With ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and a few pieces of chocolate, trail mix can be healthy a choice. The trouble with the trail mix is how much we tend to eat of it, says Rania Batayneh, a certified nutritionist, eating strategist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You in San Francisco, California. Three tablespoons of trail mix typically contains 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 9 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein, Batayneh says. But who eats just three tablespoons? It’s easy to eat as much as a full cup, which can set you back about 850 calories and a whopping 50 grams of fat! Plus, a lot of packaged trail mixes also contain more than just raisins and peanuts – they add artificial coloring, beeswax and oil, Batayneh says.
The Better Pick: You are better off making your own mix with nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate chips and then ‘bulk’ it up with high-fiber, unsweetened cereal or popcorn, so you can eat a little more of it, says Batayneh.