When it comes to snack food, consumers have a lot of choices. Unfortunately, many people often reach for snacks that aren’t all that healthy such as chips, crackers, or candy. In my upcoming book, I talk a lot about eating more whole food and foods that have less ingredients, as they are better for you.
In this blog, I wanted to focus on how you can make conscious choices when selecting snack foods, by taking a little time to read food labels and choosing more whole foods. Since energy bars and snack bars are popular these days, I thought we could take a look at some of the ingredients. Some energy bars contain a fair amount of protein and have other healthy ingredients, such as nuts and fruit. Other snack bars may have some healthful ingredients, but may also contain a long list of other items including sugar and other hard to pronounce words.
Let’s take a look at a few snack bar examples, as well as whole food snacks to determine their benefits:
This Nugo Dark bar, I have to say, is quite tasty. It contains 10 grams of protein and has a salty, yet sweet taste that tastes like a chocolate covered pretzel. While it is gluten-free and a vegan option, it does contain rice, soy, cane sugar and a few other items. It does not have a huge list of ingredients, like some other snack bars, but does contain more than 5 ingredients, which is ideal. I buy this bar on occasion, as it contains 25% iron and helps me to maintain my iron level. On the down side, it does contain 15 grams of sugar.
This Kind bar also has a sweet yet salty taste, as it contains nuts, chocolate and sea salt. It also contains a few other ingredients including honey, rice and vanilla, and is low is sugar (only 5 grams), which is good for a snack bar. Give it a try if you are looking for something crunchy to eat and don’t want to consume a whole lot of sugar.
This snack bar has an interesting name and hits the nail on the head for what I am trying to get across. It contains only 2 ingredients, apples and cherries. That’s it! It kind of reminded me of a fig newton cookie, without the cookie crumbs. It has no added sugar, but does contain natural sugars found in the fruit. It is gluten-free, kosher, vegan, raw and contains no fat. It is also non-GMO and only 100 calories.
If you are looking for something that is both sweet and crunchy, an apple is a good option. Apples are considered to be one of the healthier foods available and are rich in vitamin C and fiber. They have other healthful benefits and nutrients as well, such as magnesium, vitamin B-6, iron, vitamin A and calcium. They also come in a lot of varieties, so most likely you can find one you like.
Carrots are another healthful snack. They are sweet and crunchy and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and more. Carrots are known to help eyesight and help prevent macular degeneration. They also can help boost your immune system, help prevent heart disease and cancer and help aid in the digestion process. Many people enjoy eating carrots raw. They also are good cooked and make any side dish more appealing.
Cherries are another whole food that makes a great snack. They are sweet in flavor and loaded with antioxidants. Cherries are rich in vitamin C and fiber and also contain potassium. Cherries are known to help relieve arthritic pain, headaches and helpful to those who suffer from gout. They can be eaten alone, or added to yogurt, smoothies and more.
Thanks for reading and happy snacking!