More Natural Product West 2012 Reviews

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • Have you tried almond milk?  How about frozen almond milk? Frozen goat milk? If not, there are some delicious low calorie brands including So Delicious (remember its a treat) and Laloo's offering pints and single-serving bars. And Ciao Bella, the makers of my favorite low calorie sorbet is now offering Greek frozen yogurt.....quite yummy.


    Turbana plantain chips have 30% less fat than most chips and six different varieties, so you get the benefit of baked plantain chips and their nutrients, rather than a plain baked potato chip. Just remember any kind of snack chip is a "treat" and not a regular daily food serving!! I also discovered Cruncha ma-me, an edamame snack with a healthy dose of crunch, fiber, and protein.

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    I think that nut butters are an excellent protein source. Added to a whole grain waffle, fruit snack or smoothie, they offer quality nutrients typically found in meat-based foods, without the saturated fat. I am partial to grinding my own peanuts so there is no added oil or sugar, but Once Again is a company that has been around for over 30 years, and they make organic and classic nut butters, including sunflower butter. Some of the butters are gluten-free, vegan and kosher certified. There is also a salt free option.


    I recommend air popped popcorn as a healthy snack and sometimes sprinkle smoked paprika on mine. I also use 100- calorie air pop packs for convenience. But I now make kale chips by baking them in the oven, seasoned with dried herbs. Just Pure Foods has taken this concept to offer zucchini sticks, tomato chips and two flavors of kale chips in snack bags. Prepared with low temperature drying, low in sodium, relatively low in sugar, these are another alternative to pretzels and chips.


    For those who still like soda, Zevia and Blue Sky zero calorie soda both offer a stevia-sweetened soda option that most nutritionists feel is preferable to some of the other zero calorie offerings on the market that use other sugar substitutes.


    I think eating whole fruit is the best, but sometimes you may want to enjoy a "crunchy version" of fruit and Crunchies offers a variety of freeze-dried fruits that capture crunch with nothing else added. Snack packs allow you to enjoy pre-portioned crunchy apples, pineapples, pears and other fruits. Consider using them on cereal, salads and to top a smoothie too.


    If you like plain fat free Greek yogurt and want to add a healthy chocolate twist, look no further than CocoaVia, a single serving powdered cocoa extract that offers 350 mg of cocoa flavanols for 30 calories (I prefer the unsweetened). Mix it into your yogurt, or skim milk drink- I've also mixed it into homemade muffin mix.


    And this nutrition bar deserves mention because of their special philanthropic program. The company, Two Degrees makes gluten-free nutrition bars with omega-3 fatty acids from ingredients like millet, chia and quinoa, in four delicious flavors. For every bar purchased, a meal is given to a hungry child. Choose from chocolate banana, apple pecan, cherry almond and chocolate peanut. Just be aware that the first ingredient is brown rice syrup, so these should be used as occasional or "fill ins to a balanced diet" alternatives, and not every day treats. Calories per bar range from 170-190. They are delicious and offer a protein and carbohydrate energy boost.


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    As a nutritionist I encourage people to buy fresh, whole ingredients and to cook tasty, simple meals at home and brown bag wholesome lunches and snacks to work. I also recognize the need for convenient healthy prepared foods, so I hope some of these recommendations will help you to make some choices that fit into your healthy daily eating program.

Published On: March 20, 2012