What exactly is a healthy snack? A good-for-you snack is one that’s high in nutritional value (including protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber), but relatively low in calories, total fat, saturated fat (no trans fats), sugar, and sodium.
While fresh veggies and fruits, of course, make for very healthy snacks, we know that those items aren’t always convenient (or the top choices for the typical family). That said, here are some of the worst snack choices you can find in your local supermarket in terms of healthfulness, along with some much healthier alternatives.
Chocolate Coated Donuts, Mini Donuts, and Snack Cakes
This is not to say that powdered-sugar donuts are good snack choices. But chocolate-coated donuts and snack cakes have even more saturated fat than other types.
Most fruit pies even say “Great snack!” on the package. This makes sense only if by “great snack,” they mean high in calories (450), total fat (24 grams), saturated fat (13 grams), and sugar (13 grams); and low in protein, fiber, and other healthy nutrients.
Lunchables (Snack Size) by Oscar Mayer
Two types of these snack-sized Lunchables contain about half a day’s worth of the suggested amounts of fat, saturated fat, and sodium for someone eating around 2,000 calories a day. Also, most of these snacks are around 350-400 calories – again, this is a snack!
Regular Chips and Cheetos
Although the serving size listed on the package is 1 ounce, most of us snack on two or three times this amount, which equals around 300 calories, over 20 grams of fat and up to 700 mg of sodium.