Healthy Processed Food Choices! – Mind Over MunchRandall Smitham August 13, 2019 100 Comments
Hey munchies! Hehe
I have done a few videos now sharing
unhealthy processed foods or debunking
healthy ones and I got so many comments
saying “okay I get that these are ideal
choices but what processed snacks can I have?”
So today I am sharing five of my
favorite healthier processed snack foods.
Of course processed is never ideal. We
want to make the bulk of our diet whole
foods but we’re human we’re busy and a lot of
people still depend on processed foods.
So if we can educate people about which
choices or at least more appreciated by
our bodies as fuel than others
the better. So there are a few ways to approach this.
Some people say macro friendly is better
period. So how many calories, fat, etc.
Some people say clean is better period. So ingredients.
I think both need to be considered.
So clean is definitely important, less is more.
But sometimes clean ingredients can
still be dense in calories and fat and
the truth is calories and fat do matter.
I’m not saying we have to count our
calories or tracker our macros
but whether we count or not our bodies
are still counting,
and the fact is we only need a certain
amount of calories and fat and those
numbers are going to vary based on our
size, our weight, our gender, our lifestyle,
our activity level, our genetic
predisposition, blah blah blah blah.
Also it’s true if you’re eating clean
all the time
probably you need to be less concerned
if at all with macros calories etc. But
guess what? If you’re watching this video
looking for snack ideas that probably
means your diet still contains processed
foods. Which is fine. I eat these snacks.
But the point is if people were to the
point where they didn’t need to be aware
at all or concerned at all with calories
and fat then they wouldn’t be eating
most of these foods anyway. This
disclaimer is just here to let you know
before someone tries to attack me which
I know is inevitable because it’s YouTube
that these snacks were determined based
on which are the best options
accounting for both ingredients and macros.
Also please note that none
the products shared here are sponsored
all thoughts are my own. First up,
popcorn. So this is one of my favorite
healthy snacks. It has lots of antioxidants and fiber
it’s one of the only snacks that is
actually one hundred percent a whole grain.
It is also very low calorie and
minimally processed. Now keep in mind
we’re not talking about popcorn that you
get at the movie theater that is loaded
with butter that is doing more bad than good.
I’m talking about air popped popcorn. Now
I do have an air popper that i use for
popping my own popcorn and I’ve shared that
in other videos before. I love it. It’s
amazing. You don’t need any oil but if
you’re gonna buy a snack popcorn is a
better one to buy. The microwavable bags
where you put the bag in the microwave and it
you know pops up into a big poof of popcorn
those are fine but a lot of them do
contain chemicals in the lining of the
bag so a lot of people prefer to avoid them.
I prefer to just buy the pre-popped bags
that are air popped if I can’t make it myself.
So the pre bag options can be really
great but we do need to read the labels
and watch out for the claims. All of
these really like to advertise 35
calories a cup. That’s really great, low
calorie but who only eats a cup of popcorn?
Not me. Ever. So looking at these the
other thing to keep in mind the
nutrition is not per cup. The nutrition
is per usually 28 grams. So all these are
noted to be 28 grams but one of them is
noted to be 3 1/2 cups, one is
3 3/4 cups, and one is
4 cups. All grams are not created
equal apparently. You might notice on
certain bags that some popcorns have 4
grams of fat in a serving and some have 8.
Make sure you look at the serving size
because sometimes it’s the exact same
brand and the popcorn flavors maybe a
little bit different and one has 4
grams of fat at 28 grams per serving and
one has 8 grams of fat but it’s 56
grams per serving. So it’s the exact same
nutrition but the serving size is
doubled… mystery. Ingredients are key when
it comes to processed snacks. As I said
earlier so we always want to take a look
at that list and remember less is more.
So this brand has
really nice design, looks pretty healthy,
emphasizing the health claims, talking
about how it has nothing but ingredients
that you’ll love. This one is more like
you know you think about it when you go
to a party or a snacky food. It’s
like less emphasis on the health, even
though it is still saying 35 calories
hundred you know percent whole grain
whatever. When you read the ingredients
for these two you will find that they
are exactly the same.
So in the ingredients you love bag you
have popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt
and in this bag you have popcorn,
vegetable oil which may be corn, canola,
and or sunflower oil, and sea salt. So
it’s exactly the same in exactly the same
order. Now one might assume that
something like a white cheddar popcorn
would be worse for you because it’s
cheese right and that may be the case
with some brands but you have to read the label.
Now for sure when you look at the
ingredients here the list is much longer.
This is not as clean of a popcorn. But
when we look at the macros it’s not so different.
It actually has less calories and fat
than the sea salt but it also has 1
gram of sugar, less fiber, and a little
bit more sodium.
