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Are your snacks really that healthy?

November 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Food Coach Lori Corbin says what you think might be a good snack may be loaded with fat and salt.What triggers you to snack between meals?

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says diet experts point to common snacking triggers: being tired and stressed, watching TV, going to the movies, shopping at the mall, and going to a party.

"Supermarket shelves are crammed with 'crisp' versions of crackers and chips that look healthy," said Sue Perry, deputy editor, ShopSmart magazine. "So we checked out 14 snacks to find out how nutritious they were and how good they taste."

The snacks include ones from Nabisco, Pepperidge Farm, and Frito Lay.

"You shouldn't be fooled by words like 'baked' and 'brown rice' on the label," said Perry. "Those foods could actually have more fat and sodium than you realize."

For example, Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps have 6 grams of fat per 1-ounce serving. That's more than a serving of Utz Pork Rinds.

And Pepperidge Farm Baked Natural Pretzel Thins have 390 milligrams of sodium per ounce. That's more than Lay's Classic Potato Chips.

For a healthier snack, try Wheat Thins Multigrain Toasted Chips or New York Style Original Pretzel Flatz. And remember: Whatever you reach for, read those nutrition labels so you'll know whether that healthy-sounding snack you're getting is really good for you.

To cut down on snacking, avoid eating right out of the bag, because it's hard to stop and you don't know how much you're eating. Your best bet is to portion out the perfect portion and then pack that package back in the pantry.


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