Leading high street health store Holland & Barrett have been slammed by a newspaper, after it discovered H&B’s best-selling yoghurt-coated nuts contain three times more fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac.
Are yoghurt-coated nuts worse for your health than a calorific Big Mac?
For those of you who make a conscious effort to opt for snacks which are ‘healthier’ than greasy, salty treats, this will be a blow to your diet - as The Mirror discovered these ‘wholefood’ nuts contain hidden fat traps.
Nearly 40g of saturated fat to be exact (a Big Mac contains 24g).
A 200g bag of yoghurt-coated peanuts, produced by Neal’s Yard Wholefoods, contain nearly double the amount of the recommended daily allowance of fat for women (which is 20g) and 16g more than a double-decker burger.
Although a spokesperson defended the fat content stating that, “products which have a chocolate and yoghurt coating aren’t designed to be eaten by one person in one sitting”, Sian Porter from the British Dietetic Association has warned consumers about the “halo effect” of buying ‘healthy’ snacks.
“It is very dangerous for people to buy things and think they are healthy just because they are from a health store,” Porter told The Mirror.
“Treats like these at Holland & Barrett might be sold as fruit and nuts but they are covered in all sorts of sugars and things that are not that good for you at all. It is very important to read the labels or you could end up eating something you may regret.”
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Do you think that opting for vegetable crisps instead of Doritos is a sensible diet choice and that dried fruits are just as good as the real thing?
Do you constantly stick to the 'healthier' options but are yet to see those stubborn pounds shift?
Lurking in those low-fat foods and probiotic 'miracle' drinks are secret fat traps that may look like healthy foods on the outside but in fact, are simply hiding behind the glossy labels and nutritional promises.
Find out if your favourite 'healthy' snack has made the fat trap list.
Hidden Fat Traps Lurking In Your Food
Dried fruits are a great tasting snack, but beware - they do not contain the same goodness as fresh fruits. When fruit is dried, it loses a lot of its nutritional value as the water content is drained. Dried fruits are also sprayed with sugar solutions before they are packaged, which damages the nutritional value even more. This means that they contain more calories, sugar and less vitamins and goodness than a fresh apple.
Although sushi can be a healthy, low calorie lunch option, can become a potential fat feast. For example - although soy sauce gives the sushi rolls a tasty kick, essentially, it's liquid salt and therefore racks up your sodium intake with every bite. Sushi can also come packed with mayonnaise (or mayo based sauces) as well as other sauces full of hidden calories. The fish oil in sushi can also increase the cholesterol levels too.
Not all smoothies have potential fat traps - ones made entirely from wholefood ingredients and fresh fruit, are packed with nutrients and vitamins. However, don't be fooled into thinking that all smoothies make a healthy drink. Many processed smoothies are so full of added sugars, syrup, additives and full-fat milk (and sometimes ice cream), that you'd be better off having a large milkshake from your local takeaway.
It may seem like the healthier alternative to a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, but veggie crisps have the same fat content ordinary crisps. The pieces of vegetable crisps are usually very thin, which means all the vegetable nutrients would've been sucked out when they were processed. They are also packed with salt to spruce up the taste.
Frozen yoghurt is usually low in calories - but the sugar content can be sky high. Frozen yoghurts also packed full of sugar (some contain up to 20g of sugar per half a cup). And as for the probiotic 'bonus' selling point, processed frozen yoghurts are likely to have lost their 'healthy bacteria' straight after production - especially those which have been kept in extreme temperatures.
A tortilla wrap may contain less wheat and carbohydrates than a slice of bread, but most pre-packed wraps you are likely to find in your local sandwich shop are packed full of hidden fat traps, like processed meat, mayonnaise, salt and butter to name a few.
Granola is a processed cereal that usually contains a host of different sweeteners which makes it so tasty. These include agave nectar, honey, brown sugar, molasses and high fructose corn syrup. The nutritional labels can be misleading, so make sure you check the sugar and salt content before piling it into your breakfast bowl.
Low Fat Muffins
Choosing a low fat muffin over a full fut version may seem like a clever move, but in reality, both are just as high in calories and fat. Although the 'low fat' muffin will have a reduced fat content - it counteracts the low fat count with extra calories. This means that not only will your 'healthier' muffin contain more sugar, it'll probably be less filling too.
Gluten-free foods doesn't always mean healthier. Many gluten-free foods are processed and packaged, meaning they still have the fat trap concerns other processed foods have.
Rice cakes can be a low calorie snack - as long as you stick to plain and don't pile on the toppings. Salted and flavoured rice cakes also contain the same amount of salt as a bag of full-fat crisps, so you may not be better off snacking on these after all.
If you're cutting down on your calorie intake but want to do it sensibly, take a look at these healthy low-calorie snacks that don't substitute fat or sugar.
Tasty, Low-Calorie Snack Ideas
<strong>Calorie-count: </strong>55 calories per cupful of plain home-made popcorn with one teaspoon of oil If you don't have a microwave handy to pop your own, most fast food chains now stock low-calorie packs in a variety of flavours, including salt or sugar and salt. The modern pre-packed varieties will bump up your calorie count to approximately 125 calories. But steer clear of the old-school sticky toffee varieties as these are laden with sugar and calories.
<strong>Calorie count:</strong> 130 calories for 2 slices There are times when only cake will do - like 4pm when the sugar slump strikes. Satisfy your sweet cravings with the next best thing - cinnamon raisin toast. Top with low-fat spread or a drizzle of honey.
<strong>Calorie count:</strong> 100 calories per 85g tin of tuna (in water) Spread a small can of tuna on a rye crispbread for a mid-morning snack that will keep you full until lunchtime. Tuna is a great source of low-fat protein and is packed with Omega-3 fatty acid, renowned for its brain-boosting and mood-enhancing properties.
<strong>Calorie count:</strong> 104 calories for one cup If your idea of the perfect afternoon snack is a bag of Haribo, try sucking on frozen grapes instead. Rich in vitamins A, C, B6 and folate as well as the powerful antioxidants, flavanoids, grapes have been widely used to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, asthma, heart disease and migraines.
<strong>Calorie count:</strong> 165 calories per ounce Sunflower seeds are a low-fat alternative to crisps when you need that crunchy, savoury hit. They are packed with vitamins such as vitamin B1 and B5, vitamin E and folate and also provide a healthy dose of minerals including copper, magnesium, selenium and phosphorous-important minerals.
<strong>Calorie count:</strong> 183 calories per one ounce Scientists claim eating just seven walnuts a day could help ward off disease and fight cholesterol. The antioxidants found in raw walnuts were found to be 15 times as powerful as Vitamin E, which can protect the body against damaging natural chemicals.
<strong>Calorie-count:</strong> 47 calories per handful Olives are rich in Vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and gut. They are also a good source of antioxidants, essential for a strong immune system.