Chipping away at snacks

By Carol Berg Sloan
Columnist

I had to drive up north via Interstate 5 recently and wanted some snacks for the road trip, for, as many of you know, while there are many places to grab a bite, most are fast-food joints or gas-station grocery mini marts. The criteria for my snack choices per serving: low fat, low sodium and less than 150 calories per serving (by the way, a serving size for chips is about 1 ounce, a handful, 10 to 14 chips).
Here’s a short list of what I found in Ralphs’ chip aisle, which is full on both sides from front to back.

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I know that when companies lower the fat content, up go the sodium levels. I opted for the Tostitos Baked Scoops and tried one before I filled my zip-lock baggie for the road. Straight up, it was like eating corn mush, and I suppose if you filled it with a spicy salsa, the scoop would be a good vehicle. But alone it was very unsatisfying. I veered over to the deli counter and found pretzel thins (or crisps) and pita chips, but they also turned out to be extremely high in sodium.
When I left early in the morning, I ended up grabbing a Planters peanut one-ounce bag and a bag of apple slices. And although peanuts are high in fat, at least it is the good monounsaturated fat, and they are quite satisfying.
I recommend that, when choosing chips (or crackers for that matter), read the labels. The terms “multigrain,” “baked,” “whole grain,” “low sodium,” “gluten free” or “low cholesterol” can be misleading. Taste varies by personal preference, so try items before serving for a party or having on hand for snacks.
It was a good trip, if only I hadn’t run into that recent rainstorm…..oh, well. At least I had provisions on board!

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