You win some you lose some. So the sea
salt is obviously the cleaner choice. But
we can’t deny the fact that some people
might consider this one more macro
friendly. I’m not saying that’s true.
I’m not saying I agree with it. I’m not
saying I don’t like this either though.
Next up jerky. So beef jerky, turkey jerky,
I’ve even had salmon jerky.
If you’re looking for a high-protein
snack that is not a supplement jerky is
about as good as you’re gonna get
macro wise. But of course they’re not all
Now first of all in general turkey jerky
is going to have less fat than beef
jerky just because turkey breast is not
fatty and beef is. For a serving you can get
10 to 12 grams of protein. That’s pretty darn good.
The problem is the serving size. So one
ounce 28 grams is a pretty typical
serving size but there is supposed to be
4 servings in here and there’s
supposed to be 2 servings in here and
I don’t know about you but if I was
going to eat this I would just eat the whole bag.
So you’ve got to keep that in mind when
you’re reading the ingredients and then
also keep in mind
sometimes they decide to say there are
three and a half servings in here. Which
is just oh so convenient.
Another problem with jerky is the added sugar.
So I’m not just talking teriyaki flavor
almost all of them have you know sugar,
cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses. The
other jerky issue, ‘jissue’, has been sodium
So most companies are aware that this
has been an issue and have been trying
to accommodate. They have stopped using
quite as many additives
but always read the label. Most of these
actually advertise no preservatives, no
nitrates, no added msg, all-natural
minimally processed. But just be aware
because the sodium can be really high.
Anyway at the end of the day remember
that less is more.
So some of these brands have really long
ingredients list and it just isn’t necessary.
So when you’re picking out your jerky
try to find one that has a shorter
ingredients list. A little bit less
sodium and if you can manage less sugar.
You should be able to get a high-protein
low-calorie ratio it’s not that hard but
you just gotta find the right brand.
This one has 11 grams of sugar per
serving and remember if there’s 3/12 servings
this is now 11 x 3.5 38-39…
Oh it was 38.5 NICE! Next up dried fruit.
Not all dried fruit is created equal. So
if i asked you which of these was a
healthier choice which one would you choose?
Well since you can’t tell me i’m going
to go ahead and guess that a decent amount of
you said the strawberries were a
healthier choice. Now i’m going to guess
that you may have said that because the
pineapple is noted to be sweetened and
the strawberries are not and they also
have some other added claims: good source
of vitamin C, good source of fiber,
great. The truth is these are not any different.
Why? They are both sweetened. So why does
the strawberries not say that they’re
sweetened and the pineapple does? I don’t know.
But we wouldn’t know that unless
we looked at the back and read the ingredients.
The first ingredient pineapple. First
ingredient strawberries. Second ingredient sugar.
Second ingredient sugar. When we compare
the macros for a 40 gram serving there’s
only a 10 calorie difference and just a 5
gram difference in sugar and the truth
is plain pineapple that hasn’t been
sweetened with anything just normal raw
fruit has more sugar
almost double the sugar naturally as
strawberries. So really the strawberries
could have the same amount of added
sugar or more and we just don’t know.
When it comes to dried fruit
you are better off trying to find unsweetened.
It is not an easy task. I’ve had some
luck at health food stores and the bins
sometimes but you still have to read the
labels because those will still say
first ingredient blueberry second
ingredient sugar or whatever so you have
to read. Better than dried fruit if you
can’t be sure if it’s sweetened or not is
Pretty much the water is removed the
flavor and nutrition are preserved. So
this entire package is 28 grams and it’s
a 110 calories and 14 grams
of sugar. The only ingredient is strawberries.
now remember this entire package is 1
serving this entire package is 4
servings. Makes a difference.
And there’s also no sodium in this one
because there’s nothing added to it. Next
up is nuts. So we all know that nuts are a
healthy snack lots of good healthy fats
and protein. When you look at a bag like
this raw mixed nuts
this is fantastic. The only ingredients
are almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and
pistachios. There is nothing added. So the
problem with nuts is when we start buying
those mixes or trail mixes that have
added chocolate or dried fruit and you
all know the deal with chocolate since I
already did a chocolate video but since
we just touched on the dried fruit
let’s just hit that really quickly. This is a trail mix
first ingredient noted with sweetened
cranberries, unsalted roasted almonds,
walnuts, roasted pepitas and raw, pick
up pecans pecaans peecans. When you look at
the ingredients here this is an omega-3 walnuts trail mix
you would think the first ingredient might be a walnut
but actually it’s dried sweetened
cranberries. Which is then noted to be
cranberries, sugar, and sunflower oil. So
the remember the ingredients are noted
by priority or weight. So whatever the most
prominent ingredient is in a product has to go first
That’s like the law. So the most weighty
ingredient in here is those sweetened cranberries.
