Redefining “HEALTHY” Snacking!!

I spoke with my mother on the phone yesterday (boy do I love her!! ☺), and she happens to be one of my inspirations to help America combat our food addiction. She was talking to one of her friends, who mentioned that she had just done a colon prep for a colonoscopy. For those of you who don’t know what is required for a colonoscopy, let me sum this up for you: Prior to the procedure, you take a very potent laxative to rid your body of any waste left in your gastrointestinal tract. After drinking this laxative a person can lose up to about 15 pounds of weight, mostly because the person is left extremely dehydrated. After being completely cleaned out, you have a scope inserted into your rectum to inspect for any suspicious lesions. We as physicians recommend you do this once every 10 years after the age of 50 (Based on findings this recommendation can change). If we find any suspicious lesions, we will then biopsy them and determine the etiology of the lesion. This is not a risk free procedure and is not intended for lasting weight loss.

Getting back to the topic, – it seems that everyone in America wants the “Lose Weight Quick” diet. Let me say one thing, there isn’t one. Most fad diets have a person regaining the weight they dropped during the diet within the following week to month after the diet (1). The real trick to losing weight fast and keeping it off is true, unadulterated lifestyle change.

Lifestyle modification can be hard, but if you follow a “Personal Paleo Code” or some other sustainable change this can be done. When I was talking with my mother I knew one thing, she definitely has a sweet tooth and a carb addiction. (If this sounds like something your battling, keep reading!!) I know that out of any modification that I can do for my mother, I need to make sure that she has options for healthy snacks for between meals. In the next few paragraphs I am going to discuss common “healthy snacking” options, as well as truly healthier alternatives for them, which will abide by “Your Personal Paleo Code.” Just because the packaging on foods says it is “heart healthy”, and or “low-fat” does not make the item good for you! I am going to take a look at a salty snack, a sweet snack, and one that is both sweet and salty!!

Salty

Pita chips, potato chips, or any sort of chips:

Bad Example:
Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita chips: Enriched wheat flour (Wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Sunflower Oil and/or Canola Oil (High in omega-6 fatty acids and/or trans fat), sea salt, whole wheat flour, and less than 2% of: Organic Cane Sugar (ADDED SUGAR), oat fiber, yeast, malted barley flour, rosemary extract, and ascorbic acid. If you are going to add any flavoring, then add more calories and ingredients.

Stacy's Pita Chips

Stacy’s Pita Chips

Good Substitute:
Original Black Bean Beanitos: Whole black beans (Big improvement from Enriched wheat flour), whole grain long brown rice and/or long grain white rice, pure sunflower and/or safflower oil (See above, good oils are expensive), guar bean gum, sea salt

Original Black Bean Beanitos

Original Black Bean Beanitos

For the person with a Sweet tooth:
Chocolate Chip Cookie or brownie
The Bad Example:
Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie (one serving): White Flour (Processed), whole raw eggs, unsalted butter, semisweet chocolate, brown sugar, granulated sugar (SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR), vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda.
Nutrition Facts

Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie: Happens to be Pinterest's most popular pin!!

Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie: Happens to be Pinterest’s most popular pin!!

Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 147.9
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 24.3 mg
Sodium 101.1 mg
Potassium 60.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g

Sugars 8.8 g
Protein 1.5 g
Vitamin A 4.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.6 %
Vitamin B-6 0.6 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.3 %
Vitamin E 1.2 %
Calcium 1.0 %
Copper 4.3 %
Folate 3.8 %
Iron 4.2 %
Magnesium 3.4 %
Manganese 6.8 %
Niacin 2.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 2.7 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 5.5 %
Thiamin 4.3 %
Zinc 1.6 %
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Let’s be honest with ourselves, no one can eat just one Chocolate Chip COOKIE!!

