Sorry Sugar, But You Have to Go

Let’s not kid ourselves here: eating healthy can kind of be a pain.  You can only stand eating raw fruits and vegetables for so many days until you’re so tired of eating them, that you’re tempted to take our your own eye with a carrot stick (kidding, of course).  There’s the ever changing eat this-not that, fad diet, cut out all carbs diet, cut of all sugars diet, only eat raw food, tofu only…you get the idea.  With all of those “rules” running through you’re head it’s hard to decide what exactly “healthy” is.

For me it’s all about moderation and knowing what I’m putting into my body.  One of my friends told me this simple trick for healthy eating: try to only eat foods with less than 12g of sugar.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Think again.  I started to actually start reading labels (and not just looking to see how many calories it had) about a month ago.  Naturally, all the delicious unhealthy foods have lots of sugar (no surprise there).  And even some things that you think are healthy (like Yoplait Original Yogurt) really aren’t.

Since my label-reading conquest begin I have a small (but growing) list of snacks that have less than 12g of sugar and still taste great.

Kashi Soft-Baked Cereal Bars: Blackberry Graham 10g Sugar. 130 Calories I love to have one of these for breakfast or after I go running.  They’re filling and honestly remind me of a cookie.  The blackberry jam in the center gives it a tangy little twist while the chewy consistency of the bar makes it last.

Mi-Del All-Natural Ginger Snaps 11g Sugar. 140 Calories  The perfect snack because a serving is 5 cookies (and you really don’t even want more than 5) so it’s a legitimate snack.  I found these at Stop & Shop in the organic section.  I point this out because I’ve told friends about these but apparently they’re hard to find.

Multi-Grain Cheerios 6g Sugar. 110 Calories (Without Milk)  I should have added ‘multi grain’ and ‘whole grain’ to the fad diet list.  It seems like companies everywhere are bragging about their product being made with whole grains.  Regardless, these Cheerios are just plain good with a little hint of sweetness.

Special K Chocolatey Pretzel Cereal Bars 6g Sugar 90 Calories Sweet, salty, low calories, low sugar.  Can you beat that?  While I might not be an advocate for the Special K diet, you can’t deny that this guilt-free snack is great for busy days when you’re constantly on the go.

Pistachios My biggest problem?  I’m a boredom eater.  When I’m bored I’ll casually browse the cabinets and fridge for something to do.  Oh, and I’m finding something to do all right.  I’m casually adding inches to my waistline with all my “eating because I’m bored” snacking.  Pistachios are great because they take awhile to unshell therefore occupying your hands for longer than some other snacks.

Keebler 100 Calorie Right Bites: Fudge Dipped Pretzels 7g Sugar. 100 Calories This one actually really surprised me.  Chocolate? And only 7g of sugar per serving? Hard to complain.

Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks 0g Sugar. 140 Calories  While these may not be super healthy (they’re fried) they’re good if you’re looking for a crunchy snack that’s made with all-natural ingredients.  And let’s face it, it’s better to eat a few of these than a bunch of potato chips.

Whole Grain Toast with Honey Apple Butter 8g Sugar. 35 Calories Haven’t heard of apple butter before?  Well, you’re seriously missing out.  It’s an all-natural spread (kind of like a jam) that’s great on things like toast and crackers.  You can find apple butter in the aisle with the jams and jellies (although I must warn you, I had trouble finding this product until I went to Trader Joe’s).

Of course, it’s always important to pay attention to serving sizes instead of devouring an entire package in just one sitting. (Do you get the impression this has happened before…) Like I said before, healthy eating is all about moderation.  Don’t cut out sugar completely (or anything else for that matter), but try to instead be aware of how much you’re eating.  And let yourself induldge every once and awhile!  One small cupcake won’t kill you.

Have anymore healthy snack ideas?  Let us know @20sTweet.

~J

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