I arrived at Yahoo this morning to check an often forgotten email account and saw this headline:
Are Those “Healthy” Snacks Actually Bad for You?
Sounds scary, right? Like all this time you’ve been haphazardly snacking on poison! Oh the horror.
Here’s a list of the snack foods Yahoo’s experts said to avoid, plus my commentary:
#1 Rice cakes. Their take, the rice cake “has a mere 35 calories, but consists of high-glycemic, puffed-up white rice with a low nutritional profile.”
My plan: Rice cakes aren’t on it. If my blood sugar’s gonna sky rocket, I want to actually enjoy it while it happens. Enter a piece of dark chocolate. Or better yet, grab an apple or handful of berries for fiber and antioxidants.
#2 Kale chips. I’m new to Kale so I’ve never actually had these, but without a lot of oil and salt, they sound gross! Yahoo claims that “some veggie chips contain more additives than you’d think” and goes on to explain that many bags contain mostly dehydrated potatoes. If only potatoes were as good for us as Kale!
My Plan: Here I’ll take Yahoo’s advice to make my own (someday when I’m feeling brave). Or I’ll do the next best thing and actually read labels. If the chips I’m buying have more than a few ingredients and contain chemicals I can’t pronounce and understand, I’ll play it safe and reach for a handful of raw nuts or a piece of fruit.
#3 Sweet potato chips. They’re so darn good, aren’t they? Almost as good as sweet potato fries (just because they’re “bad” for you doesn’t mean they’re not disgustingly delicious!). Yahoo’s expert explains that “sweet potatoes contain more fiber and vitamins A and C” than their white counterparts.
My Plan: These crunchy little suckers pack a nutrient dense punch. As long as the ingredient list contains only sweet potatoes, veggie oil, and salt, I’m in! Still, these babies are higher on the carb side so if you’re watching your glycemic load have just a few.
#4 Protein bars. Or should we say glorified candy bars? Just read the ingredients. Low sugar alternatives, like ThinkThin bars may be an option if you’re seeking sweet satiety, but they’re still loaded with wacky chemicals like malititol, an ingredient that can cause gastrointestinal upset . I think the air I breathe in Los Angeles is toxic enough, don’t you?
My Plan: I’ll take a protein smoothy with almond milk and berries over a protein bar any day!
#5 Baked chips and crackers. The term “baked” is mostly a marketing ploy and only saves you a few grams of fat, but not the high fructose corn syrup, high-glycemic inflammatory wheat flour, and other mile long, hard to pronounce ingredients.
My Plan: No backed chips and crackers for this body. Unless they’re Flackers, my newest gluten-free, flax seed cracker obsession, I’m not interested.
Other items on Yahoo’s list include Popchips and Rice Crackers, two other starchy, processed foods. And that’s the thing that every item listed has in common: it was born on a conveyor belt. I will always prefer a handful of nuts, a few mandarin oranges, or even a bag of pumpkin seeds (dried seeds + salt = Yum)! Real food is always a part of this girl’s plan.