10 Replacements for Surprisingly UnHealthy Snacks You Eat Daily

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While it’s ideal to always sit down and eat properly, sometimes you need foods you can grab and eat on the go. With busy lives, it’s easy to understand how individually packaged convenience snacks have become such a strong marketplace. If you wander the aisles of any grocery store, your mind will boggle at just how many snack choices you have.

Unfortunately, these convenience foods can be detrimental to your health..and your looks. Even those that seem healthy may not be so good for you on closer examination.

Think organically, think natural, you want foods that help burn fat!

Here’s a list of 10 seemingly healthy convenience foods and healthy replacements for them:

1. Yogurt

Many people believe yogurt is an extremely healthy snack. In fact, yogurt manufacturers market yogurts as low in fat and calories and beneficial to building healthy gut flora.

Unfortunately, yogurt isn’t nearly as healthy as you have been led to believe. Many yogurts are sweetened with tons of sugar and have artificial flavors and colors. Likewise, yogurt is made from dairy products and contain lactose and high levels of the protein casein, both which are extremely difficult for the human body to process.

Dairy may also contain hormones. According to Harvard University, dairy products account for 60 to 80 percent of all estrogens consumed by humans. One study linked dairy consumption to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Try this instead: Low-sugar coconut milk yogurt.

2. Snackwells

Nabisco’s Snackwells advertise themselves as low-fat, low-calorie versions of popular snacks. The brand has done quite well among those people wishing to lose or maintain weight. Unfortunately, low-fat and low-calorie doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

A quick glance at the nutrition information for these products shows they contain sugar, salt, wheat flour (gluten), soy (GMO’s), dairy, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and other chemicals.

Try this instead: Gluten-free crackers are convenient and crunchy. You can also find brands made from vegan whole foods that are chemical-free. I like the Mary’s Gone Crackers brand as an easy grab.

3. Granola bars

Along with being high in fat and calories, granola bars often contain sugar and all kinds of chemical ingredients. Some are also coated with an enticing layer of chocolate. Another problem with granola bars may be the oats. Unless they come from a certified gluten-free processing facility (and it usually says so on the label), granola bars may contain trace amounts of gluten.

Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, and rye as well as some oats. Gluten is very difficult for the human body to process, and many people suffer from gluten sensitivity that can cause a host of symptoms ranging from mild headaches to the inability to absorb nutrients from food (Celiac disease). One study showed that gluten triggered an immune response in some people, causing the body to treat it like a foreign invader. The result can be a host of symptoms ranging from mild to extremely severe.

Try this instead: Raw, organic almonds, which are equally easy to pack.

4. Diet Soda

Many people consume diet soda because it is non-caloric. While it’s true that diet soda doesn’t have any calories, it has a whole host of other problems, which I discussed in my blog post 8 Dangers of Diet Soda.

Among the many problems with diet soda are included neurotoxic ingredients such as aspartame and highly acidic chemicals that can leech calcium and other minerals from the bones. I never recommend drinking diet soda because it is so toxic.

Try this instead: Pure water with a squeeze of organic lemon or lime

5. Cereal

What could be quicker than a bowl of cereal to get your day started? Millions of Americans start their day in just this way and wind up ingesting genetically modified ingredients (corn, soy), sugar, salt, and empty carbohydrates. If they top their cereal with milk they may also be ingesting hormones.

Try this instead: Have steel-cut oats instead, topped with some cinnamon and even a little stevia. If you are super short on time and must use the  instant kinds, look for lower-in-sugar varieties.

6. Dairy-based smoothies

Many fast food restaurants and grocery stores now offer smoothies as a quick meal replacement. While the smoothies may contain healthful ingredients like fruit and veggies, you may also get more than you bargained for, particularly if the smoothies contain dairy or soy based ingredients, artificial colors and flavors, or preservatives. Others may contain whey protein or agave (a high fructose product). Even if the smoothie is listed as “organic,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

Try this instead: Try my Chia Seed Delight Recipe. Add a tablespoon of organic raw chia seeds to a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Allow it to soak for about 20 minutes, and then stir in ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, a little cinnamon, and a little stevia to taste.

