The One Ingredient That Shouldn't Be In The Trail Mix You're Eating

Trail mix is a popular snack for everyone from children to athletes. Usually made with mixed nuts and dried fruit, trail mix can be a healthy and filling treat. However, it can also be quite unhealthy when certain ingredients are added. According to Eat This, Not That!, you should be wary of trail mixes that contain candy or chocolate. While these ingredients make the snack taste better, they add a hefty dose of sugar and can turn it into a full-blown dessert. You should also avoid trail mixes with chocolate-covered nuts, which have a similar high-sugar effect on the snack food. Try to find products that are mainly comprised of fruit, nuts, and seeds.

In addition to added sugar, you should keep an eye on the sodium content in your trail mix. In both sweet and savory varieties, salt is often added for flavor. After a short period of snacking, that sodium can quickly add up to reach your daily recommended intake of 2300 milligrams. Serving sizes of trail mixes are often small and realistically you'll probably indulge in more than one serving size during a snacking period.

Benefits of trail mix

As long as added sugar and sodium is avoided, trail mix can be a great snack. According to Healthline, trail mix is high in protein because it usually contains ingredients like nuts and seeds. Protein helps to keep us full and is crucial for various bodily functions including muscle growth and tissue repair. Nuts and seeds also contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These can reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation, as well as reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Dried fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber (via Eating Well). If you need a little more sweetness in your trail mix, dark chocolate can be a healthy addition as it is rich in antioxidants. If you're having trouble finding trail mix that isn't packed with salt, sugar, or other unnecessary ingredients, try making your own. Simply combine a mix of your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. This will allow you to create a healthy snack catered toward your tastes. If you want to throw in a handful of dark chocolate or cacao nibs, you'll have control over how much goes in. You can also divide your mix into sensible portion sizes for easy snacking.