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2 Ingredients: Is That It?!

1 Jun

2 Ingredients: Is That It?!

When it comes to ingredient lists: less is more. And turns out, you can find short, real food ingredient lists in packaged foods.

Wait, packaged foods?!

Yep, that’s right, it’s ok to occasionally break out of your real food cocoon and eat a bar or two. (And while you’re at it – check out “Why We Need to Stop Calling All Unhealthy Foods ‘Processed‘” with great input from Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner).

But back to the bars.

I recently sampled That’s It fruit bars. That’s right: a bar called That’s It. Why? Because all it contains is fruit. And that’s it.

I happened upon That’s It at Starbucks, not a place known for simple, wholesome snacks. Regardless, I was fiending for some fiber and the flavor I found was Apple Blueberry.

The ingredient list says it all: Apples & Blueberries (or, if you want to get specific: it’s 1 apple and 20 blueberries. But really, that’s it).

To be fair, the bar is small – but it packs 4 grams of fiber in 100 calories, a significant fiber find that more than easily fits Harvard’s 10:1 ratio recommendation for 10 grams of carbohydrate for at least every 1 gram of fiber (which works for whole grains but also fruit foods).

Now, don’t go freaking out about 19 grams of sugar per bar, because if you’re eating real fruit, guess what? It’s pure, good old fashioned carbohydrate, aka fructose, the naturally occurring sugar in fruit that also brings with it valuable vitamins and phytochemicals.

I think it’s a fiber faux pas that some other mainstream bars are foregoing fruit because consumers don’t understand natural vs. added sugars. But I also think a 2 ingredient snack is a great addition to the overly saturated barrage of bars on market shelves these days.

Although it’s pretty perfect and a dietitian’s dream snack, if I had to pick a bone with That’s It, it would be because of some of the bunk nutrition information on their blog.

Alkalizing fruits and flat belly foods? Come on! A product with a pure ingredient list should be touting its benefits rather than hiding behind sham science.

At the end of the day, you get a nutrition expert to clean up that feed and this high fiber snack is good as gold! You can procure this product at Starbucks, the That’s It online store, or in your local area by using their store finder.

 

 

Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

13 Feb

Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

I’ve always liked the idea of popchips – an un-fried potato product with “nothing fake or phony” – but I do admit I wasn’t a fan of their low fiber count.

The original popchips had just 1g fiber per 120 calorie serving. And while the ingredient list was clean, the starches consisted of potatoes, rice, and potato starch (white on white on white carb crime)… so the OG ones weren’t really a snack food worth a fiber fan’s time.

But I recently got my hands on a bag of the new veggie popchips. They caught my eye because they boast a better fiber profile. I bought the sea salt flavor, which this time around has 3g fiber in 120 calories.

The reason for the change? Popchips has wised up to the power of legume flour.

The ingredient list still starts with dried potato, but it goes on to include chickpea flour, navy bean flour, tapioca starch, beet powder, spinach powder, pumpkin powder, pea fiber, tomato powder, red bell pepper powder and kale powder.

In addition to the fiber pump, I think these veggie popchips also have a better, more nuanced flavor than the original popchips. They still stick a little too much to my teeth, and like all potato starch products, the texture is still slightly chalky.

Regardless, I would recommend the veggie popchips over the original popchips based on taste, fiber, and ingredient list alone. You can eat 1/3 of the bag (23 chips) for 120 calories & 3g fiber – and at 200 mg, the sodium count isn’t half bad either.

Now, you have to remember: if it looks like a chip and it tastes like a chip, it’s still a chip…and certainly not the same thing as eating real vegetables. You’re missing out on valuable nutrients like potassium and vitamin C there. But in a pinch, if you gotta grab a chip, I say the veggie popchips are a pretty good product.

 

The Skinny on Potato Skins

15 Jan

The Skinny on Potato Skins

Carb smart consumers know, when you’re sizing up starchy foods, “If it’s white…walk away!”

We’re talking white bread, white rice, white pasta, white crackers…and then someone inevitably asks, “But what about white potatoes?”

For this fiber fan, white potatoes are the exception to the walk away from white foods rule.

A common misconception is that most of the potato’s nutrients are found only in the skin. According to the US Potato Board,  “The majority (>50 percent) of the nutrients are found within the potato itself.”

A medium-sized potato with its skin on has about 4 grams of fiber; and half of the potato’s fiber is found in the skin. So if you ditch the flesh, you’re depriving yourself of half of your potato’s fiber goodness.

And it’s not just fiber that one finds in potatoes. That same potato has more potassium than a banana and almost half (45%) of your daily value for vitamin C.

Now granted, it’s sometimes what you put ON the potato that can set you back. The Loaded Potato Skins appetizer at TGI Fridays has 1,430 calories and a day-and-a-half worth of saturated fat. And you can bet it’s not the potato that’s the problem there!

