By Carol Berg Sloan, RD
I write about snacking quite a bit because my clients like to graze and say they are always hungry. Snacking is good; our bodies run most efficiently if they receive many small meals during waking hours. The question is, though… what are healthy snacks?
First I’ll tell you what aren’t the best choices for snacks and why.
Too much sugar has been linked to tooth decay, obesity, unmanageable blood glucose levels, mood swings, fatigue, enough said. Foods with excessive sugar include:
• Regular soda
• Fruit-type candies
• Candy bars (especially those without any nuts)
• Sugar-type cereals
Too much saturated fat may lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity and fatigue. High saturated fat snacks:
• Most chips: potato chips, corn chips, cheese puffs
Foods with high sugar and saturated fat are a double whammy to your system and include foods such as:
• Ice cream
• Toaster pastries
Don’t fret. Eating healthier snacks is becoming easier. Vending machines now contain 100-percent-juice drinks, dried fruit and baked chips and crackers. If you work in a place where vending machines are your only option when hunger hits, ask the vending company to provide better choices. It’s just as easy to get small packs of peanuts or other nuts and baked crackers.
Healthy snacks include:
• Veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower
• Fruits like apple slices, tangerines, bananas
• Peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or bread
• Air-popped popcorn
• Dried fruit or nuts
One snack that can be healthy or not so good is granola bars. The name sounds healthy, but added saturated fat or too much sugar can ruin a good thing.
For example, popular Nature Valley Granola Bars contain 200 calories and 6 grams of fat per package. Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Bars contain 120 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. Both are high in fat and low in nutrition and what’s worse, they won’t keep you full for long.
Linda Ikeda of Long Beach is the creator of the new Cranberry the Bar and Raisin the Bar. Both are made with natural ingredients (rolled oats, raisins or cranberries, oat flour, applesauce, natural raw cane sugar, natural vegetable oil with omega-3, cinnamon, molasses, Kosher salt, pure vanilla extract, non-aluminum baking soda and natural guar gum).
These bars are delicious and satisfying. The Raisin the Bar contains 130 calories and 6 grams of good “unsaturated fat” and the Cranberry the Bar contains 100 calories and 6 grams of the same good fat.
Both have satiety levels so these bars will carry you through between meals. Linda, who became very interested in nutrition about 10 years ago, knows “eating proper food is the key to wellness!”
Raisin the Bar and Cranberry the Bar are available at local It’s a Grind Coffee Houses and other choice locations.