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10 Delicious Gut Friendly Snacks
Do you ever need a snack on the fly that you can just toss in a lunch box or diaper bag? Snacks are easy to come by, but finding snacks you love that are gut-friendly, toxin-free, PUFA-free, and delicious is RARE!
For over a decade I have focused on the wrong things when eating. I was obsessed with the “nutrition” label on foods and could tell you how many calories, carbs, and sugars there were in everything. I could calculate a net carb in seconds and could factor in how many more grams of protein I needed and how many grams of sugar I could afford. But you know what I never looked at? THE INGREDIENTS… I never cared at all what was actually in my food, in the gnarly protein bars and “lean” cereals I would obsess over. All I cared about was if I would possibly lose another pound. Little did I know that even if I could cut calories and carbs and cut a little bit of weight off, I was damaging my body with synthetic toxic ingredients that were never meant for human consumption.
My gut has been on the mend for years and as I learned about gut health and how to give my kids clean, non-toxic foods, I found some snacks that we love and I think you and your whole family will love as well! Let’s jump in!
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What Foods Are Considered Gut Friendly
If you have read Gut Health for Dummies “Gut health” can be a confusing topic. Let me simplify what I mean when I use this term in regards to snack foods.
When looking through the ingredients try to limit these ingredients in your food (listed in order of importance).
- Highly processed oils (canola oil, vegetable oil, margarine, sesame oil, soybean oil, corn oil, palm oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, flaxseed oil)
- High fructose corn syrup/Glucose syrup
- Corn (of any kind)
- Soy Sauce
- Soy Lectin
- Food Color
- Peanut products
- nonfermented/ soaked bean products
- nonfermented/ soaked grains
- Ascorbic acid
When to be Flexible with Food
Of course, you can be flexible. There are times when ascorbic acid is one of the last ingredients and we let it slide. There are times straight-up corn on the cob is at a barbeque and we scarf it down. Metabolic flexibility is an important aspect of life. However, flexibility can sometimes be directly related to the state of your gut health, and when you or your kids are on the mend, you need to be really careful with inflammatory foods.
For instance, someone with Leaky gut, IBS or IBD, Chrons, Hashimotos, ADD, Celiac, food allergies or intolerances, and even just high inflammation markers need to be extreme in the beginning stages of cutting gut disrupters from their diet. As the gut heals, inflammation calms down, and the immune system stops its attack on the body, most people can slowly allow these inflammatory foods in occasionally without a massive flare-up.
If you are someone who does not suffer from an autoimmune disease and has a healthy gut (no reflux, you are pooping every day, not gassy or bloated, free from signs of inflammation) you can be a little more flexible.
Why PUFA’s are Destroying Your Gut Health
Why is the number one ingredient to avoid in your diet PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fats)?
This required a whole other blog post, but let’s try to be brief as we break this down.
What Are PUFAs?
Common PUFAs are canola oil, vegetable oil, margarine, sesame oil, soybean oil, corn oil, palm oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil.
They are in almost every processed food and junk food you can find because they are incredibly cheap to make.
Why Avoid PUFAs
The problems with PUFAs are how insanely toxic they are to your body. Why are they toxic? PUFAs “oxidize” very fast, which is just a scientific way to say it goes rancid, rotten, toxic. In fact, the smell alone would drive you FAR away from the oil but these oils are chemically deodorized so you cant smell how rancid they truly are.
Oxidation lead to free radicals. Free radicals lead to cellular damage in your body that can manifest both internally in the form of damaged organs/glands and externally in the form of rapidly aging skin.
These oils are EVERYWHERE… seriously. Check your mayo, salad dressings, ketchup, granola bars, any type of restaurant food, health food snacks, baked goods, chips, crackers (even fish, nuts, and seeds). They are in almost everything and they are slowly killing our guts, immune systems, and aging our skin, and our bodies rapidly.
Where Do I Find Gut Friendly Snacks
I order about 80% of all of my snacks and PUFA free condiments from Thrive Market. In addition, I order my adaptogenic mushroom powder from them and my toxic-free make-up, shampoo, and conditioner from them as well. If you want 25% off your first order (SUCH A GOOD DEAL) and a free gift, click here!
Other places I buy snacks are through my Whole Food Amazon Prime account which delivers fresh food to my door and it is so convenient for my pace of life.
Gut Friendly Snacks
Ok time for what we can eat that will actually benefit our bodies.
This snack is tangy, stable, protein-packed, free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, gluten, and soy and is perfect to bring with you in the car or diaper bag.
Why You’ll love it: Sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed, organic beef, marinated in organic apple cider vinegar, and honey.
