Snack attack! 5 bites to avoid
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard granola can be loaded up with tonsa sugar, but have you looked at the other numbers on the back of the box? In an effort to make ‘em appeal to folks who would rather munch candy bars, companies have loaded up what was once a healthy staple with tons of fat and artificial ingredients that really aren’t great for your bod. Be wary of long ingredient lists and words you can’t pronounce. And instead of making a beeline for the chocolate ‘n’ peanut butter concoctions, experiment with other yummy options that’ll be just as tasty and way more healthy. Think: bars packed with dried fruit and sweetened with honey instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Salad is only as good as the dressing it’s slathered in, so before ya crunch, take a look at the bottle. For a truly healthy dish, you should try to avoid dressings that are high in sugar, corn syrup and chemicals. Vinaigrettes and Italian dressings are usually lower in fat than ranch or Caesar, but fruity flavors can also pack a lot of sugar. Way your options and choose a dressing you like enough to use sparingly, then toss your salad well in a bowl so every piece of lettuce is just lightly coated in the gooey stuff instead of soaked. Spoon onto a plate and munch away!
Although smoothies can be an awesome healthy snack, make your own instead of hittin’ up your local Jamba Juice. Restaurant and fast food smoothies often have tons of sugar, making them way less healthy than you’d think. Instead of hitting up a restaurant or chain, try pulling out Mom’s blender and making your own. A cup of Greek yogurt, a handful of ice cubes and your favorite fruits will be just as tasty, and 100-percent healthy.
The food we eat these days is super salty, and typically far exceeds our recommended daily sodium intake. One of the major culprits is frozen food. Sure, they’re convenient, but even the ones that call themselves “healthy” aren’t as good as the fresh stuff. Instead of relying on packaged frozen goods, ask Mom to make a double batch of your favorite freezable meal—think soups, stews, lasagna, casseroles, and even desserts like brownies and cookies—and freeze part of it in single-serve portions. That way, you can control what goes into the dish and still have the convenience of popping it into the microwave whenever ya want.
Protein bar power play
We admit it, sometimes we’ll grab a protein bar for an on-the-go breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. But these babies are tricky! Take a look at most of the bars available at your grocery store, and we bet you’ll see more fat ‘n’ sugar than protein and fiber—sooo not the point. Do your choosing wisely and you’ll have a solid snack on your hands. Or, look elsewhere. A handful of almonds, a container of cottage cheese or sliced apples with nut butter can give ya just as much energy without a bunch of additives.