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BetterFoods Trail Mix Review: Is It Healthy?

Trail Mix

It can be hard to come up with snacks that take quick to prepare, are easy to eat, will fill you up, and above all, will be a healthy snack choice. Carrot sticks are great, but when you’re rushing out in the morning, you may not have time to peel and slice the carrots. Raw fruits are healthy too, but they can be messy, so are not ideal for the office (unless you have time to cut them into a fruit salad). Potato chips and other packaged snacks are unhealthy, and they won’t keep you full, either. So what kind of snack do we have in mind?

A trail mix, of course! But not just any trail mix. It’s very easy to take a trail mix from being healthy and full of energy-boosting ingredients to being unhealthy and full of calories. It all depends on what you put into that mix. And that’s why we’re here to tell you what to include, what to avoid, and above all, introduce you to trail mixes from one of our favorite companies: BetterFoods.

Top Ingredients To Avoid In Trail Mix

As we said above, a trail mix makes for the perfect energy-boosting, healthy, on-the-go snack. But unfortunately, some trail mixes can include ingredients that are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and empty calories. These are exactly the sort of things we want to be avoiding.

Pretzels

yogurt covered pretzels

With a lack of protein, pretzels fall short as a healthy snack.

These are popular in trail mixes, and I honestly have no idea why. You keep eating them because they are always there. You will then need to keep on refilling until the whole bag is finished. But after you’ve eaten the whole bag, you’re still hungry, because the amount of protein in pretzels is none too impressive.

Pretzels are also loaded with sodium, which can raise your blood pressure, having negative effects on your heart health. They’re often made from white flour, which offers very little in the way of nutrition. All in all, not a snack that anybody should be eating on a regular basis.

M&M’s

m&ms

There are much healthier ways to eat chocolate.

I love chocolate, especially milk chocolate, so I can understand the desire to include these in your trail mix. But honestly, if you’re eating a trail mix in order to make a healthier food choice, then sadly, M&M’s are out. As with everything, they’re okay every once in a while, but eating them every day is not a good idea.

Firstly, there’s the bright-colored coating on the outside of the lentils. These coatings are full of artificial dyes, which can cause hyperactivity, especially in children, and may even lead to cancer.

Of course, there’s also all that refined sugar, which increases the risk of developing serious conditions and diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Not to mention obesity – a single serving of M&M’s contains a whopping 240 calories!

And don’t think the other ingredients are any better. M&M’s contain large amounts of soy lecithin, which is what keeps the candy together. However, in large amounts, soy lecithin can have negative effects on hormones. This could lead to fertility issues, sexual dysfunction in men, and breast cancer in women.

Crushed Oreo Cookies

orea next to oreo milkshake

Oreo’s are never a good snack choice.

I have to admit, I’m one of the few people in the world who actually dislikes Oreo cookies. (Yes, it’s strange, I know.) But personal issues with the cookies aside, they really aren’t a good snack choice for any of us, whether you love them or not.

The first ingredient found in Oreos is sugar. The second ingredient found in Oreos is unbleached enriched flour. Does that tell you anything about the nutrition of the cookies? There is so much sugar in those things, they’re a dentist’s nightmare (or dream come true, depending on which way you look at it). Besides tooth decay, excess sugar is also linked with obesity. It can lead to various cancers and heart disease.

And don’t think that enriched flour is good for you. Sure, it’s better than bleached white flour, true. But the nutrients in it are still synthetic and are therefore treated differently by the body than nutrients from whole, natural foods like fruits and veggies. And because it’s flour, it’s still full of calories and not a good idea for those who are watching their weight.

Mini Marshmallows

marshmallows in bowl

These little marshmallows pack a huge sugar punch.

One regular marshmallow has about a teaspoon of sugar. Since mini marshmallows are about a quarter of the size, they have about a ¼ teaspoon of sugar each – which is ludicrous if you think about how tiny they are, and how easy it is to wolf down a few dozen. If you’re looking for a healthy option for your trail mix, mini marshmallows are definitely not the way to go.

Potato Chips

potato chips

A bowl of empty calories.

Like pretzels, potato chips are one of those things that are all-too-easy to get carried away with eating. They’re also one of the most popular forms of ‘empty calories’ – foods that don’t fill you up at all, have very little to boast of in the way of nutrition, but can pack on those calories fast. In fact, a one-ounce serving of potato chips, or about 15-20 chips (and we all know how fast it takes to eat that many) contains approximately 154 calories – about 8 percent of the average 2000 calories you should be eating per day to maintain your weight.

Of course, they are also full of sodium, containing between 120 and 180 mg per ounce – about 12 percent of the ideal sodium intake for the day (1500 mg)! Even if you aren’t careful to watch your sodium intake, these numbers should scare you. It’s easy to polish of potato chips by the handful – but the effects can be hazardous to your health.

Top Ingredients To Look For In Trail Mix

After stating all the no-no’s (or a few of them, anyway), we can’t forget about the ingredients that actually should be in a trail mix. Trail mixes are famous for being healthy snack options, and there’s a good reason for that: they can be! But in order to get that stamp of approval, they need to be filled with healthy, good-for-you ingredients – the opposite of those mentioned above.

Cashews

cashews

Cashews are full of healthy fat.

Easy to eat and full of healthy fat, cashews are one of my favorite nuts. They’re especially healthy when they’re unsalted, and provide your body with magnesium, iron, copper, and lots of antioxidants. They are free from cholesterol and are great for your heart health. They’re also known for helping to prevent gallstones, and are a good idea in an anti-cancer diet, due to their high antioxidant levels.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are full of zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin E.

