We’ve experienced a lot of fads over the last 30 years, but the concept of snacking when we’re on the run certainly isn’t one of them. A whopping 94% of Americans snack at least once per day! And with all the marketing tricks the food industry is playing on us nowadays, it’s never been more important to be conscious of what we’re snacking on. But how exactly do we qualify something as #essenceapproved? Here are a few tips for making that butterfly choice when you’re on the go and hunger strikes. Tip: don’t try to eat in your car. It’s dangerous and nobody likes a lap full of yogurt.
- Read the Nutrition Facts. We wouldn’t recommend going crazy over how many calories you’re consuming, but it’s still important to turn that package over and look at the nutrition facts! Try to go for something that has a higher fiber and protein content to help you feel satiated and full. Try to stay away from snack foods with too many added sugars as well (this will soon be on the food labels!). Foods higher in sugar are typically less filling and may just leave you feeling hungrier because of that insulin crash.
- Read the Ingredients. So many of the snack foods we’re surrounded by are loaded with harmful sweeteners, dyes, preservatives, and chemicals that aren’t represented on the Nutrition Facts label, so make sure you read the ingredients too! Generally, the fewer ingredients a food has, the more nourishing it is. So if you’re reading the ingredients on something and there’s over 20 ingredients listed (and you can’t pronounce half of them) then it’s probably a good idea to put it back where you found it and back away ever so slowly.
Be especially careful with foods that are advertised as light, low-fat, sugar-free, and so on. While these foods might actually be sugar-free as advertised, they’re more likely to be full of weird chemicals and sweeteners to make sure the product still tastes good. In fact, we are all about that full fat life!
- Go For Whole Grains. If you’re going for a carbohydrate-based snack (which most packaged snack foods are) like crackers, granola bars, popcorn, or what have you, don’t let an iota of refined flour sneak in there. Beware: sometimes foods advertised as whole grain don’t really have very many whole grains – just a few specks or dyes ot turn it brown and fool you. This is why it’s important to read the ingredients! If the whole grain isn’t in the first couple ingredients on the list, then the product probably doesn’t actually have a whole lot of whole grain. The marketers strike again! Even your 100% whole wheat bread likely has added sugar lurking within
- Snack on Wholesome Foods! You know what’s a good alternative to reading a bunch of labels on snack foods and littering the world with package dthings? Eating an apple, handful of almonds, a bag of carrots/celery with guac or hummus or almond butter.. etc! Snack on things like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds to get the most nutritional mileage out of your snack. Always pair FAT/PROTEIN/FIBER with CARBS for a balanced snack.
While we think it’s perfectly normal to tote celery and packets of tuna around, life just gets in the way sometimes and we need to grab things on the run! Here are a few healthy snack foods to have on-the-go.
Mary’s crackers. Unlike the average cracker that has a bunch of whacky ingredients, Mary’s crackers have a very minimal seven ingredients. They even have flax seed in them to help you get those omega-3’s and assist with bowel motility.
KIND Snacks bars with <5 g sugar. Low in sugar, mostly nuts, and some DEVILISHLY delicious flavor. Kick those chocolate cravings to the curb AND get your protein / fiber on.
SkinnyPop’s popcorn. With only three ingredients (popcorn, sunflower oil, and salt) this popcorn is much ‘skinnier’ on ingredients than most other popcorn products on the shelf, which typically contain artificial butter and other flavorings. Toss it with some nutitionall yeast for even more Vitamin B12 and vegan cheesy flavor.
Siggi’s yogurts. Not everyone can be into that plain yogurt life, so if you need some flavor, the lightly sweetened Siggi’s line of skyr (Icelandic yogurt) will save you from adding all sorts of weird syrups to your plain yogurt. Major snaps for the 2% coconut. Tastes like the Carribean!
*This was NOT a paid post. We just LOVE TO SNACK.
The Essence RD Team