7. Veggie chips 

While they may look like vegetables, veggie chips are often deep fried in vegetable oils, including potentially GMO soybean oil. They are usually high in fat, calories, and salt.

Try this instead: Raw, dried kale chips, or even organic brown rice crackers, which are easier to find.

8. Soy nuts

Many people believe these fried or dry roasted soybeans are a healthy alternative to nuts. Unfortunately, soy is very likely to be genetically modified.  Genetically modified soy accounts for 91 percent of the soy crops planted in the United States. You can read more about my major concerns about genetically modified foods in this blog post.

Soy also contains estrogenic compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. According to Environmental Health News, these estrogenic compounds may be harmful to female fertility and reproductive development.

Try this instead: If you’re looking for crunch, sunflower seeds are great.

9. Yogurt covered raisins or pretzels

These sweet treats are high in sugar and calories. They also contain dairy, which we discussed above. The pretzels also contain gluten.

Try this instead: A little bit of organic sulfur-free dried fruit would be a better choice- such as dried papaya.

10. Trail mix

Trail mix often contains milk chocolate, peanuts, and sulfur-containing dried fruits. It may be high in calories and fat. Likewise, peanuts often contain dangerous molds called aflatoxins. According to the Cornell University, aflatoxins are potent carcinogens.

Try this instead: Make your own healthy trail mix with organic raisins or Goji berries and almonds and sunflower seeds.



Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Marcie

    Thanks for the quick and easy read! It was a wonderful reminder when busy and on-the-go =)

  • Edith Perera

    Dear Kimberly,

    Thank you sooooo much for all your fantastic posts. They are soo useful, thanky again.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Edith,
      You are welcy! ha ha :)

  • Charlie

    I wanted to ask one question! I do not consume dairy as it makes me very ill, so since I was young I have used soya on my porridge and in tea etc. I always have Alpro soya milk, which is not from modified soya beans. But one thing that I seem to keep hearing is soya is not good for you at all, is this true?? I do drink almond milk sometimes, but love soya.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Charlie! See my earlier comment on soy, and also read the more detailed discussion on soy in The Beauty Detox Solution. I used to like the taste of soy milk, but now I love and pretty much exclusively drink the raw almond milk I make every few days. Almond milk has so many great benefits, and without the controversial, adverse properties associated with soy, and processed soy products like soy milk. xx

      • Charlie

        Thank you for replying!! I buy my almond milk as cannot afford a blender yet!! So not benefiting from you smoothies either, shame you do not do a contest to win a blender and your book here in the uk!
        But have to say I am enjoying almond milk on my quinoa in the morning, and to add some taste I have been throwing a few blueberries in while cooking it and then when served a dash of cinnamon on top!! Yummy!!

  • Denitsa

    I can only be happy I am not eating any of the unhealthy snacks listed above thanks Kimberly for another wonderful blog post

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Great for you Denitsa!

  • Melissa Armstrong

    Dear Kimberly,

    Your work book is perfect for this day and time as well as your blogs, offering service in such a kind and healthy fashion. I enjoy you sharing your positive outstanding successful character with a presence being so beautiful. Contours of giving forms love to every thing I see you do; to your new smoothie bar, to your yoga work on TV, standing on your head and especially to the every day choices people make with your help.

    Thank you for all the help you have given me.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thank you so much Melissa, for reaching out to me.

      I really appreciate hearing from you! I am so happy to hear that this information has benefited you, as it has also benefited me. Please keep up the great work in taking good care of yourself. Keep in touch, we are connected on this path!
      Love, Kimberly

  • Kugel

    Not sure why you have listed Mary’s Gone Crackers as a safe snack. They contain some Soy.

    Soy is not on my list to have and what is your take on this.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Kugel,
      Mary’s Gone Crackers contains soy in the form of fermented organic gluten free tamari, which is something I too use sometimes in certain recipes.
      Fermented forms of soy are easier to digest, and the fermentation process helps deactivate soy’s harmful properties.


    Great article !! I will like to know if the Silk Yogurt is as well a good alternative to the dairy yogurt. PLease let me know :) Thanks a lot !

