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Beware This "Healthy Snack" That Packs on the Pounds!


Hey, it’s Matt, Senior Nutritionist. Today I wanted to talk about a “healthy” snack that I absolutely love—but is unfortunately one of the worst snacks for your waistline. I’m talking about trail mix, Even the organic, “super-healthy” varieties that you find at the health food stores aren’t a great "healthy" snack option.

Why is it so bad?

Here are just a few reasons:

Trail Mixes Are Loaded With Sugar

Trail mixes—which almost always include raisins, cranberries or some other dried fruit—are loaded with sugar. Add in chocolate (via chocolate-covered almonds), yogurt-covered nuts and raisins—and/or just plain M&M’s—and you’re in even worse shape! It’s not uncommon for a mere ½ cup of trail mix to contain upwards of 30 grams of sugar. And yes, that includes organic trail mix. Organic sugar is still sugar.

Trail Mix Loads Up Calories

Trail mix is very high in calories. This is partly due to the sugar content, but when you add in the high fat content of nuts, that same 1/2 cup of trail mix easily packs in over 300 calories. That’s more fat, sugar and calories than ½ cup of most kinds of ice cream.

Trail Mix Triggers Fat Storage

Trail mix contains little protein, but loads of fats and carbs. Because carbs give rise to your "storage hormone" insulin, and because ingestion of fat increases the fatty acid content in your bloodstream, combining high-glycemic carbs and high-fat content together is a troublesome recipe for fat storage. When protein is introduced in substantial quantities, the insulin release is combatted to a degree, but unfortunately most trail mixes only contain a few grams of protein (if that).

Wishing you good health through wise nutrition,

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