Secretly Unhealthy SnacksAug 22, 2018
Trying to eat healthy huh? Picked up a few things from the store last week with a big smile on your face only to find that you’ve gained weight?!
Here are some quick substitutions for snacks that will prevent you from gaining weight, getting sick, and feeling lazy.
If you’re eating any of the food items below please take them out of your diet! There are some really quick and healthy alternatives to all of these!
I know I’m treading in some pretty scary territory here.
“How could you do this to me?”
Hey don’t worry! Not all smoothies are bad. Smoothies can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s all about what you add on to it. In other words, if it tastes like a milkshake, smells like a milkshake, and talks like a milkshake… it ain’t no smoothie.
Loads of Not-So-Hidden Sugar
In case you don’t know, sugar is one of the most fat inducing, addictive, and disruptive chemicals that you can put in your body. Sugar is good… in moderation.
The sugar content in smoothies are ridiculous when you get them pre-packaged. The image below provides a perfect example what used to be one of my favorite smoothie drinks until I peeped out that back panel. 49g of sugar in one drink is ridiculous. It’s not just because this is chocolate either! Check out the panels on the other smoothies and let me know if you find one that ISN’T saturated in sugar. Make sure that you read those serving sizes too! This is not an energy drink, kool-aid, or soda.
“Well fine then I’ll go to Smoothie King and get a smoothie there instead!”
Well go ahead. I personally love Smoothie King and NutraKey does too! However, not all of their smoothies are meant to be healthy. Adding peanut butter, honey, bananas, and milk is probably not going to be the best choice if you’re trying to lose weight.
A good alternative: Make the smoothie yourself, detoxifying tea, or going to Smoothie King and looking at the calorie and sugar counts!
2. Dried Fruit
Why it’s not great for you: It’s made from fruit so it must be healthy, right? But there’s a reason that people often refer to dried fruit as “nature’s candy.” Although dried fruit is loaded in vitamins and antioxidants (like fruit itself) it also contains a lot more sugar and calories than the original. Regular fruit already contains a significant amount of natural sugar. But because the water is removed from fruit to produce dried fruit, the calories and sugar are present at a much higher volume in the latter. Raisins are about 59 percent sugar and dates can contain up to 66 percent.
A better alternative: When choosing a sweet snack or topping, try sticking with natural fruits instead of opting for their dried counterparts. As a result, you’ll get an equally tasty snack that’s lower in calories and sugar, but still high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Pro tip: if you’re making your own trail mix (which we would recommend instead of buying the prepackaged kind at the store) try swapping out raisins for blueberries or grapes to cut back on some of the sugar.
3. Flavored Yogurt
Why it’s not great for you: Most of us consider yogurt of all varieties to be a healthy snack or breakfast option. But while plain yogurt, particularly plain Greek yogurt, is a great source of healthy protein most flavored varieties pack on wayyy too much sugar. Some popular brands sell flavored yogurt that contains as much as 30 grams of sugar per serving!
A better alternative: Instead of reaching for strawberry-flavored Chobani for a quick snack or breakfast, opt for the plain, unsweetened version. If you think plain Greek yogurt tastes too tart on its own, you can always add sweetness to your bowl by throwing in some berries and honey.
4. Granola Bars
Granola bars can be an easy grab-and-go type of snack however, some of the more common brands are loaded with sugars, chemicals, and all sorts of nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, some of the granola bars out there are extremely healthy and have amazing benefits. I just can’t speak for all of them.
This is what your average granola bar is dishing out:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar is everywhere but it is especially dominant here. Found in almost everything, high fructose corn syrup is known to be the dominant cause of obesity in America. (source)
The granola bar nutrition facts below (belonging to Quaker) shows off their friendly daily values and devious ingredients panel. Corn syrup is mentioned 3 times in this complex list of ingredients along with sugar listed 7 times! Run!
A good alternative: Next time around read the label or make your own granola bars! Get my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Granola here!
There are a few other honorable mentions like baked chips, salads, and fruit snacks.
Overall, if you want to really start losing weight and win the battle to get healthy then you’re going to have to read.
Reading the back panels on all of your favorite snacks before you eat them will have you to become more health conscious and more educated on the subject!
Eat Better. Feel Better. Look Better.