News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
WHAT IS A HEALTHY SNACK? The point is nutrient density, not the number of calories in a bar
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Next we asked our panel members: What’s a healthy snack?
SHANE EMMETT, Health Warrior: The point is nutrient density, not the number of calories in a bar. But if you have a 100 calorie snack that has chia seeds as the first ingredient as opposed to sugar, you can eat far fewer calories because you’re getting more nutrition.
Is 100 calories enough for a snack? I weigh 220lbs and a 100-calorie chia bar will easily tide me over for a couple of hours, so if I don’t need a 300 calorie bar with 30g of sugar, probably most other people don’t either.
SEAN KELLY, H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Markets (pictured): No matter how you answer the question, ‘What is healthy?’ you get in trouble with somebody, as WE all have different definitions. But we're not just selling to Whole Foods Moms. We look at the population we serve and try to focus on making progress.
We’re trying to get people to eat fewer refined carbohydrates, chemicals, preservatives. It's about minimizing sugar and not being scared of fat. If a snack also has significant amount of protein and fiber, that’s all good. But we're not trying to act like Big Brother. If people are eating Flamin Cheetos and Coca-Cola for breakfast, getting them to eat kale chips and unsalted almonds isn’t going to work; you have to encourage them to take steps in the right direction.
JON SEBASTIANI, KRAVE: What we’ve seen in the last 4-5 years is this tremendous appetite for healthy snacking. 10 years ago jerky was largely viewed as a convenience store snack riddled with high levels of sodium, nitrates and artificial flavors, but if you strip away those ingredients and make it in an all-natural way, jerky is as healthy or healthier than a serving of Chobani Greek yogurt or a Clif bar or Pop Chips.