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Fruit and nut snacks

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Quick, portable and widely available

Increasingly, more of us are aware of the health consequences of too much sugar and saturated fat in our diet.

As a result, food companies have been quick to produce and market ‘healthier’ snacks.

It seems rarely a week goes by without a new product being added to our supermarket shelves to tempt us, with a whole variety now on offer.

'Healthy' snacks - how healthy are they?

With so much choice, we thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at a few so you really know what you’re putting in your shopping basket.

And, although we’re bombarded with health messages telling us to reduce our sugar, saturated fat and salt intake, you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a biology degree to know how to spot these sources...

...particularly as marketing claims sometimes obscure what is hiding in some products.

Sugar and your diet

. Free sugar is any sugar that’s been added to food or drink products by the manufacturer, cook or consumer – essentially, any sugar that wasn’t already there.

This is the kind of sugar we generally eat too much of. Free sugars also includes sugars naturally found in honey, syrups and fruit juice. Sugars added to food or drink can be listed in various ways, including: sucrose, glucose, syrup, dextrose, honey, fructose, treacle, molasses, lactose, corn syrup or fruit juice concentrates.

Fruit itself is fine, and the sugar it contains doesn’t count as ‘free sugar’. In fact, several of these snacks contain only fruit and have no added sugar whatsoever. They’re still graded as ‘red’ though, simply because of the natural sugar in the fruit which doesn’t count as the ‘free sugar’ you need to avoid.

And, depending on your portion size, fruit will count towards 1 of your 5 a day – however, do watch how much you eat because as the fruit is dried, it’s not bulky like fresh fruit, and it’s therefore very easy to ‘overdo’ it and eat more calories and carbs than you intended.

In terms of dental health, it’s recommended any dried fruit is eaten as part of a meal, i.e. as pudding, and not eaten in between meals as it sticks to your teeth and can cause dental cavities.

Some of these snacks do have added sugar in them - this is clearly listed on the label.

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Saturated fat

Too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels. Sources of saturated fat in these snacks included palm oil and coconut oil. 

Salt

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Some of these products have added salt. 

A source of carbs

Some of these portable snacks are good sources of carbs so can be useful to carry around for when you are in need of a snack, particularly if you treat your diabetes with insulin or medication that can cause hypos.

How did the fruit and nut snacks perform?

Our selection can be seen below.

We’ve colour coded these snacks using the government’s traffic light system for ‘front of pack’ labelling, which has been around a while now and provides an easy way to check at a glance how healthy a food or drink product is.

The labels show how many calories are in the food or drink, and also whether the food is low (green), medium (amber) or high (red) in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. Try to choose snacks with more greens and ambers and fewer reds.

Remember, don’t forget the humble fresh fruit which is equally portable and something we all should be eating more of as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

*These nutritional values were accurate at the time of publication, but some of these values may have changed. Please check the food labels for the latest nutritional information.

Graze Smokehouse BBQ Crunch

  Per serving (31g) Per 100g
Calories 137 441
Carbs 19g 60g
Sugar 1.3g 4.3g
Fat 4.5g 15g
Saturated fat 2g 16.3g
Salt 0.3g 0.9g
Protein 3.1g 9.9g
Fibre 2.3g 7.3g

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Whitworths Shots - Fruity Biscuit

  Per serving (25g) Per 100g
Calories 93 372
Carbs 17.3g 69.2g
Sugar 12.1g 48.3g
Fat 2.1g 8.4g
Saturated fat 1.1g 4.5g
Salt Trace 0.1g
Protein 0.7g 2.8g
Fibre 1.1g 4.5g

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Waitrose Love Life Dried Apple Slices

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 80 318
Carbs 19.7g 78.9g
Sugar 17.2g 68.7g
Fat Trace 0.1g
Saturated fat Trace 0.1g
Salt 0.2g 0.6g
Protein 0.1g 0.2g
Fibre 0.1g 0.4g

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Snack Organisation Freeze-dried Pineapple

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 67 374
Carbs 16.3g 90.6g
Sugar 14.8g 82.4g
Fat 0g 0g
Saturated fat 0g 0g
Salt 0g 0g
Protein 0.4g 2.3g
Fibre 1.3g 7.2g

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Tesco Wholefoods Chewy Banana

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 89 297
Carbs 20.1g 67.1g
Sugar 18.4g 61.3g
Fat 0.3g 1.1g
Saturated fat 0.2g 0.5g
Salt 0.2g 0.5g
Protein 1.4g 4.5g
Fibre 0.2g 0.6g

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Sun Grown Trail Mix

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 106 423
Carbs 10.7g 42.6g
Sugar 8.6g 34.2g
Fat 6.2g 24.6g
Saturated fat 3.1g 12.5g
Salt Trace 0.1g
Protein 1.4g 5.5g
Fibre 1.2g 4.6g

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The Food Doctor Wholeful Grains - Chipotle Chilli

  Per serving (25g) Per 100g
Calories 123 494
Carbs 7.5g 29g
Sugar 1.4g 5.7g
Fat 7.7g 30.6g
Saturated fat 1.3g 5.1g
Salt 0.4g 1.6g
Protein 4.9g 19.6g
Fibre 2.6g 10.4g

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Sunmaid Raisins

  Per serving (30g) Per 100g
Calories 94.8 316
Carbs 23g 76.9g
Sugar 21.4g 71.4g
Fat 0.2g 0.7g
Saturated fat 0g 0g
Salt Trace 0.02g
Protein 0.9g 3g
Fibre 1.7g 5.8g

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Tree Of Life Organic Naked Cashews

  Per serving (25g) Per 100g
Calories 143.5 574
Carbs 8.2g 32.7g
Sugar 1.3g 5g
Fat 11.6g 46.4g
Saturated fat 2.3g 9.2g
Salt 0.01g 0.04g
Protein 3.9g 15.3g
Fibre 0.8g 3.3g

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Fruit Bowl Yogurt Raisins

  Per serving (25g) Per 100g
Calories 114 455
Carbs 17g 67g
Sugar 21.4g 71.4g
Fat 0.2g 0.7g
Saturated fat 0g 0g
Salt Trace 0.02g
Protein 0.9g 3g
Fibre 1.7g 5.8g

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Urban Fruit Cheeky Cherry

  Per serving (20g) Per 100g
Calories 53.4 267
Carbs 20.2g 67.3g
Sugar 11.2g 56.1g
Fat 0.06g 0.3g
Saturated fat 0g 0g
Salt Trace Trace
Protein 0.4g 2g
Fibre 1.7g 8.3g

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Urban Fruit Smashing Strawberry

  Per serving (20g) Per 100g
Calories 58.6 293
Carbs 13.5g 67.3g
Sugar 11.6g 58.1g
Fat 0.04g 0.2g
Saturated fat 0g 0g
Salt Trace Trace
Protein 0.4g 2g
Fibre 1.2g 6.1g

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The Food Doctor Roasted Bean Mix

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 109 437
Carbs 5.3g 21.3g
Sugar 1g 3.8g
Fat 5.1g 20.2g
Saturated fat 1g 4g
Salt 0.2g 0.6g
Protein 8.3g 33.6g
Fibre 4.6g 18.2g

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Jumble Bee Blissful Banana Chips

  Per serving Per 100g
Calories 111 553
Carbs 12g 60.4g
Sugar 4.4g 22.1g
Fat 6.5g 32.5g
Saturated fat 5.9g 29.9g
Salt Trace 0.02g
Protein 0.2g 1g
Fibre 1.5g 7.6g
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