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  • Writer's pictureFusions Foods

Healthy Versus UnHealthy Snacks

Healthy vs unhealthy snacks

Have you ever walked into the supermarket looking for a healthy snack bar? I’m sure most of us have. However, a lot of us then head over to the ‘health food’ isles in an attempt to find a fulfilling snack to satisfy our cravings. But, how can we possibly choose what snack to purchase, with so many brands, all promising different health benefits on their vibrant packaging.

The most important thing to note is that, sometimes ‘buzz words’ are used to reel people in to buy a product that may not back up the ‘claim’ of the buzz word. For example, if something says “healthy” on the packaging, it definitely is not safe to make the assumption that it is in fact “healthy”. Some products can also be misleading, such as treats that claim to have “zero” or “low” fat. Sometimes, this results in the snack containing high amounts of sugar. It is important to look at the product as a whole, rather than focusing on one of two marketing tactics the product or brand may use.

The key takeaway here is that, you should always look at the ingredient list. More often than not, the simpler the ingredient list is, the “cleaner” the product will be. If you look at the ingredient list of a product and find that it is filled with ingredients you’ve never heard of, then you should probably reconsider your purchase if you would like to find the healthiest option. But what exactly should we be looking out for, if the ingredient list is fairly simple? What components should be celebrated, and which should be avoided? Here are a few things to consider when trying to find your healthy snack.

Sugar

Sugar doesn’t have the best reputation. It is linked to diseases such as diabetes and can also contribute to tooth decay. However, the most important things to consider are where your sugar comes from and how much sugar a product contains.

Added sugars

Processed sugars should be avoided as they are, simply put, nothing but sugar. This means that when eating processed sugars, you are eating something that is completely stripped of any nutritional value, because of the processing that took place. However, natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and agave nectar contain some beneficial vitamins such as some B vitamins and Iron, this is because they are left in a more natural state, retaining most of their nutritional value.

Naturally occurring sugars

There are also some products which may contain no added sugars. The sugar in the snack you are purchasing may come from an ingredient or ingredients that already contain sugar naturally, such as fruit. Dried fruits are a great way to incorporate sweetness into a treat without adding extra sugar, because fruit is naturally very sweet on its own and also contains many vitamins and also contains dietary fiber that has health benefits. An added benefit of consuming naturally occurring sugars rather than processed ones is, that the sugar takes longer to metabolize, meaning that you stay fuller for longer. The high rate of metabolism that occurs when eating processed sugar can cause you to overeat, therefore making you more prone to consuming more sugar and putting yourself at risk to become more susceptible to certain diseases and negative health repercussions.

Amount of sugar

You should also take a look at how much sugar the product contains. This can be a helpful point of comparison when trying to choose which snack bar to choose out of a many option. However, as mentioned before, it is important to consider the type of sugar added when reading these labels.

Fats

Fats, alongside sugar, also don’t have the best reputation. This is because they are linked to diseases such as heart disease and are stereotypically thought of as something that helps people gain weight. However, fats are a lot more complex than people initially think. Below, some types of fats and how they differ in terms of nutritional value

Saturated fat and trans fats

These types of fats are known to increase levels of inflammation and cholesterol, as most saturated fats and trans fats are found in animal products such as meat and dairy. The “health status” of saturated fat becomes slightly blurrier when it is talked about in relation to it’s presence in coconut oil and other plant based foods, but the general consensus is that it would be safest to keep your consumption of saturated and trans fats at a low level.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats

These types of fats are the “good” fats. Collectively, these fats can help lower “bad” cholesterol and protect you from heart disease. These fats are preferable to consume when compared to saturated and trans fats and almost have opposite effects to them. These healthier fats are often found in many protein and keto snack bars. This is because these types of fats are a component in healthy wholefoods such as nuts and seeds, which are usually used as a base or addition to many wholefoods’ bars. So therefore, don’t get thrown off when you see that a snack bar has a high percentage of fat, it all depends on which kind of fat it contains.

Protein and vitamins

Although not essential, a good portion of protein in your protein bar or healthy snack and an array of vitamins are always beneficial to give you the energy you need to thrive throughout the day. However, some people prefer to consume naturally occurring vitamins and protein so make sure you look at the label and identify if protein and vitamins are naturally occurring or added, if that is something that is important to you.

The takeaway message


Above are a few important things to consider when picking a healthy snack but sticking to a snack containing wholefood ingredients is usually a safe choice. Here at fusions foods, we help to create healthy bars for your brand, and we are the perfect snack bar manufacturer for you. If you want help in creating your protein bars, snack bars, healthy bars, or whatever your heart desires, we are your co packers, manufactures, and cheerleaders all in one! We have a passion for healthy snack bars and if you want to share this journey with us, get in contact! We would love to hear from you.



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