I’m not an avid reader of Men’s Health magazine. It probably goes without saying that I don’t get much out of articles like “How to Tell if She’s Faking It” and “Sexy Statements That Turn Her On”. However, I love their “Eat This, Not That” feature. If you’re not already familiar with it, “Eat This, Not That,” is probably best known for identifying the most unhealthy foods at popular restaurants and promoting items on the menu that provide healthier alternatives. The “Eat This, Not That” website is full of handy resources, including a guide to the “125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods” and revealing exposés like this warning about the worst drink on the planet and “The 20 Worst Foods in America.”
I like that “Eat This, Not That” takes a realistic approach to cutting fat, calories, sodium, and sugar. The goal isn’t to mangle every meal at McDonald’s or Outback Steakhouse until it fits into a Weight-Watchers-approved point count. The authors just want to make it easier for all of us to eat a bit healthier by making small changes that don’t feel like big sacrifices.
I’m a big junk-food junkie and two of my big loves are Little Debbie Fudge Brownies and Swiss Cake Rolls, but they’re both insanely high in saturated fat. So, a few months ago, I started doing a little snack cake research of my own in the spirit of “Eat This, Not That.” I wanted to find a brownie substitute that wasn’t a rice cake or some other bland diet food that I’d buy and never eat. (I already have an entire shelf of health foods that have survived three moves because I never get desperate enough to eat them, but I’m too cheap to throw them away.) I started with Twinkies, since they’re low in fat by Hostess standards, but they didn’t satisfy my chocolate craving. So, I recently switched to Zingers, which have less than half the fat of Fudge Brownies and Swiss Rolls.
I realize part of this is just a portion control issue, since there’s only one Zinger/Twinkie per pouch, as opposed to Swiss Cake Rolls, which are packaged in twos. I suppose I could limit myself to one Swiss Cake Roll at a time and wrap up the second, orphaned roll for later. However, this would still be worse than eating a single Zinger, which has five grams of fat as opposed to the six in one Swiss Cake Roll.
While I’m happy with Zingers, the Swiss Cake Roll math situation has worn me out. So, I’m pressing onward in search of a sweet, tasty snack that is healthier than anything in the snack-cake category. For now, I’ve settled on Rice Krispy Treats, which have just 2.5 grams of fat and 90 calories. And when a chocolate craving hits, I can have a chocolate and peanut butter version that has just 1 more gram of fat than a plain Rice Krispy Treat. I’m also giving Kudos bars a try, which are a good compromise between a healthier granola bar and something really bad, like a Kit-Kat or a Snickers.