A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Snack Review: Glenny’s Low-Fat Soy Crisps

BOTTOM LINE: Pleasantly surprised.

Usually, I bring fruit to the office for my mid-afternoon snack. But sometimes, a little crunch is needed. Before I knew it, a bag of soy crisps was staring me in the face. To be honest, they didn’t look particularly appealing.

Tiny rice-cake snacks? The word “Styrofoam” comes to mind: dry, bland and tasteless. One bite in, however, and I was converted. This was a great little snack! They are satisfying, crunchy and they pack a nice taste punch.

A few stats for the Salt & Pepper flavor:

  • calories/ounce – 107.7
  • % of total calories that come from fat – 14.3% (9 fat calories per gram)

FIRST, THE BAD:

Salt, salt, salt. 380mg in 1.3 oz of snack. That is a lot of sodium – about 16% of your daily-recommended allowance, in fact. (The Bar-B-Que flavor has 22%!) So, this is something to consider, especially for those who are watching their salt intake.

Addictive. Is that a bad thing? Kind of – yes. The first time I ate these, I didn’t finish the bag. The second time around, I was ready for another bag 5 minutes later. Maybe that was just my mood. But, I can fall into eating blindly and nonstop when there’s a munchy snack like this.


NOW, THE GOOD
:

Taste. They’re quite yummy. And they have a great crunch factor. They are pretty loud to eat, which makes me feel like I’m eating more than I really am.

Low-cal, low fat. These are pretty satisfying for the calories consumed. The fat content is do-able. You’re not going to break the bank on this one – even if you do have two servings (in one 1.3 oz bag).

Other miscellaneous healthy bits. Soybeans are considered a “complete protein” – meaning that they "contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition, which must be supplied in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the human body." (Source: FDA.gov) I’m a vegetarian, so for me, every little bit of protein counts, as long as I’m not trading in calories and fat for it. Plus, the current issue (as of 7/5/07) of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that "soy proteins with or without isoflavones can decrease LDL [cholesterol] levels and increase HDL [cholesterol] levels, a result that does impact beneficially on heart health." (Source: Central & Eastern Europe Food Industry)

MY CONCLUSION:

If you are watching your sodium intake, this snack may not be right for you. Personally, I don’t think I’ll make it a daily habit, but it’s a nice, crunchy treat to have when I’m craving a loud, tasty munch.

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