Making the switch to lower-fat snacks

(ARA) – Navigating the grocery store aisle to find a lower-fat or lower-calorie salty or sweet snack alternative that tastes just as good as its regular counterpart can be a daunting challenge.

According to a recent survey conducted by Cape Cod Potato Chips, only 33 percent of respondents said the low fat version is always or often as good as or better than the original. Luckily, there are a variety of snacks available that offer a lower fat/lower calorie indulgence without sacrificing the taste of the original.

Here are some things to consider that can affect the taste and nutritional value when searching for tasty low-fat indulgences as well as tips on how to make the switch to low fat:

* Taste matters. If a low fat version of your favorite snack doesn’t taste as good as the original, how likely are you to continue eating it? Not very, according to same survey by Cape Cod Potato Chips. While 62 percent of respondents said they would try a lower fat version of their favorite snack, 90 percent said they would switch to the lower fat version if it tasted the same as the regular. After all, if it doesn’t taste good, it will be that much harder to sustain sensible snacking habits.

* Figure out why the snack has reduced fat by carefully reading the packaging, ingredients or product website to learn why the snack is considered more sensible. For example, the use of fat or sugar substitutes often alters the taste. Search for snacks that achieve lower fat or calorie contents without using substitutes. Cape Cod Potato Chips uses the exact same process and ingredients to kettle cook its reduced fat chips. They simply take an extra step to naturally remove additional oil in its 40 percent less fat versions of Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sweet Mesquite Barbeque and Original flavors.

* Take portion size into account. Some snacks may be able to promise low calorie counts because the serving size is not very large. Consider whether such snacks will actually be able to satisfy hunger cravings or send you reaching for a second bag.

* Use the resources available to discover the good and bad. A wide variety of magazines like Fitness have annual awards for the healthiest snacks and websites and blogs like Hungry Girl (www.hungry-girl.com) follow developments in the world of healthy snacking. Nutrition facts for most foods can also be found online with a simple search or at www.nutrition.gov.

* Don’t go about it alone. It’s no secret that friends influence healthy habits. Once you find more sensible snacks, incorporate them into your get-togethers, like wine or movie nights. Have your friends try the snacks you have found and rank them so you know which ones to continue buying and which ones do not have as much appeal.

* Try a lower-fat or lower-calorie switch. The next time you have friends over to watch sports, celebrate a holiday or just to hang out, try putting out those great-tasting lower-fat and/or lower-calorie dishes and see if anyone can tell the difference.

With all of these helpful tips, making the switch to low-fat and low-calorie snacks that taste like the original should be easier than ever. To see how others are making the switch and to learn more about Cape Cod Potato Chips 40 percent less fat varieties, visit www.BigGameChipSwitch.com.