Why I'm Swapping Out Even My "Healthy" Snacks

Posted 05/29/12 at 02:01PM by Audrey Fine

Don't you hate it when something you love to eat suddenly comes under attack by the food police? Of course, this happens with alarming regularity since, apparently, researchers love to put the kibosh on any gastronomic indulgences -- and most things that taste good.

In recent years my shopping cart has been (almost completely) devoid of such offending nutritional disasters as white pasta, white rice, russet potatoes, iceberg lettuce, most kinds of chips (sniff), a good number of cookie options for my kids, ice cream, and any "prepared" or frozen meal.

Replacing those former staples in my kitchen are things like couscous, tabouleh, brown/wild rice, yogurt, hummus, pretzels, granola, banana chips, and other picks my teenage self never thought I'd be putting in my mouth -- much less in my pantry.

Here's the kicker: Despite my valiant attempts to step away from the Doritos and Red Bull and turning a cold shoulder on fettuccine alfredo and Mike & Ikes, my new healthy eating alternatives have turned out to be less nourishing and beneficial than they were purported to be. D'oh!

Take, for example, the banana chips. Most of those suckers are fried. FRIED! So, despite the fact that they're (ostensibly) fruit, they can pack as many calories as potato chips but with much more sugar! Pretzels? Sure, they're low in fat but a 1 oz. serving can top out at as much as 500 mg of sodium -- more than 30 percent of the American Heart Association's recommended daily intake.

There's more: The "regular" yogurt we grew up on has gone painfully out of style since a typical small container could tip the sugar scales at a shocking six teaspoons-full. What do experts recommend we sub it with? Plain old Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit. (Not exactly as easy to tote to work in your purse.)

Oh yeah, and don't even get me started on hummus or granola; suffice to say that you're better off eating Froot Loops. OK, not really, but both of those tree-hugger favorites contain hidden doses of fat and sugar respectively.

What does this all mean? Only that some seemingly "healthy" foods may not be as good for you or nutritionally sound as they appear at first glance. The fix? Make sure to read all labels, being sure to check for hidden bad guys like fats, sugars (I'm talking to you, Mr. high fructose corn syrup), and salts.

Have you had a rude food awakening? What did you uncover?
And the survey says...
1-6 of 6 Comments

  • Posted by jennifer_whedon on 05/03/13 at 08:33pm

    I definitely read labels now, however, the reality that I have come to realize, and the ladies who have already commented, hit the nail on the head, everything in moderation, works.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by GigiSD on 05/03/13 at 05:38pm

    I've learned to read the labels carefully, but I do agree with "kimihavens" that everything (even potatoes) in moderation does work!

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by kimihavens on 12/31/12 at 11:17am

    I dont understand why the food community hates on Potatoes. They're actually pretty good for you and filling. Everything in moderation people!

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 06/18/12 at 08:15pm

    Yep! Been there too, and it's a downer. I frequently find myself wondering, "what the heck IS healthy?!" I try to remember most things are fine in moderation, and to eat more whole foods instead of processed ones.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by Nicole2814 on 05/31/12 at 06:45pm

    interestin

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by alictasia on 05/31/12 at 02:30pm

    It's sad that the diet most Americans have consumed their whole lives is killing them. You are 100% right when you say that we must continue to review our diets and make changes as new research comes out. I think the main secret is to stay away from restaurants and prepare most of your own food!

    Report Abuse

Welcome to TotalBeauty.com!
Ready to unleash your inner beauty junkie? Enter your email and check the boxes below to get free samples, exclusive deals, discounts at Total Beauty Shops, and expert beauty tips delivered straight to your inbox!
Email to a friend