Smart Snack Foods

Snacking is becoming increasingly common, while the three daily meals routine is on the decline. As snacks take up a larger percentage of Americans’ dietary intake, it’s important for people to choose snack foods that contain beneficial nutrients, including heart-healthy fats. There are plenty of ways to locate good fats – and avoid bad fats –in the snack food aisle. Use these tips to find good fats on the labels of prepackaged foods.

  • Use the ingredients list to identify the primary fat source
  • Look for the words canola oil or sunflower oil on the ingredients list to ensure your food choice is full of good fats
  • Check the nutrition label for low saturated fat and trans fat-free claims
  • An ingredient list that includes partially hydrogenated soybean oil has undergone manufacturing processes that replace good fats with trans fats
  • Look for packaging claims outside the nutrition label that indicate good fats have replaced bad fats, such as “contains x grams of omega-3 fatty acids,” “provides x grams of omega-6 fatty acids” or “made with heart-healthy canola oil”.

Research conducted by Dow AgroSciences, the company that developed Omega-9 Canola Oil, suggests that consumers are beginning to understand the good fats message. Results revealed that consumers are seeking snack foods that contain good fats and are free of bad fats . While this is good news, it’s important to eat all fats in moderation. All fats, even the good fats, have 9 calories per gram. If you eat more calories than you burn off each day, you’ll gain weight.