As midterms approach, you are probably running around aimlessly, trying to fit in as many study hours, papers, coffee dates, and workouts as possible. With little time to do it all, it’s easy and efficient to grab a snack instead of a meal whenever free time pops up. In an effort to stay fit, and stay healthy, it’s important to snack smart and focus on what you are actually snacking on. Here are some snacks that are believed to be “healthy” but could be doing your diet more harm than good.
Though veggie chips claim to be loaded with nutrients and packed with as many as three servings of vegetables, they are often made up of potato starch and corn flour, which are two ingredients that make you more likely to snack between meals. Don’t be fooled by the “veggie” coloring on the chips, which is usually just food dye added during production. For a real healthy snack, you are better off making your own homemade “veggie” chips with real veggies like kale, broccoli, or Brussel sprouts by slicing, sprinkling with salt, and baking for about 10-15 minutes.
Bottled “Green” Juices
While it is nice to think you are being super healthy by “drinking your greens,” green juices are often packed with tons of sugar, which make it more like eating a Snickers bar than drinking a simple smoothie. All that sugar is more likely to make you “crash” later in the day, and also make you crave junk food more. Try flavored or sparkling water if you are looking for a sweeter, very low-calorie alternative.
Yogurt Covered Pretzels
A sweet ‘n salty treat that seems pretty healthy, yogurt-covered pretzels, are one of the most deceiving foods that people think is healthy, but really does more damage than good to your body. Pretzels are never an A+ snack, as they are loaded with sodium and complex carbohydrates, and when covered in “yogurt” (which in this case is often a combination of sugar and palm kernel oil) you have a snack high in sugar, fat, and carbs, three things that are never good. For a healthier alternative, opt for low-sugar kettle corn or a square of dark chocolate.
Sports drinks claim to refuel and reboost your body, but is that really true? More often than not, sports drinks are laden with corn syrups, tons of sugar, and people justify drinking them by arguing that they are key to rehydration and reenergizing one’s body after hard work or exercise. However, more often than not, you don’t need to refuel your electrolytes with sports drinks unless you’ve had long, grueling workouts. So, unless you’re running a marathon soon, you should back off on the PowerAde unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Protein bars are a tricky snack. Something with the word “protein” in it surely must be good for you, right? Wrong. Protein bars are simply a healthier name for the candy coated, sugar laden, sweet snack bars they truly are. So while they seem to be good for you, the only thing they add to your diet is sugar, syrups, and artificial sweeteners. You are better off making a homemade granola mix at home or packing a simple snack of banana and yogurt instead of grabbing one of those when you are on the run.
By, Annie O’Sullivan