Are seaweed snacks actually healthy?

 I’ve recently become obsessed with Seasnax. They’re super low in calories, very flavorful (even the regular version) and come in portion controlled packets (though they’re low in calories and as you’ll read below, very healthy, so no worries if you eat more than one pack). They come in large sheets, small sheets, and this super delicious version (my fave) called Chomperz. I’m a snacker and I’ve found this to be the absolute best alternative to potato chips. Besides being low in calories, all varieties are very low in fat (with no saturated fat), low in sodium (even though they taste salty), and cholesterol. They also have some protein. The one downside is that there’s not really any fiber – I wonder if it can be fortified with it in the future… 

Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, known as The Nutrition Twins agree. “We love the 30 calorie-pack seaweed snacks. These make an awesome alternative to salty chips with a fraction of the sodium and calories and none of the bloat.” They suggest sprinkling them on salad or sandwiches, over fish or chicken instead of salt or salty condiments. Great idea…though I, personally, like to eat them straight out of the bag (even the seaweed sheets). Do note that their spicy flavors are actually spicy so avoid Jalapeno and Wasabi if you don’t like a burning mouth. 

I mentioned before that the one downside to the snacks is that they don’t have fiber. If you opt for seaweed salad, however, you’ll get a fiber boost so do so next time you’re craving Japanese food! Just make sure there isn’t a ton of sugar and salt being used (it’s always best to make your own…). “Seaweed contains a natural seaweed fiber called alginate, which is found in kelp and research shows it may suppress fat digestion in the gut and contribute to weight loss,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Researchers found that ingesting even a small amount of the seaweed fiber blocked fat absorption by a third.”

The Twins go on to add that while there are many varieties of seaweed (more than 30!), they all contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, E, C, and K plus iodine, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.  

Eat up…

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