By Nutritionist and Health Editor Melissa Fine.
While most trail mixes tend to look healthy thanks to their nut and seed content, some have several sneaky ingredients added in, the result being a trail mix that’s more along the lines of confectionery.
Want your trail mix to be a healthy one? Our resident Nutritionist Melissa Fine tells us four things you’ll find – or won’t find – in a good-for-you trail mix.
1) Nuts and seeds as the main ingredient: Ingredients on a food label are presented in descending order, so if you don’t see nuts or seeds in the first few ingredients of your trail mix, it’s not the healthiest option. Nuts and seeds are the perfect snack, giving you a good dose of satiating healthy fats and some blood-sugar-stabilising protein to tide you over until dinner, like in Brookfarm’s Brothers Blend; Just a 25 g serve (or a rough handful) gives you 5 g of protein, not to mention nutrients like fibre, energising B vitamins and from almonds, antioxidant-rich vitamin E. I like a trail mix filled with a range of different nuts and seeds for a variety of nutrients, textures and colours – We ‘eat’ with our eyes too!
2 Minimal sugar: A more wholesome trail mix will have just a touch of sweetness, or no sugar added at all. Nuts like creamy macadamias and hazelnuts are naturally subtly sweet, so there’s no need to bulk up a trail mix with sugar-coated dried fruit, ‘yoghurt’-covered sultanas and milk chocolate chips. Ingredients like these defeat the purpose of a trail mix being healthy, bumping up its sugar content and your blood sugar levels…Before bringing them back down again; This might be why your trail mix doesn’t tide you over until dinner, or why you end up eating the whole bag in the course of a day. And while there’s nothing wrong with a bit of dried fruit every now and then, too much of it can upset your stomach and wreak havoc on your teeth.
Looking for a low sugar trail mix? Try Brookfarm’s Brothers Blend; Fruit free and with just a touch of maple syrup, a 25 g serve has only 1.4 g of sugar, versus 8 g of sugar in the equivalent amount of a supermarket trail mix.
3) No ingredients that you wouldn’t keep in your pantry or fridge: Numbered preservatives in fine print and high fructose corn syrup (the worst of all the sugars) are good examples, and are ingredients you’ll commonly find in more commercial trail mixes produced on a larger scale.
4) A bag that’s not too big: Even healthy trail mixes are moreish, so one that’s sensible in size can prevent you from overeating come your mid-morning snack. I like that Brookfarm’s trail mixes come in 35 g packets to help you practice portion control.
Images from www.brookfarm.com.au
BROOKFARM™: BROTHERS BLEND: Brookfarm’s Entertainer Brothers Blend is a new exotic blend of premium roasted nuts for an irresistible snack mix! Developed by brothers Will and Eddie Brook – Brothers Blend raises the bar on the humble nut mix. The perfect healthy snack for entertaining, this premium mix combines the finest Australian almonds, pistachios, pecans and macadamias with delicious crunchy hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower kernels. With a touch of pure sea salt and the finest maple syrup, Brothers Blend is peanut and gluten free. Website | Instagram