The Better Substitute:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bars: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Prebiotic Fiber), Almonds, Water, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Erythritol. Contains Less than 2% of the following: Sea Salt, Stevia (Low calorie Natural Sugar), Natural Flavorings, Sucralose (Small amount of added sugar).

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 (60g)
Calories 190
Calories from Fat 70
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Amount/Serving
%Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Magnesium 8%
Phosphorus 10%
Amount/Serving
%Daily Value*
Potassium 125mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 17g 68%
Sugars 1g
Erythritol 1g

Protein 21g
Calcium 10%
Iron 10%
Contains almonds and milk-derived ingredients.
With the pre-biotics and the high dietary fiber the carbohydrates here are virtually all but negated.

Sweet and Salty

Granola Bars:
These items are definitely not part of “Your Personal Paleo Code”, they are usually chock-full of added sugars.
Bad Example:
Kashi Crunchy Granola & Seed Bars, Chocolate Chip Chia: You may think, as many others do, “Oh this bar has CHIA, it must be good for me!” But let’s take a closer look at the ingredients – this bar is loaded with sugar and soy.
Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Blend (Whole: Barley, Buckwheat, Hard Red Wheat, Rye, Triticale And Quinoa), Dried Cane Syrup (ADDED SUGAR), Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Bean), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil (High in Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acids and possibly contains trans fat), Invert Cane Syrup (ADDED SUGAR), Unmodified Cornstarch (ADDED SUGAR), Chia Seeds (Moderate benefits), Brown Rice Flour, Coconut, Whole Oat Flour, Evaporated Salt, Molasses (MORE SUGAR at least natural source), Vanilla Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Soy Lecithin (a lot of problems to be discussed later), Spice Extractives.

Kashi Chocolate Chip Crunchy Chia Granola and Seed Bar

Kashi Chocolate Chip Crunchy Chia Granola and Seed Bar

Good Substitute:
Paleokrunch Bar:
Raw almonds, almond meal, shredded coconut, raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, coconut oil (high in good saturated fats), honey, vanilla extract, and baking soda.

Steve's Paleogoods Original Krunch Bar

Steve’s Paleogoods Original Krunch Bar

Original Krunch Bar

Original Krunch Bar

They also make a Dark chocolate espresso version very similar to this.

Here are some other “HEALTHY” (not really) options that I came across in the store the other day:

Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar: Looks good for you until...

Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar: Looks good for you until…

Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar nutritional information shows the amount of added sugar!

Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bar nutritional information shows the amount of added sugar!

Brown Rice Syrup is another name for added sugar. Organic sugar, even though it is organic is still added sugar. The food industry does a great job at deceiving the public!

My alternative to this bar:

Larabar is a healthy alternative: Blueberry Muffin is not paleo but still very nutritious

Larabar is a healthy alternative: Blueberry Muffin is not paleo but still very nutritious

Nutritional Information for the same Blueberry Muffin Larabar with ingredients:Dates, cashews, unsweetened blueberries, blueberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, vanilla extract.

Nutritional Information for the same Blueberry Muffin Larabar with ingredients.

This is not exactly a paleo example, but many especially the cherry pie are paleo friendly.

Also, anyone can grab fresh fruit or vegetables for consumption if they need a boost! You would be amazed at how few calories are in some of the vegetables we consume everyday. In one bag of spinach there are roughly 100 calories. I hope you read this mother, I love you ☺!!

My mother and I!

My mother and I!

If anyone has any specific weakness for a certain snack, feel free to e-mail me @ Ronald.Torrance@med.lecom.edu and I will try and find some healthy alternative for you!

Now that you have the alternatives, go throw out those “healthy snacks” and pick up some of my good alternatives!!

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About rontorrancedo

Sports Medicine Fellow. Co-owner Crossfit Love. Director Love Nutrition. Medical Director CEC. Physician at Ondemand Urgent Care.

One response to “Redefining “HEALTHY” Snacking!!”

  1. turbodog says :

    Quest Bars are delicious, but there are consequences for eating more than one!

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