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!
1. Microwave Popcorn
Everyone thinks popcorn is the easiest and most basic alternatives to hardcore snacking. Let’s also assume that you’re not reading the nutrition facts on the label.
Your average popcorn supplier is giving you:
Nasty Partially Hydrogenated Oils
In other words, trans fats. Yes, they are packing your delicious popcorn with artery cloggers and heart stoppers. Partially hydrogenated oils are factory made oils that are not as perishable as regular oils. This is a major money saver on the company’s end but not so much a life saver. You would actually be better off having regular oil than this junk. (source)
“But I thought they banned trans fats in America?”
Yes, but not really. America allows a certain percentage of the oils to be overlooked and causes you pile on tons more since the fancy label on the back says “0 trans fats”. Some brands don’t care to even hide this on their websites. Here’s a very popular brand who just out and says how many trans fats they have in their product on their website.
There are 12 grams of fat per serving in Pop Secret popcorn. I don’t know if you’re anything like me but I know that I would have usually eaten the whole bag and called it a day. That in total is 36 grams of fat for the bag. Not to mention the 2.5 grams of saturated fat!
(source as of 04/28/15)
Looking for an alternative? Try pita bread and hummus! Low in calories, low in fat, and low in price! Or make your own popcorn on the stove.
2. Blended Smoothies
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.
(source as of 4/29/15)
A good alternative: Make the smoothie yourself, detoxifying tea, or going to Smoothie King and looking at the calorie and sugar counts!
3. Frozen Meals
Anything frozen, preserved, and prepackaged is probably not going to be what’s best for you if you are watching what you eat. Your average frozen meal is giving you:
High Sodium Levels
It’s truly amazing how much salt can be packed into one container. High sodium intake is one of the main causes of high blood pressure in the world. Humans should only have a daily intake of about 2,400 mg of sodium per day (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). (source) So to see something take up about 30-50% of your daily value in one meal is concerning to me especially if high blood pressure runs in your family or if your diet is less than 2,000 calories per day. This Weight Watcher’s meal is sporting 620mg of sodium which is already 26% of your daily value.
(source as of 4/29/15)
A good alternative: Pre-preparing your own small meals every weekend or buying fresh and healthy meals from your local deli.
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!
(source as of 4/29/15)
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.