You see a package of baked veggie snacks and you think they must be good for you. Not so fast! Food manufacturers call them virtuous and healthy, but they might not be the best choice for you. Of course, the creators are going to say they are good for you because they want you to buy them. However, there are some important things to consider before adding baked veggie snacks to your meal plan. Having all the information about them will help you make the best decision for your diet.
1. Salt Content
Because most baked veggie snacks are marketed as a “healthy” replacement for potato chips, many versions contain a bunch of salt. Too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. While they might be better than a potato chip, you must make sure you balance the salt in your veggie snack with the things you eat for the rest of the day so that you don’t overdo it.
2. They Still Have Calories
A pile of fresh sliced veggies is a great low calorie choice if you want to eat healthy and watch your weight. Turn them into baked snacks and they aren’t so low in calories. One popular version contains 150 calories in just one ounce. Who eats just one ounce? Before you know it, you’ve taken in hundreds of calories. I’m not saying don’t eat the veggie snacks, just be sure you know the calorie damage before you do.
3. Vitamins and Minerals
Unlike eating fresh vegetables, the baked snack version isn’t as high in vitamins and minerals. In fact, one version reports to only have 4 percent of your daily vitamin A needs. While it’s fine to enjoy the baked snacks as an indulgence, you are never going to meet your daily intake needs with them. You’ll have to eat the fresh version too.
4. Vegetables Present
OK, you’d think that a baked veggie snack would contain a bunch of vegetables, right? Unless you call corn or potatoes a vegetable, then you couldn’t be more wrong. While they all have a trace amount of veggie powder, most versions are primarily made up of potato or corn flour. Read the ingredients list to see if you’re getting what you think you are.
5. Low in Fat
One of the good things about baked veggie snacks, when they are compared to other popular snacks is that they are much lower in fat. When you read the nutrition label on some snack foods, you see many grams of fat. This translates to a huge amount of calories. While baked veggie snacks do have calories from fat, they are better than others.
6. Fiber Content
In general, you want to make sure you are getting enough fiber each day because it regulates your digestion and helps lower cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease. Baked veggie snacks aren’t going to contribute much to your fiber intake. Eat them in moderation, but make sure you’re getting plenty of fiber elsewhere.
7. Compared to Veggie Chips
Veggie chips are a tad different than baked veggie snacks. They are fried chips made from sliced vegetables, such as carrots, beets and etc. These also have more fat and calories than your average snack, so be sure you balance them with your other food intake for good overall health.
Do you love baked veggie snacks? Which brand is your favorite?