Coke Isn't a 'Healthy Snack': 10 Better Ways to Get Your Sweet Fix​

woman drinking sodaCoke appears to be grasping at straws -- no pun intended. Faced with declining sales stemming from their association with the obesity epidemic, the soda giant has brainstormed a new life raft. It's a marketing scheme that aims to spin soda as a ... snack. A "healthy" snack.

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Yep. Shady nutritionists who've been wooed by Coca-Cola have gone so far as to go around singing the product's praises in blog posts and radio segments. One such story claims mini cans are "small enough to carry on the go and — believe it or not — they’re also hydrating!" (WHAT?!) Another suggests "portion-controlled versions of your favorites, like Coca-Cola mini cans, packs of almonds, or pre-portioned desserts for a meal." Sketchy!

The fact is that a 7.5-ounce "mini-Coke" weighs in at 90 calories. Okay, doesn't sound so bad, right? But wait. The baby-sized soda will also cost ya 30 mg of sodium, 25 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of sugar (aka high fructose corn syrup). Oof. In other words, not so healthy. Not at all.

But here, 10 actually healthy, sweet tooth-satiating snacks that actually offer a lot more bang for your calorie "buck" ...

1. Blueberries - Sure, they're more ubiquitous and cost-effective in the summer, but if you can get your hands on 'em, you can have a whole, antioxidant- and fiber-packed cup for just 85 calories, 21 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of sugar.

2. Orange - Another sweet fruit treat, but one that's everywhere in the winter. One average size orange will run you just 62 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of sugar.

3. Latte - If you need the caffeine, a tall latte at Starbucks made with nonfat milk will run you 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 14 grams of sugar. Plus, you'll get 10 grams of protein! Get it made with coconut milk, and you'll add 10 calories, some fat (7 grams), but only have to contend with 11 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar. (You'll only get 1 gram of protein, though.)

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4. Chocolate strawberries - For just 40 more calories but 4 fewer carb grams, and a LOT less sugar (12 grams less, to be exact) than a mini-can of Coke, you could have 3 chocolate-covered strawberries. Yum!

5. Almond butter - One tablespoon of almond butter is about 101 calories, only 3.4 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of sugar if it's the natural stuff. 'Course it'll pack 9 grams or so of fat, but it's of the good, heart-healthy, satiating variety.

6. Sorbet - If you want something sweet and icy, consider a fruit sorbet, which you can easily make yourself without sugar -- or with a negligable amount. A half a cup serving of mango sorbet is about 93 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and 19 grams of sugar (but from fruit, not processed corn!).

7. Dried cranberries & peanuts - One tablespoon of peanuts plus 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries is a filling snack that's super-easy to make and grab on-the-go, plus it comes out to under 100 calories with 11 grams of sugar and about 12 grams of carbs.

8. Greek yogurt - A regular, one-serving container (typically 170 grams) is 100 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of sugar, but you'll snag a whopping 17 grams of protein!

9. Almond-coconut cookies - Whip up a batch of these cookies from Cooking Light. Two cookies are just over 100 calories, 4 grams of fat (half of which is monounsaturated), 14 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of sugar. Not bad at all!

10. Dark chocolate chips - A little, high-quality dark chocolate (preferably with at least 60% cacao) is heart-healthy and loaded with antioxidants, so feel free to grab a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips for roughly 70 calories, 8 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of sugar. What a bargain!

Which of these are you more inclined to reach for instead of a soda?

 

Image via iStock.com/manley099

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