Life, Wellbeing

Why ‘Health Food’ Isn’t as Healthy as You May Think

You bought your snack from the health food aisle, so it won’t make you fat, right? There’s been a big increase in health, super and gluten free foods of late so I wanted to get some type of insight into the calorie count of some common snacks. The food you bought thinking ‘hey look at me go, I’m all super healthy and awesome’ may have more nutrients than other foods, however you’ll probably be surprised at how many calories are in it.

I’ve totaled the calories, fat, carbs,and protein of some common foods below. Brace yourselves.

All Natural Bakery Bar Slice Oat Banana 100g

Calories: 422 Fat: 19 Carb: 54 Protein: 7 – It’s natural and organic but this is a high calorie snack, you could eat a healthy meal and it would probably be less calories.

Vege Chips Salt & Vinegar 100g

Calories: 459 Fat: 17.6 Carb: 66 Protein: 1.6 – This is for the whole bag because let’s be honest you rarely eat a quarter, which is the recommended serving size – again you could eat a whole healthy meal.

Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate

Calories: 112 Fat: 8.2 Carb: 6.8 Protein: 1.9 – This is for two large squares. Eating dark chocolate is worth your time – less calories, a lot more nutrients, antioxidants and you don’t need much of it. It’s generally harder to over eat unlike dairy milk where you can keep going back until the block is gone and you’re like oh shit, where is my chocolate and my dignity.

Golden Days Sesame Snaps One packet

Calories: 208 Fat: 11.6 Carb: 22 Protein: 5.2 – The serving size recommended is ONE snap which is laughable, this is for all four snaps. Not that high in calories however if you choose it as something sweet because you’re dieting or whatever – you could eat Cadbury chocolate for less calories.

Emma & Tom Life Bars Cherry & Goji 40g

Calories: 159 Fat: 7.2 Carb: 18.5 Protein: 3.4 – Actually pretty good, however keep in mind it’s quite small.

Woolworths Dried Fruit – Two x Medjool Dates

Calories: 132 Fat: 0 Carb: 39 Protein: 0 – This is for two dates, one has almost 20g carbs! These are nutritious and natural which is a plus just keep in mind they small and quite high in sugar even if it is natural.

Clif Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter 68g

Calories: 250 Fat: 6 Carb: 41 Protein: 11  –  If you eat this bar as someone that trains a lot and isn’t trying to diet it’s great. However if you eat it as a snack and you’re goal is fat loss do yourself a favour and eat a small healthy meal instead.

But how do they stack up to the more ‘junk’ food category?

Mars Bar 53g

Calories: 244 Fat: 9.6 Carb: 37.6 Protein: 1.9 – Less calories than the Vege Chips and the Oat Bar.

Red Rock Deli Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar 100g

Calories: 489 Fat: 23.3 Carb: 61 Protein: 7.6 – This is for two of the single packs or about half of their larger share bags, so the serving size is the same as the Vege Chips. As you can see they are quite similar – only 30 calories difference.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate

Calories: 133 Fat: 7.4 Carb: 14.8 Protein: 2 – Calories for one row/four squares. Less calories than the Emma and Toms bar (definitely not as nutritious) and much less than the Sesame Snaps.

And finally some high calorie products to really get you thinking..

Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream Chunky Monkey 458ml

Calories: 310 Fat: 19.5 Carb: 31 Protein: 3.4 – Calories are for 115ml – one quarter of the tub, pretty high considering how much food you’re eating. If you had half the tub, 620 calories!

MacDonald’s Medium Fries

Calories: 368 Fat: 19.8 Carb: 41 Protein: 4 – Thought I’d chuck this one in here for funsies. No I am not recommending you eat them but note the carbs are the same for the four sesame snaps, surprising no?

South Cape Soft Brie Cheese 50g

Calories: 183 Fat: 16 Carb: 1.8 Protein: 8.6 – For one quarter of the block.

Wattle Valley Dip, Roasted Capsicum with Feta 75g

Calories: 180 Fat: 16 Carb: 5.2 Protein: 4.6 – Calories are for half of one of the small containers. This dip, plus the above cheese, ten Captain’s Table crackers (128 calories) = 491 calories which is quite a lot for the amount of food and that’s if you stick to this amount. Plus some wine for tha ladies? (And maybe even you classy gents?)

Coca Cola Bottle 600ml

Calories: 258 Fat: 0 Carb: 64 Protein: 0 – I’ve never understood the Coke thing and why people like to drink their calories. You could eat way better foods for this bottle of sugar. If you are absolutely dying and need it desperately at least get Zero or have a smaller amount.

As you can see some of the health foods compared to the ‘junk’ foods have similar calories. Sneaky sneaky! So even if you choose the healthier option you might not be doing your waist line any favours. Now before you get your knickers in a knot – I am only speaking from a fat loss perspective. Nutritionally, the health food option would probably have more nutrients than a processed mars bar or deep fried chips from Micky D’s. Also consider which snack is going to keep you fuller for longer, especially when dieting. No one likes to be hungry.

Getting most of your food from whole, unprocessed and nutrient dense foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and meat etc will always be your best option for weight loss and health. If you do this 80-90% of the time, eat a small amount of chocolate instead of choosing the ‘healthy’ sesame snaps  – which in reality are just as high (higher even) in calories.

Look at the nutritional panels on products – use your common sense. It takes about 40 seconds, don’t be lazy now.

Originally published here.

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20-something old girl from Canberra, mostly writing about shit I have opinions on, which is mostly health, fitness and matters of the mind. Gym coach, frequent music festivaler and enjoy the travelling thang.

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