The 2016 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards
From the moment we founded Eat This, Not That! in 2007, our message has been simple: You don't need special "diet" foods, weight-loss supplements, or extreme deprivation-based eating plans to drop pounds. In fact, you can eat all your favorite foods and still lose weight: Just buy the best clean eats that you possibly can.
Each year, the grocery aisles are jammed more and more with bizarre preservatives, creepy-sounding additives, and calorie and sugar counts that make us want to scrub our insides with a wire brush. But it's our job to find the gems hiding in the slag, and that's just what we've done. In fact, 2016 is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for new, healthy products. Here, we've gathered some of the best new products and given them an honorary place as winners of the 2016 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards. And for more expert-approved items, check out these 25 Eat This! Snacks Delivered to Your Door.
1. Chobani Simply 100 "Crunch" Cups
100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 70 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 10 g protein
We've been fans of Chobani's flip boxes ever since we discovered they could fool young children into thinking that they're "making their own breakfast." So this new line of 100-calorie Greek yogurts with flavors like Strawberry Chocolate Truffle and Blueberry Cookie Crumble sounded pretty good to us, especially how low in sugar (7 grams) these indulgent little breakfast snacks are.
2. Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Flax English Muffins
100 calories,, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 85 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 g protein
Food for Life's sprouted grain products help make fiber a bigger part of our lives. So we're psyched that we'll soon be able to upgrade our eggs Benedict with Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Flax English Muffins. A 100-calorie serving delivers 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, as well as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Speaking of, don't miss these 15 Best Omega-3s Superfoods.
3. Yoplait Plenti Oatmeal
180 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 11 g protein
While this line tends to be a bit high in sugar, Yoplait's Plenti Oatmeal offers all the heart-healthy fiber of oatmeal, and all the metabolism-boosting power of Greek yogurt, in one easy-to-carry container. It looks like a pretty smart answer to the morning breakfast rush.
4. Clever Foodies Scramble
For the Rancheros flavor: 60 calories, 3 g fat, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein
A gourmet breakfast on a fry-cook time frame: That's what Clever Foodies offers with its line of Scrambles, a series of vegetables and spices that are ready to mix in with your morning eggs. A solid solution for those whose breakfasts are already a mad scramble; now you can get your greens without the additional chopping and frying. Flavors include Rancheros, Leafy Greens, and Mediterranean.
5. Ancient Harvest Hot Breakfast Cereals
For the Hot Cereal Flakes: 131 calories, 0 g fat, 2 mg sodium, 2.4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 4.3 g protein
Ancient Harvest has been making gluten- free pastas for a while, but we're excited about the brand's foray into breakfast cereals. Blends of grains (quinoa, millet, amaranth) make a nice addition to standard oatmeal, and the cereals are lightly sweetened without smacking you in the teeth with sugar the way many hot breakfast cereals do. If oats are your jam, though, don't miss these 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes!
Lunch and Dinner
1. Quorn Naked Chik'n Cutlets
80 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g protein
Quorn is primarily made from mycoprotein, a fungus- based protein that's grown in vats of glucose. It sounds a little strange, but if you can get past the science-fiction aspect of Quorn, you'll discover a meat alternative that's low in sodium and free of soy and additives. The company has released four new products this year, but we like the Naked Cutlets because they're easy to fry up in a wok along with some veggies.
2. Daiya Cheezy Mac
290 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 590 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 6 g protein
Like dressing your sweet-faced child as Chuckie for Halloween, this is a terrific health food disguised as something dangerous. Brown rice pasta and a squeezable dairy-free sauce package made with pea protein make for a super-convenient superfood. We like the Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie for its colorful inclusion of real vegetables, although we wish the sodium count was a little lower.
3. Organic Girl Salad Pepper Greens and Salad Dressings
Salad: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 90 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein
Dressing: 100 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0 g protein
Life is getting bitterly better all the time with these triple- washed, ready-to-eat greens that make it easy to get a taste of the new trend toward more bitter, flavorful salads. With a blend of peppery arugula and mustard greens, along with spinach, chard, watercress, and other sources of leafy goodness, this new mix will challenge your taste buds. Pair it with an offering from the company's new line of salad dressings, which actually resemble real salad dressings instead of sugar water. In fact, there's zero H2O added to water these dressings down, and they're sweetened just a touch with either agave nectar or dates.
4. Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese
For the Kalamata Olive: 150 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 480 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 18 g protein
Cottage cheese, the classic "I'm on a diet" lunch, has gotten a bad rap of late, in part because most brands are packed with sodium. A 2014 Spanish study of 418 adults found that sodium itself, independent of calorie intake, can cause weight gain. That means the salt in cottage cheese undermines all the sacrifices you made in having to eat cottage cheese in the first place. And flavored cottage cheese, like pineapple, is perhaps the single most palate-wilting food in the world. Fortunately, Good Culture has stepped up to solve both dilemmas. Eschewing the saltiness of plain flavors and the sugariness of fruit flavors, the brand has created some delicious, savory mixes,such as Kalamata Olive and Sundried Tomato, that truly don't feel like a sacrifice.
5. Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Elbow Macaroni
300 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 15 mg sodium, 11 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 21 g protein
Imagine if mac & cheese suddenly changed from an indulgent comfort food to a muscle- building, fat-melting supermeal. Well, that's what will happen if you make yours with Tolerant's new elbow macaroni, made from green lentils. (Don't worry, kids, the green washes out when you cook it, so the result looks like plain pasta.) One serving provides 21 grams of protein and nearly half of your day's fiber. For more fiber-rich choices, don't miss these 30 High Fiber Foods That Should Be In Your Diet!
6. SeaPak Lighthouse Selections
For the Shrimp & Veggie Griller: 110 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 320 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein
Known mostly for its breaded clam strips and fish fillets, SeaPak launched a new line of lighter, heat-and-eat shrimp dishes earlier this year. Now you can get all the protein (20 grams per serving) and omega-3s of its regular sea-food line, but with- out the extra carbs. Flavors include Marinated Shrimp, Shrimp & Veggie Griller, and Creamy Garlic Shrimp.
Chips, Dips, and Spreads
1. Miyoko's Creamery Artisan Vegan Cultured Nut Products
For the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse: 130 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g protein
Vegan cheese is inevitably disappointing, with its weird rubber-band texture and sorrow-tinged taste of deprivation. Miyoko has a better idea: Instead of trying to approximate cheese, it's created a line of nut-based products that look and, yes, taste quite a bit like cheese, but stand on their own as delicious alternative spreads and snacks. Myoko's "hard cheese" products like English Farmhouse use cashews and chickpea miso, while spreadables are softened with coconut oil.
2. Beanitos Real Cheesy Puffs
120 calories,, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 180 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 6 g protein
We've been fans of Beanitos for years, but for pure mindless snacking, it's hard to beat the company's new Real Cheesy Puffs, made not from bizarre chemicals but from whole navy beans, long grain rice, and sea salt for a high-fiber, high-protein treat. Swap these into the kids' lunch boxes and you'll never sweat snack time again. (Beanitos also recently reformulated its tortilla chips so they more closely resemble traditional corn chips in both texture and flavor.)
3. Flamous Organic Original Falafel Chips
123 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated), 79 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein
Have a falafel, you'll never feel awful. Especially if you're dipping these chips instead of your usual fare. Made from non-GMO chickpeas and beans, as well as a mix of falafel spices like turmeric, these chips are intended to pair with hummus, but we snacked through a full bag without any dip necessary. Not only are they high in fiber and protein, but they're made primarily with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, for 100-percent guilt-free chomping.
4. Peeled Snacks, Peas Please
For the Southwest Spice: 130 calories, 4.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 g protein
Here's another "puff" product that threatens to leave that Cheetos Cheetah character in a cloud of fluorescent orange dust. Made with green pea and brown rice flour, these puffy snacks come in Garden Herb, Sea Salt and Southwest Spice. Texture-wise, they were identical to the nutritionally vapid puff snacks you'll find in other parts of the supermarket aisle, but they pack a surprisingly robust helping of fiber and protein.
5. Sabra Greek Yogurt Dip—Cucumber Dill
40 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 95 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein
A lot of "veggie" dips are really nothing more than sour cream and chemicals, and can rack up 12 grams of fat and 110 calories in just 2 tablespoons. Sabra has a great alternative: a cucumber dill dip that's based on Greek yogurt, resulting in one-third the calories and less than one-fifth the fat, plus all the protein you'd expect from yogurt.
1. Paleta Handcrafted Energy Bars
For Coconut Cacao Cashew: 220 calories, 18 g fat (7 g saturated), 6 g protein 5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 281 mg sodium,
In the language of Eat This, Not That!, "energy" bars often translate to "calorie" bars; many are little more than candy bars on steroids. Others can taste like wet cardboard covered in melted peanut butter. That's why we're excited whenever we find a new product that delivers on the nutritional front and the flavor front. Paleta bars are vegan and gluten-free, but still deliver a nice dose of protein and fiber. While many of the flavors were a hit with the team, Coconut Cacao Cashew was the clear taste winner.