If you want a skinny skin, try scooping some of the flesh and piling on steamed broccoli, reduced-fat shredded cheese, and some low fat sour cream for good measure.

For some great potato recipe ideas, check out the US Potato Board’s recipes at www.potatogoodness.com.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have previously been compensated by the US Potato Board; I was not paid for this post and the thoughts & opinions are my own.

Hot Food Trends for 2015

8 Jan

Hot Food Trends for 2015

More than 20,000 new food and beverage items hit US grocery store shelves every year.

But what is going to be hot in 2015?

Here’s a round up of some of my favorite food trends for the New Year:

Thins are In

  • Consumers want more creative ways to control calories – and they’re thinning out their foods to prove it. Everything from sandwich bread to brownies is getting a thintastic makeover to satisfy cravings without overindulging.
  • I am loving Nonni’s THINAddictives almond thins for a satisfying 100-calorie snack made with real California almonds and fruit. The individual portion packaging makes this a great snack on the go, without going overboard! They come in 5 fabulous flavors, and you can find them at a local retailer near you.

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Big Bold Flavors

  • 90% of Americans eat at least 1 snack per day. In 2015, sweet is out and savory is in. Look to flavoring your foods with herbs and spices instead of sugar and sweets.
  • KIND Healthy Snacks recently introduced their KIND & Strong line of snacks, their first entree into the world of savory snacks. I love the Honey Smoked BBQ KIND & Strong bar, packed with tons of flavor and 10 grams of whey and soy-free protein. These guys are chock full of ingredients you can see and pronounce,  they’re gluten free, and like all KIND products, non-GMO too.

 

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Sprouted Grains

  • Whole grains are good, but sprouted whole grains are even better! This year sprouted grains are picking up steam and coming to a store near you!
  • Sprouted grains help block anti-nutrients and may help your body to absorb more valuable minerals and nutrients like calcium and iron.
  • Way Better Snacks has a line of sprouted grain, bean, and seed chips that are sure to satisfy in the New Year. My favorite are the Way Better Snacks Black Bean sprouted grain chips, which have 3 grams of fiber to keep me going throughout the day.

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Potatoes are on the Prowl

  • A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrates that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight. This is great news for those who want to incorporate their favorite foods, but keep it within a calorie budget.
  • One medium-sized, skin on potato has 110 calories, more potassium than a banana, and almost half your daily value for vitamin C. On top of that, potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, have no sugar and 3 grams of fiber to boot!
  • Check out this awesome Roasted Potato Fries with Avocado Aioli recipe, with under 150 calories and just 5 grams of fat per serving. For more recipes featuring the nutritionally powerful potato, visit www.potatogoodness.com.

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To learn more about food trends in 2015, check out my segment from Good Morning San Diego this week.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.

Healthy Holiday Tips & Tricks

29 Dec

Healthy Holiday Tips & Tricks

With New Year’s upon us, the holiday entertaining season is still in full swing. And if you’re like most Americans, you can expect to gain 1-2 pounds this holiday season.

But good news: you don’t have to be just another heavy holiday statistic! If you want to Beat the Creep this year, check out these simple tips for curbing holiday weight gain:

Follow the “Rule of Ones”

  • If a holiday party buffet is about to ruin your day, follow the rule of ones: grab one appetizer, one main dish, one side, and one dessert.
  • With the rule of ones you have to make your choices matter. Start out strong by amplifying your appetizers: pump up flavor & spice, not salt and fat.
  • This holiday season I am loving the convenience of Bibigo Korean BBQ Sauces & their fully cooked Chicken & Cilantro Wontons. Pair the 2 together for a tasty, convenient appetizer packed with authentic Korean BBQ flavor that won’t break your calorie budget.

“Three Bites: Now Say Good Night”

  • Attack that holiday meal by following the three-bite rule: the first bite is the best, the last is to savor, and one in between is for good measure.
  • Be a smart stocking stuffer with savory and sweet treats in bite-size, calorie controlled portions which help you satisfy without overindulging.
  • My favorite tasty treat this holiday season is the Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond KIND bar – it’s packed with ingredients you can see and pronounce, and only has 5 grams of added sugar!

Power Up with Protein in Peanuts

  • Fiber and protein are the 2 nutrients that help keep you full – and peanuts have a great combination of both; with 7 grams of protein per serving, peanuts have more protein than any other nut.
  • Everyone leaves Santa cookies, but why not also pack him some peanuts to power his present delivering through the night?
  • For a delectable and protein packed treat, check out this great gluten free Ultra Peanut Butter Cookie recipe from the National Peanut Board

For these and other healthy holiday tips, check out my recent segment on NBC 7 San Diego.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.