Do Healthy Store-Bought Snacks Even Exist?
They absolutely do. It’s just that they are trampled by the stampede of junky snacks, so they can be easy to miss. We must learn to prune the little bit of good from the mountains of bad and read the labels!
By the way, the following remarks apply only to packaged commercial snacks.
After so many years living in the United States, I have become convinced that snacking is an American affliction masquerading as lighthearted and fun recreation. I blame snacking every bit as much as I do fast foods for causing all the havoc in so many people’s figures and health: a sort of avatar of American opulence. I have calculated that you need about six lifetimes eating nothing whatsoever but commercial snacks and never eating the same snack twice in order to sample all of them available at an average supermarket. And every year, manufacturers invent a few tens of thousands more.
The Sheer Selection is Maddening!
What to do? Be a good girl (left) or just say to heck with it (right)?
The problem is that the child in each of us has no idea where to start or when to stop. And it’s all so dangerously addictive, with all the masses of salt, transfats and sugars (real and fake) they contain. The very people who purport to have our nutrition foremost in mind keep coming up with all these “healthy snacks”, fast and furious, promising heavenly tastes, a great energy boost, or worse, snacks that will replace meals. Seeing ads of beautiful girls ecstatically sipping their lunch from a can couldn’t possibly help make it appeal to our senses any more than all the added strawberry or chocolate flavor in the world could help make it more palatable. Snacking has such an unthreatening name, so we think of it somewhat affectionately.
Snacking Versus Noshing
Yes, poor bewildered child! What? That’s supposed to be breakfast?
Snacking or Noshing? Ingenious (or should I say disingenuous?) Food Industry Marketing has very cleverly blurred the lines between the two. So sorry I get so tough about this: noshing is NOT snacking. Noshing is made up of those worthless manufactured confections we must occasionally succumb to. The list is miles and miles long. And the aisles of nosh are miles long too. Noshing contributes absolutely nothing to our nutrition, and leaves us with a sugar rush, lowered energy and lots of unwanted padding we battle to keep off. On the other hand, snacking, if we take the meaning literally, is a little something good and healthy that hits the spot and tides us over until the next meal.
Organic Junk is Junk!
That’s right. Repeat: Organic junk is junk! We pile on the junk mindlessly and hardly ever realize it will calorically (but of course not nutritionally) add up to a meal and then some. Yes it is THAT addictive. To add insult to injury, these junk foods are often represented as healthy; right, right, after they threw in 59 grams of sugar in a serving, the label clamors, It has added vitamins! It is organic! It is vegan!
Of course you can overdo it even with healthy snacks. My mother tells me of a neighbor who had the annoying habit of “accidentally” dropping in on us at dinnertime. Each time we would ask him if he would like to join us, and he would vehemently protest, “Oh no! I couldn’t put you through so much trouble. I just had dinner at home, all I want is a little snack,” and proceed to eat himself silly. One day he was finally asked, gently but firmly, to please snack at home and then come and have dinner with us.
Beware of Many So-Called Healthy Snacks!
Some granola brands are loaded with hidden fat and sugar. Why not forget about all the staggering variety of processed commercial snacks available on the market and stick to the natural snacks you love best and are best for you? Are you satisfied you had a meaningful breakfast, lunch, dinner? Wonderful, you still have a couple hundred calories to spend on something fantastic of your choice.That means about one treat. Yet another treat tempting you? Look forward to enjoying it tomorrow. We can’t visit every place in the world or meet every wonderful person in the world. Neither can we sample every snack in the world. Nor is it desirable. Life is much too short for that, so let’s make our peace with it and narrow our choices to the very best.
Exemples of healthy snacks
I keep many on hand to enjoy in small portions when I just need a snack between meals, and which even indeed constitute a light and nutritious meal in their own right. Many are easy to take from home, will travel well and need no refrigeration. Many are also very easy to find when you are on the road, pretty much in any supermarket, and in health food stores. All of them are accessible online. If your healthy snacks are 200 calories or less, you’re doing OK!
Full fat plain Greek yogurt. That’s the best yogurt choice you will make. (You will get full). The fat is full of flavor. Fat free artificially sweetened is the worst (you’re still hungry). Fat free and low fat anything is worthless. Read Dr Mark Hyman’s Book, Eat Fat Get Thin: here’s your chance to get fit while eating delicious and satisfying food!
Roasted sunflower seeds. In their shells, that’s your guarantee that you will eat only your share.
Lightly oiled popcorn, natural granola, vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, dried fruit, a piece of fruit, dark chocolate, roasted chickpeas, seaweed, roasted edamame or chickpeas, good quality jerky, good quality vegetable chips, roasted almonds or other nuts, good quality bars.
Read the Labels!
Reading labels correctly is more than half the battle. It will help you remove the clutter, and you will be left with only those good snacks (and other foods) that are minimally processed and are all natural.
Misleading labels and the food industry. Don’t get me started! I pour my heart out on this post about misleading labels They often look like the latest literary genre. I get into occasional tiffs with merchants and followers alike about my undisguised contempt of many food labels put out daily by the food industry. The gist of the blame aimed at me by a few readers is: if I really cared, I would be really grateful about manufacturers being kind enough to warn us via food labels, for our sake and the sake of our beloved children; warn us about what products contains allergens, especially the life-threatening ones. Isn’t this the best proof that they have our nutrition and safety foremost in mind? No it is not. Quite the contrary. It is perplexing. Bewildering. Not to mention most often illegible.