Health Journal: See results Part IV: 10 Ingredients or less

Kharissa Forte

While replacing salty and sweet snacks with fruits and other ideal alternatives, considering packaged snacks like 100-calorie packs may be a good plan. In addition to the general nutrition facts, paying attention to the list of ingredients is going to be essential in achieving weight loss goals.

UMKC personal trainer Shannon Hutsler explains why.

“They taste fantastic and they’re low in calories, but there are probably over 20 ingredients in there. That’s because these products are trying to take nothing and make it taste really good,” she said.

Take a look at Kellog’s Special K, for example. A popular go-to in the healthy snack department with low numbers in calories, sodium and sugar, Special K’s product line markets itself as an ideal swap from other options. However, the ingredient lists on these products may be lengthy and full of many unknown items.

“When you look at the ingredients on a box, if there’s more than 10 listed, then there’s probably a better choice out there,” Hutsler said.

If a candy bar-styled snack is a must-have, GNC offers a line called KIND that is sure to satisfy. With 11 varieties like Blueberry Pecan Plus Fiber, Chocolate Cherry Cashews Plus Antioxidants and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Plus Protein, KIND Bars contain up to 14 ingredients. They can be expensive at $30 for a box of 12 (that’s $2.50 for one bar), but GNC usually offers web discounts and membership discounts that significantly lower the cost.

A more feasible option is Planter’s NUTrition Mixes, which include 10-12 ingredients. Ranging from $5 – 6, the mixes are available in cans and convenience boxes of six to seven packs for on-the-go ease. The varieties are extensive and include Heart Healthy Mix, Men’s Health Recommended Mix and Omega-3 Mix among others.

The best snacks with minimum ingredients are going to be unpackaged. Fresh fruit, raw vegetables and raw nuts all have just one ingredient.

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