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thank you Valerie!
      I prefer the coconut milk yogurts over the Silk soy yogurts, because I avoid unfermented soy. xx

  • Kimberly Snyder

    Thanks Marcie for reaching out!

  • Hannah

    Hi Kim,
    I was wondering what your thoughts were on ghee?
    I’m very confused on it. As a general rule, I don’t eat animal products, but I’ve heard so much positive stuff about cooking with ghee. Help?


  • Kathy

    Often when i eat dried fruit, especially dried papaya, my stomach bloats a few hours later. I eat it on an empty stomach to avoid improper food pairing. What am i doing wrong? Can dried fruit be eaten frequently or do you suggest a limitation?

    To my understanding, protein, such as nuts, should eaten after vegetables. You suggest nuts on top of salad as substitute for croutons. Does most of the salad have to be eaten before the nuts? Can this be enjoyed at lunch as well (being that would mean eating protein not at the end of the day). I love hemp seeds and chia seeds, is this ok as regards proper food combination?

  • Bronte

    Hey kimberly, :)
    I try to eat as little dairy as I can….even though im only in grade 7 and my family gets cow milk….my parents agree to get me organic soy milk….is that safe???

    • post

      She will most likely mention almond milk instead.

  • Christian Arsenault

    Those Mary’s in a kale salad are just more delicious!

  • Richard Tong

    In a family gathering last new year a brother in-law brought out a green smoothie from the fridge and said that he gets his daily veggie supply from that drink and have me taste it in secret. I got curious and started to search the facts about it and stumbled on your book “Beauty Detox” it’s a girly title for a techie guy like me but bought it and read it for my daughter who is now 15 and is having pimple break outs.
    To my surprise, after reading your book I now know that I have stumbled upon a life changing book of knowledge. Though I am now an IT Consultant, I finished one year in Nursing and have finished practice in the hospital on all wards and also passed my Nutrition class. I did not learn what you wrote in your book in that class.

    I am now 50 years old but am very active and still can play a younger kid in racquetball and win some. Lately I have been struggling to have enough energy in the afternoon. I pray, that I do not have meetings in the afternoon because I could hardly keep my eyes open after my lunch. Thanks to your book I am now able to get through the afternoon with a lot of energy and I don’t look for coffee first thing in the morning. Your book is a must read nutrition 101.

    Other than my eBook, I bought 3 printed copies of your book to give away to the people I love and care about. How I wish they would see the value of the health they can achieve with your book. I also love your blogs since they are very informative and educational. My daughter is now in second year high school and is still trying to decide her career. She is very talented and a scholar. She could be a Valedictorian if she continues her current path. I told her she could be like you since she loves to experiment in the kitchen.

    Continue your passion for health, and I thank God for you and for helping me regain my health back.

  • Caitlin

    Hi Kimberly,
    I see you recommend almond milk a lot; I am allergic to almonds, what is an alternative that I can use?

    • http://thisamericangirl.com This American Girl

      Hi Caitlin. Are you allergic to coconuts as well? You can make your own coconut milk easily if you access to local fresh coconuts, but if you don’t live in the tropics you can take unsweetened dried organic coconut flakes and blend them with some water then strain them through a cheesecloth for your own homemade coconut milk. You can even mix it with some kefir grains and make your own homemade coconut milk yogurt without additives. Basically all of the nutmilks you can find in the store have additives because they perish so quickly.

  • theora manning

    hi Kimberly

    im 11 years old and I tried your tips meals snacks etc. and I droped 4 pounds in 2 in a half month!

  • Myles Shipley

    Oats are grown in temperate regions. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals, such as wheat, rye or barley, so are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe; they are even being grown in Iceland to help prolong the growing season.::`.

  • Kath Moltoni

    Is oat milk okay to use?

  • Jennifer

    Hi Kimberly, I saw an earlier comment asking about ghee but didn’t yet see an answer. I try to avoid dairy as much as possible, but have also heard that organic ghee has many benefits for the skin and digestive system, and that it is a huge part of the Ayurvedic lifestyle. What is your take on this?