Pretzels. Are they healthy? I get this question A LOT, so I decided to address it on my blog. In my opinion, pretzels have very little to brag about. Even though they are low in fat and relatively low in calories, they are not particularly nutritionally sound.
Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid), water, salt, malt, dextrose, canola oil*, yeast, soda. *Adds a trivial amount of fat.
I am not going to pretend that I don’t enjoy pretzels every now and then. Occasionally I’ll pick up a bag from the vending machine at work because it is literally that or a hostess cupcake (ick). The one thing I have found though is they aren’t very satisfying. Yes, they tide me over for a little while, but I find I’m looking for more to eat fairly quickly; whether that is more pretzels or another snack altogether. Could be the lack of protein and whole grain; you aren’t going to stay very full on less than 1 gram of fiber (for most brands) and even less protein. Plus there is a lot of sodium per serving and generally I’m left feeling bloated!!
When I snack, I try to be smart about it. I try to look for foods that are going to tide me over for at least 2-3 hours. If you enjoy salty/chip-type snacks, I’m not going to take that away from you. As I always say, you can enjoy all foods, just not every day.
How about trying some healthy alternatives though? Snacks that might leave you feeling MORE satisfied and give you a boost of nutrition?
Some similar/healthier alternatives?
– Homemade popcorn (controlled salt/butter)
– Whole wheat or whole grain crackers
– Toasted whole grain pita chips (I like to buy pita bread that literally has one ingredient: whole wheat flour)
– Baked sweet potato “fries”
– Apple or banana chips (without added sweeteners or ingredients).
*I try to pair these snacks with some form of healthy protein for extra staying power (especially if I know that I won’t have another meal for awhile).