pretzels, but with almost half the amount of carbs and four times the amount of protein! These pretzels have four grams of fiber and far less sodium than their alternative.
Not that: Kirkland Trail Mix
The first three ingredients in Kirkland Trail Mix are peanuts roasted in peanut oil, which significantly increases the calorie and fat content of the nuts; M&M milk chocolate candies, which contain a plethora of artificial colors and flavors; and raisins coated in non-hydrogenated sunflower oil.
Eat this instead: Germack Fit Mix Cardio
Alternatively, this Germack trail mix has a larger variety of nuts and seeds, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts. Each nut has a different nutrient profile, making this mix an excellent way to get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, none of the nuts or seeds are roasted in oil or salt, and the dried strawberries, blueberries, and cherries provide disease-fighting antioxidants and fiber. Although the calorie count is only slightly lower per serving size than the Kirkland mix (150 versus 160), the Germack Fit Mix is a much healthier choice in terms of micronutrient density.