MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Though the phrase “have your cake and eat it too” might not be 100 percent accurate, a nutritionist says you should be able to find delicious substitutes for your biggest diet-busting snacks.

Nutritionist and weight loss specialist Dr. DelRae Messer says it’s not a matter of giving up what you love, but more so a matter of reading labels carefully.

Messer says if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Instead, go for one of the items she suggests in her “Sub What You Love” list.

Among the snacks you might presume is healthy but is not are those cereal bars, often with fruit-flavored fillings. Messer said the ingredients listed for Nutri-Grain bars include a number of different types of sugar.

“Those are one of those things that are usually glorified candy bars,” said Messer.

Instead, Messer suggested making your own homemade protein bars or protein balls, with walnuts, cranberries, and sunflower seed butter to hold them together. Sunflower seed butter is a great substitution for peanut butter, which Messer said contains hydrogenated oils and sugars.

Another snacking pitfall: juice. Messer said that in addition to containing high sugar levels, most juices take out all the fiber content from the fruits they use.

“Even if it says 100 percent natural fruit juice, if it says added vitamin C, that’s all great and dandy but it’s still going to spike that blood glucose,” she said.

Instead, Messer said flavor your water. She suggested tea or a homemade lemonade with natural lemon juice and Stevia to sweeten it.

Pasta is a quick fix, Messer says. Simply swap it out for brown rice pasta.


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