I’ll be the first to admit that I am a snacker. When I was younger I would snack on all the classics, Doritos, pop tarts, crunch n’ munch… you name it, I ate it. Now that I am older and a teensy bit wiser, I know that not all snacks are created equal. Unfortunately, many snacks these days are filled with horrible ingredients and chemicals, canola oils and sugars. Sometimes we want to eat what brings us joy and that isn’t always an apple or handful of nuts. And guess what, it’s OK to eat what brings you joy. If you happen to be a snacker like me, here are some healthier swaps to make.
SIETE BRAND KETTLE COOKED POTATO CHIPS
These chips come in a variety of flavors and contain all natural ingredients. They are cooked in avocado oil, which is MUCH healthier than the canola oil most chips are cooked in. They are also gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and soy free. If you’re going to snack on a chip, make the switch to these. You won’t be sorry!
LESSER EVIL POPCORN
This popcorn comes in a variety of flavors as well. The “Himalayan Sweetness” is my personal favorite (tastes just like kettle corn but a million times better for you!). The ingredients are clean and it’s something I don’t feel guilty snacking on. Try adding some dark chocolate chips and some unsalted nuts of your choice for a fun take on a trail mix!
ALTER ECO DARK CHOCOLATE
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Unfortunately, many chocolates are filled with unwanted and unnecessary ingredients. Steer clear of chocolates with high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, Trans fats (Partially hydrogenated oils), artificial colors (yellow #5, red #40, etc.) and artificial flavors and preservatives. Another ingredient to avoid is soy lecithin. Some popular brands that contain these ingredients are Hershey’s, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Russel Stover, Nestle, M&Ms/ Mars.
SIETE BRAND COOKIES AND HU COOKIES
Every February, I lose self control, and spend what feels like an entire paycheck on Girl Scout cookies. These might not be Girl Scout cookies, but nonetheless, they’re cookies! Both brands use all natural, organic ingredients and are gluten free. They are smaller so you can eat about 5 mini cookies and feel satisfied. My personal favorites are the Mexican wedding cookies by Siete and the snicker doodles by Hu. They come in a variety of flavors as well!
The point is, you can have your “cake” and eat it too. Sometimes we need to be a little bit more mindful of the foods we consume, especially snacking foods that tend to have lots of sugars, unnatural and unhealthy oils, and a bunch of other junk that can be harmful to your bodies. If you want to have a snack, go for it, even if it’s chips or cookies. Making these swaps will make sure that you are satisfying your snacking needs while keeping the nasty unwanted added sugars and unnatural ingredients away!
-Monica Schwingel, NTP