Not All Trail Mix is Healthy (try this instead!)


Trail mix is one of the most popular snacks that my patients will include in their diet. The problem with this tasty and nutritious snacks is portion control. The usual packaging of Trail Mixes are mostly over-sized and if you finish the whole bag within a day or two, you can gain weight fast. A cup of trail mix can go up to 700 calories. If you consume 3500 calorie extra (that means 1 cup of trail mix 5 times a week), you can easily gain 1 pound of fat from that. If you need to balance those calorie intake, you need to have 7 hours high impact aerobic exercise or run for 6 mph for 5 hours. Another problem with commercial prepared trail mix is that they also packed with food coloring and other food additives and preservatives. When I saw this all natural trail mix with a smaller size packaging at the college bookstore, I decided to make it our snacks of the month! It contains the calories from snacks just right for a day or two.

What is it?

Bear Naked Cranberry Almond Trail Mix

Nutrition facts: Serving size: 1 pouch (1.75 oz) Servings per container: 1 Calories: 210 Total fat: 7g Saturated fat: 0.5 g Trans fat: 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5g Monounsaturated Fat 3.5g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 20 mg Potassium: 55 mg Total Carbs: 34g Fiber: 3 g Sugars: 20 g Protein: 4 g Iron: 6% Calcium: 4%

Ingredients: ALMONDS, RAISINS (RAISINS, GLYCERIN, SUNFLOWER OIL), APPLES, DRIED CRANBERRIES (SUGAR, CRANBERRIES, GLYCERIN, CITRIC ACID), ROLLED OATS, DRIED CANE SYRUP, BROWN RICE SYRUP, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HONEY, BROWN RICE FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN FLOUR, MOLASSES, WHOLE OAT FLOUR, NATURAL FLAVOR, WHEAT STARCH, BAKING SODA, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS FOR FRESHNESS, WHEY, SOY LECITHIN.

Why it gets picked?

1. It is all natural with no food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial flavors. The mixed tocopherols is a form of Vitamin E and is used as an antioxidants to preserve freshness of the nuts. They are a natural alternative to synthetic antioxidants, such as BHT, BHA and TBHQ.

2. The portion size is good for snacks. If you are active, you can consume the whole pouch. For more sedentary people, limit to 100 calories from snacks a day will help with weight control (half of the pouch).

3. It has a mixture of almonds, apples, cranberries and granola clusters with honey. It can be served as a serving of fruits, a serving of grain and a serving and 1/2 of healthy fats.

4. Because it is nutrition dense, it can be used as a meal replacement for breakfast when you are on the run with a glass of low fat milk or soy milk.

5. It's a low Sodium substitute for chips and crackers. The whole bag only contains 20mg of Sodium versus 170-185 mg of Sodium per oz of chips!

6. it also comes with Chocolate Cran-Raisins flavor with the same calories.

Where to get it? CVS, Walgreen, Amazon, and may be other grocery stores.

What are other choices with similar nutrition content?

Homemade Trail mix: 20 almonds, miniature box of raisins, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.

If you want to share your discovery of any tasty and healthy snacks, please email to hazel@smarteater.net.

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