That’s Nuts: The Surprising Reality of Trail Mix

One of the best things you can do to keep yourself in good health over time is to ditch the idea of fitness as a short-term project or temporary goal and shift your emphasis on to leading a healthier (and happier) lifestyle. A fantastic activity that’s both enjoyable and often inspiring is hiking. Fitness enthusiasts who take on tackling mountain trails get to savor the fresh air and breathtaking views. However, in order to fuel your body appropriately for these treks, consumers need to be extremely careful about the snack to which turn.

Trail mix would seem to be an easy answer for an ideal source of energy. Easily packed, easily eaten, and lightweight, most trail mix options are a logistical slam dunk for hikers. Ingredients usually include some combination of nuts, dried fruit, and some kind of chocolate. That is why campers even know trail mix as GORP – good ole’ raisins and peanuts. However, when you investigate the ingredients even slightly, some really troubling facts come to light.

The nuts in trail mix are almost always predominantly nuts and the chocolate is rarely, if ever, the healthier kind. Essentially, this means most trail mix is surprisingly high-carb, high-fat, and heavily processed. Most people have no idea how calorie-dense a treat it is. This means you’re extremely likely to unknowingly consume far more than a single serving which usually tops off at about…one ounce.

Small servings of dark chocolate or appropriate amounts of nuts can be great snacking options, and they even help fight fat. However, you need to be sure that you choose organic, raw nuts. They are much more densely packed with nutrients than the regularly processed brands, which are usually fried in oil and saturated with Omega-6 fatty acids.

A great way to get around the misinformation regarding trail mix is to make your own at home! You have the power to create a mix that is loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Consider adding a combination of walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and/or almonds. Some cacao nibs are a great secret ingredient add for flavor. Called “nature’s chocolate chips,” cacao nibs are sweet, but also extremely rich in antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. They are even a source of theobromine which research indicates may well have properties that encourage natural appetite suppression! That would definitely be a mix you want with you on the mountain.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.