What is in it: Organic Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Coconut Sugar, Water, Organic Coconut Aminos (Organic Coconut Flower Blossom Nectar, Sundried Sea Salt), Organic Honey, Organic Flavorings, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Natural Smoke Flavoring
This is one of my kid’s favorite snacks. The pouches are cute and easy to open, liquid-free, and perfect put in a lunch box. It is a great thing to have for a little boost of healthy fats or as a fix to a salty snack craving.
Why You’ll Love It: Imported from Italy, contain zero preservatives, gluten, or artificial additives.
What is in it: Olives, Salt
These have replaced the Lara bars and protein bars that used to sit in my snack cabinet. They are another on-the-go snack that I grab before road trips or on my way to the gym and forgot to fuel.
Why You’ll Love It: A great source of protein with vitamins and minerals, a balanced blend of sweet and tart cranberries with savory bacon and natural bison, gluten-free.
What is in it: Bison, Uncured Bacon- No Nitrites or Nitrates Added* (Pork, Water, Brown Sugar, Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder, Sea Salt), Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Apple Juice Concentrate), Lactic Acid**, Celery Powder, Sea Salt
Ok now here is a great snack find! It is so hard to find snacks that really hit the spot but will not hurt your gut health. These chips, however, are made almost to perfection and are my go-to road trip goodie.
Why You’ll Love It: This tangy and crunchy snack is created with simple ingredients such as non-GMO potatoes, vinegar, sea salt, and nutrient-dense avocado oil.
What is in it: Potatoes, Avocado Oil, Sea Salt and Vinegar Seasoning (Vinegar Powder (Maltodextrin, White Distilled Vinegar), Sea Salt, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid)
5. Raw Cheese
There are a few different places I get raw cheese from, The Neighborhood Harvest being one. Wegmans also sells this amazing raw cheese I linked to!
But this cheese can be ordered from Amazon so it is super accessible for most! Because it is made from raw milk, it is much easier on digestion and most people with dairy sensitivities can be consumed without typical dairy issues.
Why You’ll Love it: Raw milk cheeses made from grass-fed cow’s milk, contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, Certified Rotational Grazing, family farm, no more than 3 cows per acre, 300 days on pasture, 70% dry intake from Fresh Grass, free from artificial hormones, preservatives, and gluten.
What is in it: certified graziers raw cultured whole milk, sea salt, vegetarian enzyme
Think of these as a clean, kid-friendly version of slim jims. This is a perfect protein-packed snack that your kids will love.
Why You’ll Love it: 7 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar per serving, made with free-range chickens without added hormones and antibiotics
What is in it: Chicken, Honey, Maple Syrup, Encapsulated Lactic Acid*, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Celery Juice Powder, Ginger, Coriander in Collage Casing. *not from dairy
Here is a snack you can eat every single day and find at nearly every grocery store (I buy mine from The Neighborhood harvest) How easy and incredibly affordable is it to grab a raw carrot for your kids at 4:30 pm when you are trying to cook dinner and they are suddenly dying of hunger?! Plus, the benefits of raw carrots might actually surprise you!
Why You’ll Love it: Raw carrots balance hormones! They contain a unique fiber that binds to excess estrogen and helps leech it out of the body.
What is in it: Organic Carrots
You cannot buy this online, but I did link to the starter that can help you make it yourself! The only crucial factor in making this yogurt is to find a way to get raw milk. It is not illegal to drink raw milk but it is “illegal” to sell raw milk in my state of Virginia, however, there are loopholes. You can find a family farm and do a “cow share” where you own part of the cow and can therefore use its milk. I currently have a friend who owns a cow and I get about two gallons a week from her that I make my yogurt, ice cream, and baked goods with.
Why You’ll Love It: Raw milk is naturally rich in bacteria, the starter you use has probiotic strains with strong anti-inflammatory activity making it a nutrient-dense functional food.
What is in it: Raw milk, organic milk, live active cultures
This sweet and salty chicken bites are a great protein-packed snack option for those of us trying to avoid cow products. Consider them a poultry take on beef jerky, and warning, they are addicting! These snacks do contain sesame oil, which I typically avoid, but because the quantity is low and it is a good alternative to red meat, I wanted to add it to my list.
Why You’ll Love It: 100% non-GMO raised chicken, high in protein, gluten-free, soy-free
What is in it: Natural chicken, organic currants, sea salt, garlic, onion, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ginger, black pepper, red pepper flakes, red pepper
10. Banana Munchies
I wish I would have seen these before I put in my last Thrive Market order because these munchies look delicious and there are a variety of mouth-watering flavors I can’t wait to try! This snack is paleo friendly, cooked in coconut oil, and made with clean ingredients.
Why You’ll Love It: These are non-GMO, paleo-friendly, PUFA free, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, and stored in a BPA free bag
What is in it: Banana Chips (Bananas, Coconut Oil), Olive Oil, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Black Pepper.