Now it is good to note cranberries
actually are decently high in omega-3. So
this isn’t really making any false
claims but we still pick it up and we
think it’s a really healthy choice
it is using those sweetened cranberries.
That being said there is only 6 grams
of sugar in a quarter cup. So it’s not so bad.
There are worse choices. Remember that
beef jerky had 11 grams in a serving.
Also do keep in mind even though nuts
are really healthy and have a lot of
micro nutrients and antioxidants um
they are still very high in calories and
fat. So we want to just make sure we’re
not over consuming because remember at
the end of the day our bodies still know
if we consumed more calories than we need
and I don’t know about you but for me
it’s really easy to overdo it on
nuts. So next we have these roasted beans
or legumes in snack form. So a chickpea
snacks have become a thing and I’m
really excited about it because they
taste really good. As is the case with
most processed snacks you can get these
in many different flavors. So I’ve had
like habanero and ranch and you know whatever.
When you pick out those types of flavor varieties
make sure you read the ingredients list
because what starts as something really
clean only chickpeas, sunflower oil, and
sea salt can become something with a
really lengthy ingredients list that is not so clean.
Even if the macros aren’t that different.
So this is pretty much a chip that uses
chick peas instead of potatoes. There’s
only 4 grams of fat per serving
whereas chips can have anywhere from you
know 8 to 15 grams. So you’re pretty
much cutting the fat by half
to you know 70%. Probably because
they’re using less oil and
they’re baking them not frying them.
These are also decently high in protein
6 grams of protein for 130 calories. Not
bad. Now edamame is really impressive
in the protein department. So this is
freeze dried edamame
I also by roasted edamame but I don’t
have any right now and pretty much it’s
the same macros for a serving about 120 calories,
5 grams of fat, 12 grams of protein.
So for the same calories and serving size and
almost the same fat you get double the
protein. Also it’s really delicious.
This is actually more protein than any
of the beef jerkies. How about that?
So don’t get caught up in those health
claims of thinking well I need to eat
beef jerky because it’s high in protein
because even though that’s true it is high
in protein there are other options as well. So those
are my chips substitutes.
Speaking of chips I know that I told you I had 5 snacks
but I actually have a bonus 6th snack that
I wanted to share with you. This is coconut chips.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had these,
these are toasted and sweetened. They are so good.
They’re so good. You can’t actually I can’t
actually stop eating them. They are clean as can be.
The ingredients coconuts, cane sugar, and
sea salt. Boom you’re done.
The problem and the reason I decided to
include this was what I talked about at
the beginning of the video and that is
macros matter. When we take a look at these
macros 170 calories in
a serving with 11 grams of fat, 9 of
which is saturated remember though
saturated fat in coconuts is not the
same as saturated fat from unhealthy
processed foods or meats, 11 grams of sugar.
Now remember these are supposed to be a
chip substitute. Chip substitute. A
serving of these regular old potato chips
160 calories, 10 grams of
fat 1 1/2 which is saturated
and less than 1 gram of sugar.
Ok so my point here is not to tell you to
eat Lays and not eat toasted coconut
chips. It is not to tell you that these
are better than these.
It’s just to put it in perspective and let
you understand that if you overdo it on this
it’s not really much better than
overdoing it on this. Also the
ingredients for these Lays are only
potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. So they
both have three ingredients.
This is very clean but it’s still dense
in calories and fat and sugar.
Just like this. I mean you think about it
a potato, a potato is not bad for you. It’s
once they douse it in oil and fry it that
it becomes bad for you.
So don’t demonize foods. You know this is
not a bad food and this is not a good
food. Both are fine they are what they
are but just recognize
that we have to consume both of these
in moderation. Not just one of them. At
the end of the day too many calories and
fat from a good thing can be just as
damaging of too many calories and fat
from a bad thing.
I hope you guys got some snack ideas but
most importantly I hope you learned
something from this video and if you did
would you mind giving it a thumbs up and
sharing it on social.
I do love making these kinds of
educational videos because I think they
offer light bulb moments for a lot of
people but remember I don’t make these
to tell you what to eat or what or what to not eat.
I’m also not trying to tell you how to
eat. I do it so that we can be honest and
see the facts and make educated decisions.
So if we decide to eat choices that
provides less fuel that’s allowed.
But do it because you make the informed
decision while aware of what that means.
Not because we’re blind or listening to
health claims by sneaky marketing
companies. I will stop rambling now. Thank
you for watching. I love you. I will see
you next week and remember especially
when it comes to eating processed foods
it’s all a matter of Mind Over Munch.
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