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6 'Healthy' Snacks a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet

From TIME - April 11, 2018

Many of my clients think they eat pretty healthfully in general. So theyre often surprised when I recommend nixing snacks they believed were smart choices. But once they hear why their go-tos arent ideal, theyre all for making the switch to options that actually are nutritious and energizing. Maybe your snack list could use an overhaul too? Take a look at these six packaged bites that you might consider health foodsplus the alternatives that offer more overall nutrients, and help you avoid unwanted additives.

Veggie chips or puffs

The fresh veggies on the packaging can be deceiving. Be sure to check the ingredients on those veggie chips and puffs before you add them to your cart. Youll often find potato flour and/or potato starch, cornmeal or rice flour as the main ingredientsnot veggies. Because of the starchy add-ins, these snacks can pack far more calories than plain vegetables.

One popular brand provides 120 calories per one ounce serving, with 7 grams of fat, 16 grams of carb (1 gram as fiber) and 1 gram of protein. Thats only 40 fewer calories and 3 grams less fat than an ounce of regular potato chips, which provide 1 gram fewer carbs and 1 extra gram of protein.

To get your crunch fixand a whole lot more nutritionstick with the real deal, like baby carrots, broccoli florets, sliced bell pepper and cucumber, paired with hummus or guacamole for dipping.

Vegan cookies

Simply being vegan doesnt automatically make a food healthy or better for you. Vegan cookies are a perfect example: Many are made with loads of sugar and refined flour, and lack fiber and nutrients.

And a vegan label doesnt negate the importance of portion control. One brand that makes 4.25-ounce vegan cookies (about the size of your palm) considers one cookie to be two servings. Eat the whole thing, and youll have racked up 480 calories, 78 grams of carb, including 57 grams as sugar, with just 2 grams of fiber.

If youre craving something sweet, make your own no-bake vegan cookies using a combo of nutrient-rich whole foods, like almond butter, rolled oats and chia seeds, with a little bit of maple syrup and vanilla. (Check out this recipe.) And needless to say, get your fix with just a fewnot the entire batch.

Gluten-free crackers

Not all gluten-free crackers are created equal, so reading the ingredient list is key. But its important to note that gluten-free is not synonymous with healthy. In some brands of gluten-free crackers, for example, the first two ingredients are white rice flour and vegetable oila refined grain paired with an oil heavy in omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation. The calories and carbs can also add up quickly, rivaling the amounts in potato chips.

Fruit snacks

Trail mix

Pita chips

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