Another one of my favorites, Brazil nuts, adds bulk to your trail mix and provides nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin E, among others. The nuts are also the best-known natural source for the mineral selenium, which is important for your body’s reproductive system, as well as your thyroid health.

Brazil nuts are a source of calcium, which your body needs for healthy bones and teeth. You need calcium for your heart health and muscle contractions, and it helps with blood clotting.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are a classic trail mix ingredient, and they add a touch of sweetness which turns the snack into a treat. They are, in a way, even better for you than raw fruits, because they are more nutrient-dense. When buying dried fruit for your trail mix, be sure to purchase ones that don’t include added sugar. Fruit is naturally sweet, and the additional sugar is not necessary! Goji berries, dried apples, and dried mango are a few of my choice dried fruits to add to a trail mix, but dried apricots, golden berries, and any other dried fruits you can think of will all work well.

Seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fiber.

Seeds are one of those things that pretty much everyone loves to snack on. Pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds are some of the best options for a trail mix, especially when they’ve been roasted. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fiber and protein, and are a nutrient powerhouse, with Vitamin K, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron and copper all present in large amounts.

Chia seeds, famous for being low-calorie and packing a nutritious punch, are also full of minerals like manganese and magnesium. They are also a great source of calcium. And sunflower seeds provide your body with Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, as well as B complex vitamins, which aid the nervous system.

Better Foods Trail Mix Explained

Bag of raw superfoods trail mix.

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix.

The folks over at Better Foods believe that a trail mix doesn’t have to be loaded with sugar and salt in order to taste great. Their motto is “Healthy snacking has never been more delicious.” Their trail mixes contain all-natural berries, seeds, nuts, and raisins. Better Foods produces four types of trail mixes, as well as mixed nuts and salad toppers.

Better Foods Trail Mix Flavor Breakdown And Review

“All Natural Goodness. No Preservatives. Highly Addicting.” These are the statements that stare you in the face when you visit the Better Foods website. And as we walk you through their different trail mixes, don’t be surprised if you find yourself agreeing to these sentiments.

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix – The Works

BetterFoods Trail Mix The Works

The Works

When they say the works, they mean the works! This trail mix includes a mix of organic berries – goji, golden and white mulberries – as well as brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, raisins, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. There’s a little bit (or a lot) of everything you could want – seeds, dried fruits, nuts – and it’s more than filling enough to tide you over till your next meal.

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix – Nuts And Berries

Nuts and Berries

Nuts and Berries

It’s all in the name, girl. This trail mix heroes berries, like goji berries, golden berries, and white mulberries, as well as nuts, like brazil nuts, cashews, and walnuts. If you like sweet and crunchy mixes, this is the mix to go for! Full of antioxidants, omega-3s, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and lots of other nutrients, this trail mix will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Raw Superfoods Raisins Free Trail Mix – Tropical Power Blend

I know that there are plenty of people out there who dislike raisins. I guess Better Foods knows that, too – because they have a trail mix that’s free of raisins. It’s also got half the amount of sugar when compared with Better Foods other trail mixes. What it’s not free of, though, is all the good, healthy stuff that we love in a trail mix – things like berries, nuts, and seeds, as well as unsweetened coconut chips for added fiber and protein. Yum!

Raw Superfoods Trail Mix – Chocolate Nibs Mix

Chocolate Nibs Mix

Chocolate Nibs Mix

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m positively crazy about chocolate – which can be difficult when you’re trying to watch your weight, and keep your body healthy, as some types of chocolate can have a lot of added sugar and milk. Luckily though, dark chocolate, which is made from at least 70 percent cocoa, is actually good for you. It’s full of antioxidants and is great for your heart health.

If you’re also a lover of all things chocolate, then you’ll adore this trail mix by Better Foods! Besides their regular ingredients, this mix also contains dark chocolate-covered cacao nibs. Their dark chocolate has a 70 percent cocoa content and is sweetened with a natural syrup from yacon roots.

This makes it low-calorie and all-natural, as well as suitable for diabetics because yacon syrup does not cause spikes in blood sugar. Better Foods chocolate has a glycaemic index of 1, in comparison to regular 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate, which has a glycaemic index of 23, and milk chocolate, whose glycaemic index can reach 49. This mix also includes almonds, which are an especially good source of magnesium and Vitamin E.

Healthiest Trail Mix Recipe And Guide

While we love Better Foods trail mixes, it can be costly to buy them on a regular basis, which is why it’s always a good idea to have a recipe of your own up your sleeve. This recipe is great because it incorporates all the things that make up a great trail mix. It has nuts, seeds, dried fruits and more. It’s full of nutrition and deliciousness. Based on the recipe from thehealthymaven.com.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup toasted pecans
  • ¾ cup toasted cashews
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dried apple pieces
  • ½ cup dried mango pieces
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg

Method

  1. To toast the nuts, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuts mixture in a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. If you like, you can spray with a bit of oil, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
  2. Bake nuts for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown, shaking the pan a couple of times throughout so the nuts get an even toast.
  3. Remove the nuts from the pan to cool. They will continue to get slightly browner as they cool down.
  4. Combine all ingredients, including cooled roasted nuts, in a jar or Ziploc bag, and shake well.

You can keep this trail mix for about a month. You can store it on a pantry shelf or in the fridge. It makes quite a bit, so it should provide you with plenty of healthy snacking!

Conclusion

You can make trail mixes from the comfort of your own home. they are ideal for in between meals. If you’re the kind of person who likes to buy your food (or maybe it just feels like more of a treat if someone else makes it?), then Better Foods trail mixes are a great option for healthy, all-natural and balanced snacks. With a little bit of everything we love and nothing of the things we don’t, you can be assured you’re in safe hands when you choose Better Foods!

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