By Selasi Berdie- Director of BSKT Wholefoods
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages as to what healthy eating really is, it makes sense that nowadays more experts are telling people to stop counting calories, start counting nutrients and eating a diet rich in wholefoods in order to become your healthiest self.
Obviously the simplest way to do this is to eat food that doesn’t come in a package, however when you are on the go or if you like to bring food with you, that is not always as easy as it sounds.
Here are the top things to look for when buying a packaged snack, because not all packaged food is bad for you.
BUY THE SNACK WITH THE LEAST INGREDIENTS IN IT
As a general rule, the product with the least number of ingredients in it is more likely to be less processed. If you’re buying humus for example and it has four ingredients in it, that is the product that you want over the one that has lots of ingredients that includes emulsifiers etc.
With a health food bar, if it is full of healthy ingredients, such as several types of nuts and fruit, high quality vegan protein etc. that’s generally fine as those ingredients should be all natural.
Also be aware of what the ingredients actually are. For example, if you go to buy a bag of cashew nuts that has 2 ingredients in it (cashews and oil), you don’t want to buy that because why would you want to eat a product that is covered in oil when you could just buy it raw?
BEWARE OF SUGAR AND SODIUM
Even with the healthy snacks, there may be hidden sugars that you should be aware of. Rice Malt Syrup and Agave syrup for example, while better for you than white sugar is still not great and has low nutritional value. Try not to consume too much of them if you can.
Furthermore keep an eye on the sodium content as some ingredients, especially artificial ingredients can be high in sodium. Sodium cannot only dehydrate you, but it may also lead to you retaining weight/ water weight, which is not ideal.
BEWARE OF ARTIFICAL INGREDIENTS
One of the main problems with packaged foods is that many products will add in artificial ingredients to help keep the product from perishing too quickly. The problem with this is, if you don’t understand what an ingredient is, than how can you expect your body to know what to do with it?
Try to avoid any snacks that have ingredients that are artificial, or any ingredients that you don’t understand.
CHECK THE SERVINGS
I‘ve seen a lot of articles lately on ‘is your health food making you fat’ and it’s a really good point because often people think that because something is healthy they can overeat it. Just because cashews are healthy does not mean that you should eat 200g of them in one sitting. Just because protein balls and bars are healthy does not mean that you should have 3 in one sitting because most of them contain dried fruit which is still fructose.
Check the serving size on your health food and make sure you keep it as a snack, especially if you plan on eating a meal soon after.
BEWARE OF THE PACKAGING
Beware of how your snacks are packaged. A lot of plastics and tins contain BPA’s which can affect your delicate hormone balance. Try to eat products that come in healthier packaging such as paper, board and BPA free plastic packaging.
ABOUT BSKT WHOLEFOODS
BSKT is one of the most popular health food cafes on the Gold Coast. Launching in 2013, they quickly turned into a global health food brand, founding the famous CocoWhip and now BSKT Wholefoods.
BSKT Wholefoods have just released a new Protein Bar into the range which will be available for the first time at the Goodness Me Box Markets on the 8th and 9th of December). They are Paleo, vegan, completely natural, gluten and dairy free, soy free and preservative free and currently are available in Cacao Peanut Butter, Goji Coconut and Raspberry Chia.