Hi there! I’m Sam, a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer and Whole30 Certified Coach. About a month ago, I was at the Whole30 Coaches Summit meeting my fellow coaches, sitting in on lectures, eating delicious Whole30 compliant meals, and spreading the DNX bar love.
I’m always interested in spreading knowledge about my favorite brands, so when DNX Bar asked if I’d be open to working together, the answer was a resounding yes! As a health professional, I see a lot of pseudo health foods peddled as the real thing. I figured it might be fun to lay out what I look for in a healthy, nourishing snack, and why I’m happy to recommend DNX bars to my clients (they check all the boxes!).
A balanced macronutrient profile
Too often, I see bars and snacks marketed as healthy that are carbohydrate heavy and lacking in healthy fats or protein. When looking at snack bars in particular, I always look for something that has at least half as many grams of protein as grams of carbohydrates. For example, if a bar has 15 grams of carbohydrates, I’d look for 7.5 grams of protein (or more). The main reason for this is that protein and fat tend to be more satiating than carbohydrates. By making sure your snack contains ample protein, you’ll also ensure you’re not hungry an hour later (because no one has time for that!). In the case of DNX bar, most flavors pack a protein punch with very few grams of carbohydrates, plus some healthy fat to round out the snack. No “hangry” feeling here.
Grass-fed or pastured protein sources
If I’m choosing or recommending a packaged snack option, I always look for the product to incorporate well-raised protein sources. Not only is grass-fed/pastured meat better for the environment and the animals, but it’s better for us too. Grass-fed meats have a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids than their conventionally raised counterparts, among other benefits. All of the DNX bars source high quality, responsibly sourced meats, which makes me much more comfortable recommending them to clients.
A short (and pronounceable) ingredient list
Real food shouldn’t have dozens of ingredients. Simple is usually better. When I’m reading an ingredient panel, I always look for real food ingredients, no non-caloric sweeteners (not even the natural ones) and prefer my snacks to be free of gluten/grains as well. Big surprise: DNX bar checks all these boxes, too!
Organic, whenever possible
While I certainly have favorite non-organic products that I recommend, I recommend that all of my clients buy organic if they’re able. Just like grass fed meats, organic products are better for the environment and better for us! Conventional fruits and vegetables can be sprayed with almost 1,000 different pesticides, whereas organic can only be sprayed with ~25 of the least toxic options. If organic isn’t in a client’s budget, I always recommend they reference the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list.
A snack can be the “cleanest” option in the world, but if it doesn’t taste good, what’s the point? I always try products before recommending them so I can feel confident sending my clients their way. I firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t mean sacrifice, and thankfully there are now a plethora of tasty options that are also nourishing. Win win!
I hope this little guide has helped give you some healthy snack guidelines for the next time you’re browsing the grocery aisles, and maybe it even convinced you to give DNX bar a try.
If you want to follow along as I share tips and tricks for a healthier lifestyle, you can follow me on Instagram @sam.p_the_rd or visit my website, www.MindfulBitesRD.com.
Sam Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, CPT