Nuts: Health Snack or Too Much Fat?

Are they or aren’t they?

The definition of healthy is quite possibly society’s most influential phenomenon. What IS healthy, exactly? As of late, it seems ‘Healthy’ has evolved from having a clear, cut definition to becoming the most effective chameleon in the food industry.

In 2013, BuzzBack conducted a study on consumers’ perception of 'Healthy' and found that it was associated with words one would expect to see – active, exercise, balance, and happiness; with unique callouts to predictable descriptors such as ‘organic,’ ‘wholesome,’ and ‘natural’ within various markets. Still, it’s no surprise that the concept of ‘Healthy’ is most often associated with food – top healthy snacks across the globe included fruit, yogurt, nuts, and dried fruit.

But healthy snacks seem to be a catch-22 in itself. Eat more fruit – too much sugar. Cut out carbs – you’re left with no energy source. Low fat or Gluten-free? You end up consuming more sugar used to make up for lack of taste. Eat more nuts…but watch out for high fat content!

This seems kind of nutty…

Last month, KIND bar fanatics were hit with some conflicting news – their snacks aren’t healthy. At least, they’re not FDA-approved healthy. The Food and Drug Administration had contacted the manufacturer, notifying them that their popular fruit and nut snack is not, in fact, in line with their healthy regulations at all. According to the FDA, a “healthy snack food” cannot exceed 3g of Total Fat or 1g of saturated fat per serving. The bars in question – four flavors in particular – contain up to 5 g of saturated fat.

When looking at a nutrition label, seeing 5g of saturated fat right off the bat might generate a red flag for the average consumer.  It’s here where things get a little subjective. Sure, there’s a high amount of fat in this food product – but should we be paying more attention to the amount of fat, or where it’s coming from? The first ingredient(s) in any of KIND’s products are nuts.


Personally, I believe the only healthy cliché that has proven resolute over the years and within every food fad is ‘moderation is key.’

We forget that overdoing anything – whether it’s eating (‘healthy’ food is still food), sleeping, or even exercising – is unhealthy. Sure, snacking on dried fruit is better than grabbing a bag of chips – but not if you’re swallowing buckets of the stuff. And sure, chomping through a bowl of nuts is a healthier option than going through a bag of candy, but you do need to look out for high fat.

It’s all about balance, right? Healthy means balance - a balance throughout all aspects of life, including what you’re eating.