Spring has arrived and many of our favorite brands have released new, limited-time products suitable for the season. Whether you’re looking for the perfect picnic gift or are just thrilled with the blooming spring offerings that are coming to you, be sure to read the label as many new releases are anything but tasty for our health.
After a long winter, the shelves are stocked and new items have come out of hibernation. Here’s what to get and what to give up at the supermarket according to ours Eat this, not that! Medical Expert Council Members Lisa Young, PhD, RDN the author of Finally Complete, Finally Subtleprivate practice nutritionist and adjunct professor of nutrition at NYU and Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN.
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For 2 tablespoons (30 g): 160 calories, 9g fat, 75mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 18g sugar, 2g protein
Unsurprisingly, a cinnamon spread designed from a surgical sweet cereal doesn’t top the charts for our healthful picks. Made to “deliver the epic taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals with notes of brown sugar and gram flavor”, this spread can be used to complement sandwiches, snacks or in baking.
Made with only brown sugar, canola oil, skim milk, palm oil, cinnamon, soy lecithin, along with natural flavors, this cream has surprisingly little to offer, according to our experts. “This is pure sugar and fat,” Young says. “I would pass it or keep a 1 tbsp portion.”
If you opt for a dessert solution, try a spoon spread on apples. But be careful, a little goes a long way.
Per can: 93 calories, 5.8 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of sugar, 5% alcohol
Although alcohol is always best consumed moderately when considering one’s health, our experts agree that this Yes Way Rose Spritz Blueberry and Lavender drink looks better than most of its competitors.
With a low sugar count for a spritz and a great combination of flavors, this drink could be managed with a healthy diet when consumed responsibly. Shapiro notes to remind that “the recommendation is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men”. No more than that and this drink is no longer a good choice for your health.
For 2 “cups”: 150 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 85mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 3g protein
While still considered a “delicacy,” these lean soaked peanut butter cups are great for those looking to get their peanut butter fix, without going overboard, according to Young. The 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber help balance macronutrients and it has “less added sugar, total sugar and carbohydrates than competing brands like Reese’s,” said Shapiro.
For many dieters, being too restrictive goes against long-term success because they end up bingeing on “off limits” foods. With these lean soaked peanut butter cups, those looking to count calories or make better choices can enjoy some of their favorite “bad” foods without giving up completely. Don’t eat the whole bag at once, though!
For ¼ cup: 150 calories, 8g fat (0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 15mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 0g sugar, 5g protein
If you’re looking for a snack that won’t ruin your diet, Pink Himalayan Salt Seapoint Farms Mighty Lil ‘Crunchy Corn is a great option! According to our experts, this healthier snack contains a lot of fiber for a quick take-and-take option.
Shapiro says a good trick for deciding on a snack is to read the label to see the ingredients list. With just three in the Mighty Lil ‘Crunchy Corn, it’s more likely to be a good bet combined with 5 grams of plant-based protein and fiber to keep you satiated.
Our vote is “yes!” to these Mighty Lil ‘Crunchy Corn snacks, which are a good choice “over simple carbohydrate snacks like pretzels and goldfish,” says Shapiro.
For 28 Popper: 130 calories, 6g fat (0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 190mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 3g protein
Whether the LesserEvil Sun Poppers Vegan Sour Cream + Onion is actually a lesser evil than your typical snack is up for debate. Young says the vegan treat has too many unhealthy ingredients and encourages snacks to skip it. “I’d pass this on unless you love the flavor. It is fiber free, it contains tapioca starch and is still considered an ultra-processed food,” he advises.
Shapiro, however, thinks some of the ingredients are worth replacing standard potato chips. These Sun Poppers include avocado oil, which she says is a “great inflammatory”, as well as cassava flour, which is a “wonderful source of gluten-free carbohydrates.” Shapiro cautions that while 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein aren’t ideal, it’s “better than nothing for a salty snack!”
For 1 cup: 140 calories, 7g fat (0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 210mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 13g protein
Magic Spoon bills itself as a healthy adult cereal alternative to sugary brands. Their new Honey Nut Cereal Alternative to Cheerios is better than the original but still not the best breakfast choice, according to our experts.
Young says the brand may not be suitable for certain populations prone to gastrointestinal disorders or those who avoid dairy products (whey is the first ingredient). The synthetic fiber in alulose / monk fruit which is a major sugar substitute ingredient in cereals should also be considered for buyers. While the ingredients may be a problem for some, however, it does provide a breakfast with a whopping 13 grams of protein and is less fat than traditional grains.
Although the protein ratio may be high, Shapiro’s concern lies in the lack of fiber. “Although it is high in protein (from milk proteins), this cereal would not be my first choice as it contains virtually no fiber thanks to the tapioca starch,” he said.
For 1 patty: 250 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 390mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, <1g sugar, 21g protein
For those who eat meat, many meat-free products have been released, but not all of them have been created equal on the health front. For many of these products, the goal is to taste like meat rather than be healthier than it.
Fresh Brand’s plant-based meatballs are both a hit and miss with our experts, who have stated that the meatballs are high in fat. While they can be a good alternative for vegans or vegetarians who are looking to increase their protein intake, Shapiro says there’s little else to support it.
“These meatballs contain pea protein which is a good source of protein,” says Shapiro. “However, thanks to coconut, it contains saturated fat and virtually no fiber.”
For 4 meatballs: 200 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 550mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, <1g sugar, 17g protein
Similar to Fresh Brand’s meatballs, these meatballs can be a good substitute for meatless eaters looking to indulge in something similar without consuming animal products.
Shapiro says meatballs alternatives have a great source of pea protein, which is a good way to get protein outside of meat. With 17 grams of protein per serving, it’s packed too! However, just like Fresh Brand’s vegetable meatballs, these Italian meatballs contain a large serving of fat, “probably due to the inclusion of sunflower and coconut oil,” so those looking for a solution to their meat cravings shouldn’t. make these substitutions part of their regular diet.
For 1 cup: 60 calories, 2.5g fat (0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 140mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, <1g fiber, 7g sugar, 1g protein
For many of us who avoid dairy, almond milk has been a lifesaver. It’s important to remember, however, that not all milk substitutions are the same or healthier than the products they mimic. According to our experts, the new Original Almond Milk Fresh Brand has too few good elements to compete with the rest of the almond milk varieties.
Shapiro says that while the brand does a good job of including vitamin D fortification as a way to strengthen bones in non-dairy milks, she’s not a fan of the gums and binders in the product that can cause gastrointestinal upset as well as excessive amounts of sugar.
Young believes there are other better brands of almond milk and this version qualifies as a definite “jump”. With sugar as the second ingredient on the package, it’s neither healthy nor a good alternative to milk.
For 1 cup: 90 calories, 2g fat (50g saturated fat, 0g trans fat), 500mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 5g sugar, 10g protein
This Beyond Meat Jerky Original isn’t a snack worth snacking on, according to our expert Shapiro. With plenty of extra sodium (500mg for a 90-calorie snack only), this Beyond snack substitute isn’t for the healthy.
In addition to being saturated with extra sodium, Beyond Meat Jerky Original is highly processed, something you’ll want to avoid in grocery store aisles. While Shapiro mentioned that the main ingredient, mung bean, is actually a great source of plant-based protein (at 10 grams), the sodium and laundry ingredient list in this product isn’t worth the trade-off.
While some of these items are the ones to skip, there are other products to avoid on your next shopping trip. According to a new report, these popular food items contain harmful chemicals in their packaging.