by Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD
Last year I published a post about Snapea Crisps entitled, Food Labeling Lies: Are Snapea Crisps Healthy? Interestingly, it has been one of my most popular posts. Since Calbee—the company that created Snapea Crisps—has made some changes, I wanted to post an update on the product.
Calbee has changed their packaging, their website, and the amount of fat, carbohydrate, and sodium their product contains. They also came out with different flavors for Snapea Crisps such as Caesar, Black Pepper, and Wasabi Ranch. And they now have Lentil Snaps.
But does that make Snapea Crisps healthier? The short answer is no. Here’s why.
Snapea Crisps now have:
- 120 calories per ounce instead of 150
- 6 grams of fat instead of 8
- 80 mg of sodium instead of 125
- 15 grams of carbohydrate instead of 14
But, they are still ground up peas, ground up white rice, corn oil, and salt formed into a pea shape and baked and not puffed peas. The bottom line is this product is still a highly processed food! The kind we need to eat less of or avoid entirely. Their website now says, “Inside every bag of Harvest Snaps we combine taste, quality and simplicity.” I would hardly call their complicated creation “simple!” And they certainly are not my idea of “…snacking the way it should be,” as their site claims.
Instead, sticking with real and preferably organic foods in their whole form is still your optimal choice for snacks.
Sugar snap peas are a great option. Other snack ideas include:
- Sugar plum or sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
- Baby carrots
- Sliced jicama
- Sliced red pepper
- Frozen grapes
- Watermelon with a squeeze of lime juice
- Blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries with a little balsamic glaze
- Unsweetened applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon and walnuts
- Sliced bananas sprinkled with nuts and then frozen
- Dried apricots, pears, or apples
- Any veggie with hummus
All of these options are full of nutrients and fiber. And they are not addictive like processed snack foods so you can more easily stop eating them. On the other hand, Snapea Crisps have the right amount of salt and crunch to keep you going back for more, potentially eating the entire bag! It is also easy to overeat Snapea Crisps because they have what Michael Moss, in his New York Times article, calls “vanishing caloric density”. In other words, they melt in your mouth. Foods that do this, like Snapea Crisps or Cheetos, do not make you feel full. This is the reason I, and most of you, can eat the entire bag with its 420 calories and not feel full.
Are they free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms)? Their site says, “Our non-GMO crops are grown and harvested in rich Canadian soils that stretch across the regions of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.” Yet in an email, they told me they test their product periodically (since most corn oil is GMO) and that, “We feel that the presence would be minimal.” So I can’t confirm that they are, in fact, free of GMOs.
Even with the changes to the product, my original advice still stands. Drop the Snapea Crisps and eat real food instead!
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Copyright © 2013 Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD. All rights reserved.