Snack Attack: Do Your Fave ‘Healthy’ Foods Stack Up?
It’s easy to convince ourselves that some foods might be “healthy” when, in fact, they’re pure junk. Making ourselves believe that Twinkies are a great source of dairy (that cream filling counts, right?). Or that a couple of Ruffles equals a serving of vegetables. How about Orange Crush? Chocked full of Vitamin C, no doubt?
But while these examples may seem obviously flawed, there are plenty of snack foods with misleading information on the package that don’t quite live up to their claims, the website MyHealthNewsDaily reports.
“Snacks absolutely can be included in a healthy meal plan, it just requires a little bit of thought and planning,” National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Constance Brown tells the site, advising that folks should seek out snacks that contain 200 calories or less, are full of fiber, have a small amount of sugar, and pretty much no fat. (Four strikes! Twinkies, you’re out!)
So, what are some of the common snacks you might think are healthy, but actually fall short nutrition-wise? According to the website, American cheese is “processed – it’s not cheese,” Brown says, suggesting low-fat cheddar as an alternative.
Another one to nix: yogurt parfaits. Mon dieu! Sadly, Brown tells MyHealthNewsDaily that prepackaged versions usually have added sugar and fat and sometimes don’t even use real yogurt. (We shudder to think what that means.) Buying yourself “vanilla Greek yogurt and adding your own fruit on top is going to be a much better snack,” she tells the website.
Also making Brown’s no-no list: Whole grain corn chips (actual whole grains aren’t always the first ingredient listed); fruit leather (“There is no redeeming quality to fruit leather”); beef jerky (processed, added sugar, added sodium and that whole Macho Man Randy Savage ad campaign); cheese-flavored crackers (hello, sodium and fat!); vitamin C-enriched fruit snacks (hello, sugar!); and popsicles made with “real fruit” (they’re also made with “real sugar”).
Well, there goes our grocery shopping list. What if we serve our cheese crackers with a few low-fat cheddar slices? They cancel each other out, right?
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