Healthy snacks in disguise

I am a big advocate of eating right. I participate in the No-Corn-Syrup Diet. To this end, I’m always really frustrated when marketing gets in the way of people making the right decision. Take for instance the 100 Calorie Pack by Nabisco, which come with the following message:

Sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, creamy — what kind of snack are you craving? 100 Calorie Packs come in all of your favorites from Oreo to Wheat Thins. Now you can indulge and still know that you’re making the right choice!

Instead of optimizing for nutritional components (calories, fat, carbs, etc., etc.), I eat the snacks that I understand. My gym sells Sahale Snacks, little tasty nut blends that are high in fat, and contain tons of calories. One of my favorite varieties is the Ksar blend which is comprised of:

Pistachio nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried figs, sesame seeds, organic evaporated cane juice, organic tapioca syrup, sea salt, organic honey

I know what each of those ingredients is! A company that takes this even further is Larabar, which I also eat quite regularly. Here are the ingredients for a few of their snack bars:

  • Pistachio Bar: dates, pistachios, cashews
  • Banana Cookie: almonds, dates, unsweetened bananas
  • Pecan Pie: dates, pecans, almonds
  • Cocoa Mole: dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, chile

Like other simple snacks, they don’t fare well with the nutrition information scrutinizer: high in calories, high in fat. I think they’re pretty tasty, and they really satiate my hunger in a way that processed foods don’t seem to. Maybe there’s some fancy science behind my intuition, but I’m willing to believe in the gospel of Pollan for now.