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Eat this, not that: Healthy snack foods that really aren't

Oct 19, 2011, 6:27 p.m.

Granola bars

These snack bars may sound like a wholesome treat, but they’re packed with fats, sugars and preservatives, and they lack any nutritional value.

Eat this instead: Make your own homemade trail mix with a handful of mixed, unsalted nuts and dried fruit—a heart-healthy, protein-packed, fiber-filled alternative.

Yogurt

Varieties made from whole milk are packed with fat, and low-fat options are filled with sugars and artificial sweeteners; “fruit on the bottom” is really just code for sugar-spiked jam.

Eat this instead: Choose fat-free Greek or Icelandic plain yogurt and add your own natural sweetener (like a dollop of honey) and fresh fruit.

Muffins

Even bran muffins are diet-bombs loaded with calories; a Starbucks bran muffin comes in at 350 calories with nine grams of fat.

Eat this instead: Toast up a whole wheat English muffin with a dollop of peanut butter; the protein and fiber will keep you full and satisfied longer.

Smoothies

There’s nothing healthy about these sugar-packed drinks; some have as many calories as a milkshake and don’t even contain real fruit. A 30-ounce Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo'd Power Smoothie contains 1,170 calories and 169 grams of sugar.

Drink this instead: Blend your own with whole fruit and fat-free yogurt.

When you live a life on the go, these foods may seem like a healthier alternative to fast-food pit stops, but by taking time to prepare these snacks at home, you're saving both calories and your waistline.

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