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The Breakfast Challenge


Snack Foods

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LS/LF Hall of Shame:

Marketing Practicesthat Endanger Your Health


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in Foods




Some gadgets that can help with a healthy lifestyle:

A useful gadget for tracking your food and exercise. Note it tracks salt and fat consumption but not cholesterol


This gadget is intended for joggers, but is an easy way to measure and pace both walking and jogging outdoors



Snack foods for a LS/LF Diet

Snack foods in the American diet are notoriously high in salt and cholesterol.  And low cholesterol substitutes tend to be high in salt, sometimes higher than the normal product! But being on a LS/LF doesn't mean total denial. Note that many snack food manufacturers are regional.  The national manufacturers often pay less attention to LS/LF needs.

Travel Snacks

So you are travelling and are stuck at an airport or in a new place and are hungry without a well known healthy food source nearby.  A prime time to make a bad decision on what to eat. One alternative is to carry your own snakcs with you to get you through the "crisis".  I find granola bars a convenient emergency food supply for such times.  Some are high in fat and salt, but others such as Quaker Chewy 90 Calorie Granola Bars with 1.5 g of total fat (no staurated fat) and 85 mg of sodium is filling, not threatening to your diet, and easy to carry.


Now pretzels are known for their exterior salt coating and also have the hidden salt associated with all baked products made with yeast. Several pretzel makers have low salt versions of their product with no exterior salt.

Pretzel making by hand at Martin's Pretzels, Akron PA

Two firms in the Pennsylvania Dutch area that make pretzels by hand (which gives them a special texture not found in the Rold Gold mass produced counterparts) and will accept mail orders from their website are:

Martin's Pretzels

Hammond's Pretzels

(Note: I once picked up some unsalted pretzels at Martin's factory (shown above) and one box has a slight amount of exterior salt.  But the next time I wanted their pretsels I called them and explained that I wanted no exterior salt and they were more careful in cleaning the equipment before they made my batch - you can see this isn't faceless mass production. )

Wege of Hanover  is a medium size pretzel maker with no exterior salt products and a website.  They also sell through the mail order sites on the Sources page .  But I prefer the texture of the first two manufacturers.


Basic hot air popped popcorn has no salt and little fat (1.5 g/serving).   Popping in a little oil, adds a little more unsaturated fat. A buttery spray like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Spray or the comparable product from Smart Balance adds no salt or fat but increases the flavor a lot.

However normal microwave popcorn and movie theater popcorn are very different and should be avoided at all costs. Bearitos makes Organic No Salt No Oil Microwave Popcorn if you must use the microwave.

Tortilla Chips



The usual tortilla chips have visible exterior salt, but there are unsalted brands available.  Some brands are fried, others are baked. One national brand is Bearitos . (Their website has a few other LS/LF products.)  Tortilla chip producers are generally regional, so check you supermarket for regional brands that are salt free. Trader Joe's has a house brand of unsalted blue tortilla chips.


Potato Chips

The folks at taquitos.net, "serious about snacks", list 19 types of no salt/low salt potato chips.  However, no quantative nutrition information is given. Low salt chips have some salt but in the big scheme of things aren't that bad.  (For example, Kettle brand Lightly Salted Potato Chips have 110 mg of sodium per 1 ounce serving, less than the 140 mg needed to be called "low sodium", no cholesterol and 1 g of saturated fat.) Clearly pretzels have no fat and comparable salt and thus are healthier.  But no salt/low salt chips aren't that bad in moderation.


Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are an old favorite of weight lost diets and are widely available in no salt versions -- even in main stream supermarkets. Note, however, that as they have grown in popularity, flavored versions with salt added have become available also.  So it is important to make sure you get the basic product with no sodium at all.

There is also a Japanese rice cake called mochi which is not really a snack food as it needs to be cooked. It is a no sodium product and can be used as a starch in meals.  In Japan and Hawaii it is used to make a variety of healthy deserts which might be a little strange for some Americans.  Mochi is usually sold only in Asian food markets.

Reader Suggestions

John from Texas recommends "Chifles Platanitos plantain chips, 10 ounce bag which has a remarkably good taste but low sodium (30 mg/ounce).
They are made by Plantain Products Company, 5821 East Causeway Blvd., Tampa, FL 33619 USA. Phone: 813 626-9486. I got mine from a local
supermarket, priced at $2.50/10 ounce bag." Note that these have 8 g of total fat and 2 mg of saturated fat/serving so some moderation may be indicated for people with fat limitations. Plantains are a banana-like fruit that are popular in Latino cuisine, so plantain products are more likely to be found at supermarkets in areas with a Latino population or in Latino stores.

Mexican Foods for Home

Mexican restaurants in the US tend to have high fat and salt content.  Home made versions gives you more flexibility.  Beans have no natual sodium, so just make your own beans for side dishes and leave out the salt found in canned versions and restaurant versions.  Spice them up with onions, garlic, and no salt Tabasco-like sauces.

Note that corn tortillas generally have no sodium.  Flour tortillas on the other hand can be quick high, I have seen up to 520 g of sodium per individual tortilla!  Tortillas are often made by regional manufacturers.  As a reference point, note that Pepito Flour Tortillas have only 3.5 g of total fat and 130 mg of sodium per tortilla.  So healthy tortillas are possible!




Feel free to contact me with comments and suggestions:



The author of this web site has absolutely no formal education, training, or certification related to its subject matter.  This is only an attempt to share information he has gathered.  Every attempt has been made to reference statements to their original source so you can review them.

Do not make decisions concerning your medical situation based on information herein

Always consult your medical provider on health-related matters including diet.