110 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein
They're marketed as snacks, but Chic-a-Peas are so straight-up healthy, you'll think of them more as crunchy little weight-loss pills. Little more than roasted chickpeas touched with a bit of oil and spices, they come in several flavors including the new Sweet BBQ.
3. Brooklyn Biltong
70 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 390 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g protein
No, despite the antlered stag on the package, "biltong" isn't an exotic kind of antelope. It's beef, but unlike regular jerky, biltong is made by wind- drying, rather than heat processing. The result is a meat that's much more tender than regular jerky—no more using the back mandibles to tear through a stringy chunk. In fact, like prosciutto, it can even be used to top pizzas or salads, or just eaten out of the bag whenever your inner carnivore demands immediate satisfaction. It's also lower in sodium than your standard beef snack. Discover The Best and Worst Beef Jerky—Ranked! in our exclusive report.
4. Brad's Broccoli Poppers
148 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 194 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 6 g protein
This was a bit of a no-brainer, but it took the folks at raw-food purveyor Brad's to figure it out. Take the most nutritious and most popular vegetable (broccoli), freeze-dry it, spice it up, and offer it as a snack for those with idle hands and hungry mouths. If you can teach your kids to love these, your place in the Parental Hall of Fame is secured.
1. Arctic Zero Ice Cream
For the Salted Caramel: 35 calories, 0 g fat, 135 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 3 g protein
What if you turned a protein shake into ice cream, but with just 35 calories per half cup? And what if you did it with flavors like Cake Batter and Snickerdoodle? While the folks at Arctic Zero await their much-deserved Nobel Prize, we'll just enjoy eating their new line of flavors, made with whey protein instead of cream. When it comes to protein powders, though, see which ones Eat This, Not That! experts say are The Best and Worst Protein Powders.
2. Setton Farms Dark Chocolate Pistachios
230 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated), 0 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 5 g protein
Trail mix? Afternoon snack? Functional food? These dark chocolate treats are yummy and healthy enough that they could fit in anywhere, but we finally decided they made the most sense as a dessert; as a trail mix, they're so distractingly delicious you could find yourself getting lost in the woods.
3. Nature's Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie
For the Double Chocolate Chocolate: 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 45 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 2 g protein
While a "twin pack" counts (somewhat unfairly) as two servings, you can't argue with the bottom line: These brownies are amazingly delicious and surprisingly low in sugar. (In fact, most of the sugars come from dates and berries.) They come in chocolate, mint, raspberry, and blueberry flavors.
4. Big Slice
For the Natural Kettle Cooked Apples: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0 g protein
In this applesauce for grownups, cooked apples mingle with flavors from pineapple and passionfruit to raspberry hibiscus and green coffee extract. While they do contain some fruit juice concentrates, making them slightly high in sugar, they're also a great way to fork 5 grams of fiber into your mouth while ringing your daily vitamin C bell. They're also sweet enough to qualify as dessert or a nutritious ice cream topper.
1. Javazen (Coffee + Tea Combo)
10 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein
For the health-conscious, choosing between coffee and tea can be confusing, as more and more research touts both as metabolism-boosting superfoods. Now there's no need to choose: Javazen promises to help you "find your Zen now" with a certified organic blend of coffee, tea, and superfoods (cacao, açai, and goji) so you can reap the benefits of everything all at once. And for spiritual reinforcement, Javazen wants you to know that, much like the presidential primaries, its product is manufactured with 100-percent wind energy. We found the Original Blend (a mix of coffee, green tea, and cacao) just as perky as our regular cup of joe, but with a less acidic bite.
2. TruMoo Chocolate Lowfat Milk with Extra Calcium
140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 8 g protein
This January, TruMoo introduced a new Calcium Plus low-fat chocolate milk, with 50 percent more calcium than regular low-fat milk. As sweetened beverages go, this is about as healthy as it gets; TruMoo does its best to keep added sugars low; their 1% chocolate milk has just 8 more carb grams per cup than regular 1% milk.
3. Orgain Organic Protein Almond Milk
60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 140 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 10 g protein
Anyone trying to avoid lactose, or just interested in the vegan lifestyle, can get frustrated by the lack of protein in non-dairy milk products. So we were excited to discover this almond milk, with 10 grams of plant-based protein per serving. Now we can have our morning cereal the way Stella McCartney wants us to, but without sacrificing our metabolism-boosting protein hit.