When a delicious and good for you snack sample landed on my desk, I called a nutritionist to ask if it was really as healthy as it seemed.
"Absolutely! I love them," said Jenna Gorham, a registered dietitian. She mentioned that one of her friends turned her on to them.
They're called WholeMe Clusters and besides tasting great, they're convenient, include "real" ingredients and are dense with nutrients.
They taste great
WholeMe Clusters taste homemade — similar to the healthy snack recipes I keep bookmarking but never end up making.
As their name implies, they come in small clusters and include whole and easy-to-read ingredients. They also come in multiple flavors including almond coconut, cinnamon banana chip, lemon berry chia and salted peanut chocolate.
They are also nutritionist improved thanks to the ingredients.
Whole, minimally processed ingredients
"One of the first things I look at in a snack are the ingredients," Gorham said. "These have real, whole-food ingredients."
When you take a closer look, you'll notice that the ingredient list includes things like fresh coconut, pumpkin seeds, honey, almonds and more.
They're also gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, non-GMO and Paleo-certified.
Low in added sugar
Usually, Gorham looks for snacks with less than seven or eight grams of added sugar per serving. WholeMe Clusters have four to five grams.
High in protein and fiber
"Protein and fiber are going to make things more filling," Gorham said, and she likes how the snack clocks in at four grams of protein and two grams of fiber per serving. "It helps the energy last, and not contribute to a quick drop in blood sugar. It's a more sustained source of energy."
"For most people, it's not realistic to make everything from scratch," Gorham said, so it's "absolutely OK to have a couple of go-to snacks you can trust." She eats them by the handful (the serving size is one-third of a cup). You can also eat them with yogurt or milk.
As much as I love that they're nutritionist-approved (they made Gorham's list of "Store-bought snacks registered dietitians love"), I mostly love how addictive they are. My favorite flavor is the almond coconut, with the salted peanut chocolate as a close second.
"I love their natural sweetness," Gorham said. "They hit all my marks."
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