Eating healthily is near the top of the majority of people's agendas. After all, we are all well versed in the benefits of a healthy diet not just to our basic well being but to our sporting performance too.
But life is often busy, throwing a spanner in the works when it comes to healthy eating regimes. We tend to grab snacks on the go, often opting for those that look (at a glance) to be the most healthy. But unfortunately appearances can be deceiving and these so called healthy options are often jam packed with sugar, fat and salt.
We decided to take 10 of our favourite on-the-go snacks and delve a little deeper than the marketing fluff to see if they are actually any good for us at all.
Pret a Manger Pret Bar
You know you’re having a ‘trying to be healthy day’ when you find yourself ordering the crayfish and avocado no bread salad in Pret. But trying to make the whole afternoon without a little snack is pretty hard, we’ve all been there.
And although the ‘daily hit of fruit goodness’ Pret Bar seems like a good idea at the time, it actually contains a whopping 24.1g of sugar. That amounts to nearly one quarter of your whole daily recommended sugar intake and more sugar than you would find in a packet of Malteasers (and we’re not talking about the fun size bags).
Vegetable crisps may seem like the healthier option than munching on a packet of Walkers at lunch, but shockingly not so. Don’t let the carrot and parsnip images on a 25g bag of Tyrell’s fool you, they contain 13.2g of fat.
And although not all fat is bad fat, they far exceed a bag of Walkers Cheese and Onion in calorie, fat and sugar content.
Yoghurt Covered Raisins
Yoghurt covered raisins appear to be a minor indulgence when we are in need of a little treat. Unfortunately the indulgence is far from minor. The candied ‘yoghurt’ covered on them here is not the type of yoghurt you’re thinking about.
In just one 25g portion of Neals Yard Wholefoods Yoghurt Covered Raisins (which you think must be healthy because they’re found in your trusty Holland and Barrett) there is a shocking 16.35g of sugar. That’s more grams of sugar than you would find in a can of Coca-Cola.
Next time we’re craving yoghurt covered raisins we might just dip raisins in greek yoghurt!
Special K Cereal
The marketing around ‘healthy’ products can be very deceiving. Don’t be fooled by the brunette beauty flouncing around in a sexy one-piece on the Special K ads that grace our screens.
Although there’s only 0.5 grams of fat in just one 30g bowl of Special K Red Berries cereal, there's a whopping 6.3g of sugar in there too.
And let’s face it, anyone who’s tried Special K knows the dissatisfaction you get from the cardboard-like cereal which contains around five berries in the entire box.
Reduced Fat Dressing
This one’s for all the condiment Queens out there who like to turn bland vegetables into flavorous treats. It does seem like a great idea to cut down on the calories by opting for a lighter salad dressing, but a 15ml portion of Waitrose Reduced Fat Caesar Dressing, contains 4.5g of fat.
So just 30ml of this salad dressing contains more fat than you would find in a bowl of Heinz tomato soup!
Low Fat Yoghurt
We’re not fooled by low fat products because in fact 0% fat often means that it’s loaded with sugar.
But even the ‘healthier’ branded products are just as bad. In a 100g serving of Rachel’s Organic Low Fat Raspberry Yoghurt, you will find a shocking 15.6g of sugar, one sixth of your recommended daily sugar intake.
The best option here is to buy a natural Greek yoghurt, it contains half the amount of sugar and provides you with a higher amount of protein!
Dried cranberries seem like the perfect healthy on-the-go snack, because after all they’re fruit right?
But in fact for every 25g portion of Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries, there is a whopping 18.5g of sugar. That’s four and a half teaspoons of sugar for that one little handful of dried fruit.
The best option here is to go for a healthier brand (like M&S or Holland + Barrett) as they're less likely to coat them in sugar, which often happens when brands try to make their 'healthy' products look more appealing.
Now we’re not saying that honey is unhealthy, it’s a lovely sweet treat that takes any breakfast from a 1 to a 5. But besides its beneficial antioxidant qualities we love the food for, in just one 15g serving, you’re consuming 12.2g of sugar.
That’s three teaspoons of sugar you’ve already spread on your toast this morning!
Not all fats are bad fats, but keeping an eye on naturally healthy foods with large fat contents is always a good idea. For example, in just 100ml of your average coconut milk, there’s 15g of fat, of which 13.2 g is sugar.
That’s just over one fifth of your recommended daily intake of fat found in your favourite oriental dish. Well not the dish, just the sauce!