Thursday, October 24, 2013

EXPOSED: Popular "Healthy" Snacks

Recently, I went grocery shopping looking for cheap and delicious gluten free snacks. When I opened the pantry that I shared with my friends, I realized that she had a stockpile of snacks and I just had my almonds. Although I LOVE eating healthy foods, sometimes you just need some variety in your life. Last week, I spent at least an hour inside of Walmart scanning the aisles for snacks for and ended up leaving with fruit, Greek yogurt, and cucumbers. Although I did see some good picks, I noticed that there were a lot of unhealthy "healthy" foods out there.
1. Nature Valley Honey and Oats Granola Bars
Good: Has whole grain which are a great source of fiber and other nutrients. Fiber helps your body process food from one end to another and plays an important role in controlling the blood sugar spikes from low-carb diets.
Bad: There are different types of sugars in order to make the real sugar amount seem lower. Also, the "natural flavors" in this bar are often times flavorings added to make the food taste better. People sensitive to MSG, vegans, vegetarians, and those with other allergies should be careful since glutamates, animal products, or allergens may be the source of natural flavors. Lastly, these granola bars contain soy lecithin, which is an oily plant substance that posses emulsification properties that keeps food "together."
2. Nature Valley Sweet N Salty Peanut Bars
Good: Each bar contain 170 calories
Bad: high in sugar, multiple forms of 'sugar', and high fructose corn syrup. HFC is a processed product that is manufactured from surplus corn and has become a cheap alternative to table sugar. Take a look at the ingredient list and you'll realize that these bars are highly processed! While these "ingredients" keep your food fresher for longer periods of time but, they are linked to obesity, infertility, and have linked to various forms of cancer. 
3. Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies
Good:  ONLY 90 CALORIES! Enjoy these in moderation as a dessert and don't feel guilty about it. Bad: It contains inulin, a fiber "additive" that is a naturally occurring fiber found in chicory roots. Chicory root has a mild laxative effect but since it can increase the product of bile, it is known to cause gallstones.
4. Pita Chips

Good: They taste delicious with hummus!
Bad: Chips often times rate low on the food scale since they have little nutritional value for the amount of sodium and fat they carry. Also, despite those commercials that show how slow baked they are, they are slightly lower in fat that regular potato chips. Pita chips are made of unrefined carbs and often times lack the potassium that most traditional potato chips have. When choosing a chip, go for corn chips, bean chips, or skip them altogether!
5. Kelloggs Special K 90 Calories Bar
Good: They come in all flavors from vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry cheesecake.
Bad:  On top of the glycerin, corn syrups, and natural flavors, THEY CONTAIN TRANS FATS! Even if the package says 0 grams, trans fats are hidden as partially hydrogenated oils and fats. This bar contains BHT and TBHQ which are both controversial additives. BHT is an additive to retard rancidity in foods but are shown to be carcinogenic. Similarly, TBHQ also keeps food from going rancid but is a petroleum derivative (which includes fuels like jet fuel, diesel, and asphalt tar) YUCK!
6. Yoplait Light Yogurt
Good:  This brand contains calcium, vitamin A, and is a low calorie dairy source
Bad: Like many diet or light products, Yoplait Light contains controversial artificial colors and sweeteners. One of those nasty sweeteners is Aspartame, a popular sweetener that has been shown to cause headaches, pre-term delivers, leukemia and tumors in lab studies. Lastly, if you are following a Kosher or halal diet, then stay away from this yogurt! The gelatin in this product is made from animal skins and bones and is often times the by-products of meat and leather industries.

-Eating Clean in College 

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