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    Archive for the ‘soy crisps’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Tofu Concerns

    iron-source-edamame-soybeans-lgI am a vegetarian and eat tofu, but I am hearing two things about tofu that are bothering me.

    1) Tofu has large amounts of antibiotics or other additives dangerous to the human body.

    2) In order to make tofu and fulfill the global need for tofu, the Brazilians have undertaken an incredible rate of slash and burn to clear fields to make way for planting of soybeans.

    What are your thoughts?

    — Barlow Humphreys
    Westchester, NY

    1) Tofu does not contain antibiotics.

    The use of antibiotics only comes into play with animals that have them mixed into their feed.

    Non-organic tofu contains pesticides, but there are no “dangerous additives” in soy products.

    2) Brazil is one of the world’s top producers of soy.

    It is certainly true that the increased demand for soy (along with corporate-owned genetically modified soy crops that can practically grow anywhere) have led to a staggering amount of deforestation there.

    That said (and please do not take this to mean I am dismissing that as unimportant) — meat production takes an even larger toll on the environment, as it requires the use of more land, significantly more water usage, and creates a larger amount of waste.

    One way to “pitch in”, from an environmental standpoint, is to purchase soy products made exclusively from soybeans that are not genetically modified, since non-GMO soybeans are usually grown more responsibly.

    Although over 90 percent of the world’s soybeans are genetically modified, most of those are used to make soy by-products (ie: soybean oil, soy protein isolate) used in processed food.

    When it comes to soy products, I recommend prioritizing tempeh (fermented soy) and edamame (picture alongside this post), as these are the most nutritious and less processed varieties.

    Next on the list are tofu and soy-based dairy products.

    Processed foods made largely with soy protein isolates (ie: soy chips, soy bars, soy burgers, soy protein powders) should be considered “occasional treats”.

    Soy can only be considered a health food when it is consumed in a minimally processed form.  A sprinkle of soy dust on a corn chip is hype, not health.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Snap Pea Crisps

    Recent public interest in nutrition and an increased demand for convenient snacks has led to an array of products looking to successfully combine both in a tasty package.

    Some, like Crispy Delites have pulled this off quite well by dehydrating vegetables and adding just a pinch of oil and salt.

    The result is a low-calorie snack that skimps on the fat but offers a fair amount of potassium and other naturally-occurring nutrients.

    Snapea Crisps, however, leave quite a bit to be desired.

    You wouldn’t be inclined to think badly of these crisps based on the advertising.

    “SnapeaCrisps deliver the pea’s natural nutrients in their entirety,” reads the product’s website.

    The company is named SnackSalad, purposefully associating in-between-meals munching with a food commonly perceived as healthy and nutritious.

    Additionally, the word “baked” is prominently featured on the package.

    The website even relies on food history to build up their product.

    “Peas have been an important part of the human diet for approximately 8,000 years,” they say.

    What they forget to mention is that peas have not been available in a bag and consumed in chip form for the past 7,985 years.

    A one-ounce serving of this snack contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.

    An ounce of Lay’s regular potato chips? 150 calories and 10 grams of fat.

    Am I missing something?

    If you’re looking for a salty snack truly packed with nutrition, boil some frozen edamame in a pot, sprinkle salt on top, and munch away. It’s certainly a quick, easy, no mess, low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber, high-protein treats!

    A half cup of it, by the way, delivers 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.

    If it’s a matter of chips or death, I suggest reaching for a tasty and satisfying 100-calorie bag of Kettle Bakes.

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    Sweets for the Heart

    Even the healthiest of eaters have a hard time compromising a sweet craving with nutrition and, most importantly, taste.

    A sugar-free Atkins bar is not a comparable replacement to real chocolate (which, even when made with 70% cocoa, needs sugar to taste good).

    Similarly, fat-free ice cream is a tasteless, watery concoction unworthy of the “ice cream” moniker.

    So where does one turn? Well, if you’re a caramel fiend like myself, look no further than Glenny’s Caramel “sweetheart” Soy Crisps.

    Although they are advertised as heart-shaped, that romantic notion appears to have gone out the door, as all the crisps are a more standard round shape.

    Each 1.3 ounce bag packs a mere 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 4 grams (1.3 teaspoons) of added sugar (no artificial sweeteners here!).

    Even better? They are completely free of saturated and trans fats!

    As an extra bonus, you get 3 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein.

    That’s what I call a sweet deal.

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