Your guide to healthy living ...

Healthy Snacks

Sugar is a major factor in a number of health issues that are prevalent in the U.S. today. Diabetes, hyperglycemia, lowered immunity, and tooth decay are just some of the side effects of high sugar intake. White refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are mainly to blame. In most processed foods, 1 of these forms of sugar will be among the ingredients.

You should limit your intake of salt as well. Processed foods have so much of it. Most organic snacks will use sea salt instead of regular table salt because it contains a lot more minerals and trace elements that your body needs.

Organic sweets will usually contain a more natural form of sugar that has a lower glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar. An unbleached stevia product may be the healthiest sweetner. Another thing you can do is balance a high carb, high sugar snack with something that contains fat and protein. Doing this will slow the absorption of simple carbs and prevent your energy level from crashing afterwards. When you do need a sweet fix, here are some guidelines for keeping it as healthy as possible. The list of ingredients to avoid is by no means all-inclusive, but does contain the major harmful ingredients found in many processed foods. Food additives such as these contribute to a variety of health problems including obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Also be wary of chocolate which, while rich in antioxidants, has a strong affinity to lead and cadmium. Even among organic brands this is a concern. Of the few tested by Consumerlab, Reserveage was shown to be low in these heavy metals and contain a high amount of antioxidants.

Nutrition bars are a popular health snack. But how health are they? Choose carefully ... look for ones that are organic, low in sugar, and rated highly in Cornucopia's guide to hexane-extracted soy in nutrition bars. Hexane is a very toxic by-product that does not belong in food.

  • Certified organic on the label
  • Chocolate with high percentage cocoa content
    (high in antioxidants); it should be noted
    that chocolate can contain lead & cadmium
  • Baked or kettle-cooked chips are better
    than fried; Acrylamide, a carcinogen,
    naturally forms during the cooking process
    of starchy foods like chips, fries, and bread
    – especially at higher temperatures
  • A healthy sweetner such as unbleached
    Stevia extract. Honey or fruit sources are fine
    in moderation.
  • Himalayan salt (best)
  • Sea salt from a clean source

  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (means
    it contains trans fats)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • Bleached flour
  • Benzoates (all forms including benzoic
    acid, sodium benzoate, etc)
  • Brominated ingredients
  • EDTA
  • Hexane
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Irradiated foods
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Parabens (all forms)
  • Trans fats
  • Vanillin