A new snack food is now available that is healthy and low carb, as well as tasty It meets all of the criteria that people with diabetes need to consider when we put something in our mouth.
Until now, the only good tasting snacks that I knew about were either healthy or low carb, but not both.
1. Nuts and seeds particularly almonds deserve their reputation of being healthy. That’s especially true if they are organic so that they aren’t loaded with pesticides and herbicides. But carbs will always spike our blood sugar level, and nobody can tell me that any nuts or seeds are low carb.
In fact, the best-tasting nuts that I know about are cashews, particularly when they are roasted and salted, but they are really high in carbs. I still eat a few of them once in a while, and I eat even more almonds. Nuts and seeds make the best trail and trip food because they don’t need refrigeration and don’t squash in a bag.
2. Then there is the no-carb snack that is probably unhealthy. Fried or roasted pork rinds are a great substitute for high-carb potato or corn chips because they have the same salty crunch without the blood sugar spike. Most brands have no carbs. Made from the skin of a pig, pork rinds are considered to be junk food, and whenever I eat them with my friends, they always poke a little fun at me.
I find them in truck stops along the highway when I stop for gas. They are a regular feature at mini marts, and I can usually find them in the chip aisle of supermarkets whenever I wander there by mistake. Some Paleo websites, including Mark’s Daily Apple, accept pork rinds. But I doubt if organic pork rinds exist, and it’s hard for me to accept that the skin of a pig is really all that good for me, so they aren’t a regular feature in my diet.
3. Now, however, we don’t have to choose between healthy and low carb. SeaSnax meet all the criteria, including being organic and tasting good.
These roasted seaweed snacks are vegan, gluten free, and Non-GMO Project verified. They don’t have any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sugar. They are crunchy. They are not just low carb; they are no carb and low calorie, just 10 calories per large sheet 7 1/4 x 8 inches.
The original flavor has just three ingredients: sustainably-grown organic seaweed, organic extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Three newer flavors have chipotle, onion, or wasabi flavoring too. Raw SeaSnax have just one ingredient, seaweed.
The organic seaweed in SeaSnax is called porphyra. "Of all the edible plants which grow in the seas, these are the most valuable and the most widespread," according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Second Edition, edited by Tom Jaine. "But their importance is obscured by the fact that they pass under various English names in different places. Laver is the name in England and Wales. In Scotland and Ireland it is sloke. The Japanese name nori has been largely adopted in North America."
The Japanese rightly believe that, besides having a fine marine flavor and an interesting texture, nori is very good for them, The Oxford Companion to Food continues. "It is a good source of iodine, calcium, iron, and other minerals which the body requires, besides providing a useful amount of protein, which is of particular value in a vegetarian diet."
SeaSnax are available in Whole Foods Markets, other natural food stores, amazon.com, and on their own website. I found three flavors in two local stores: original, chipotle, and wasabi. I prefer one or the other depending on my mood for spice.
"Personally, I love the spicy chipotle flavoring," wrote Renae in Florida in her letter of September 21 introducing me to SeaSnax. Thank you, Renae!
Oh, I left out the fourth type of snacks. What about healthy and low-carb snacks that don’t taste good? We certainly won’t stuff ourselves with this type of snack.
Maybe fried grasshoppers? I haven’t personally been introduced to them yet, but I did eat nkungu flies when I ran the American aid program in Malawi many years ago. The best I can say about these lake flies is that the yuk factor is worse than the taste. And now that we know about SeaSnax we can have it all in one snack.
David Mendosa is a journalist who learned in 1994 that he has type 2 diabetes, which he now writes about exclusively. He has written thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, current A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 keep his diabetes in remission without any drugs. He can be found on Twitter @davidmendosa and on Facebook at David Mendosa.