14 Nov 6 Things to Look for When Buying a Packaged Snack
When it comes to eating healthy, some snacks that claim they are good for you with low calories are the ones with all the nasty ingredients.
We got some expert advice from Selasi Berdie, Director of BSKT Wholefoods because it’s always good to know what you need to be looking for when on the hunt for that perfect healthy snack, so here are 6 key points that will help you do just that.
Buy the Snack with the Least Ingredients
The most vital thing to look for when reading the ingredients is ‘less is more’. Usually if it has 20 or so ingredients written on the packaging that you can’t identify or struggle to pronounce then it is time to keep looking. Usually a snack with 6 or less ingredients, and that you can easily recognize is the way to go.
Beware of Sugar Alcohols
Unfortunately, many snack/protein companies use sugar alcohols to claim that they are “sugar free” along with using it as cheap filler. The two most common sugar alcohol ingredients found in snacks are Malitol and Sorbitol. Sometimes it is easy to identify whether a sugar alcohol is consumed as it can easily produce gas. It is best to look for a snack or bar, which contain wholesome and nutritious ingredients and specifically, steer clear from ingredients ending in “ol”.
Look for Hidden Sugar and Sodium
An ingredient such as Rice Malt Syrup and Agave Syrup are definitely better for you than white sugar, but it’s still not good to consume too much of them as they have very low nutritional value.
It is also very important to keep an eye on the sodium content, as some “artificial” ingredients can be very high in sodium. A big problem with sodium is that it can dehydrate you, with the possibility of leading you to retaining weight/water weight, which is not ideal.
Check the Servings
Just because almonds and cashews are good for you doesn’t mean you can eat 200g of them as a snack. The same with protein balls, stick to one daily as majority contain dried fruit, which is full of fructose. It is always a necessity to check the serving size of your health food snack, making sure you keep it at a snack portion size.
E numbers are the additives and preservatives used by companies to make products last longer on shelves and look fresher in packaging. What these additives and preservatives do is play havoc with your immune system causing an autoimmune response, which is the last thing you want when you are aiming to eat healthy.
Beware of Proprietary Ingredients and Blends
Simply make sure all the ingredients are listed without any smoke and mirrors. Sometimes companies try to hide the fact that their formula contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the packaging in an attempt to fool consumers.
You really do have to be cautious when looking for the perfect healthy snack, because 9 times out of 10 they can contain as equal or worse ingredients as a chocolate bar.
Written by Laura Harriss
ABOUT BSKT WHOLEFOODS
BSKT Wholefoods have just released a new Protein Bar into the range. They are Paleo, vegan, completely natural, gluten and dairy free, soy free and preservative free and currently are available in Cacao Peanut Butter, Goji Coconut and Raspberry Chia.