Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Emerald's 100 calorie pack nuts

So, I'm having a shufti over the nut section of my local (v. v. high priced) Bi-Lo,(the upside of this posh-neighbourhood store is the wide selection,) and I spy these:

After I got done cringing over the '100 calorie' crap (those poor poor hungry people who are still counting calories!), I just had to check it out more closely.

One was "Natural walnuts and almonds" ingredients: walnuts, almonds. Hmm. So far so good. Fat 9g, carbs 3g, protein 3g. Lookin' pretty damned good! I tossed these in my cart.

I checked the other out, just for comparison: "Cocoa roast almonds". Now, I don't like chocolate, but I know of a LOT of low-carbers and Paleo people who eat everything from tiny bits of regular chocolate to the unsweetened baking chocolate (The thought of which, frankly, makes me gag) because they just have to have their chocolate fix.

The ingredient list was bad:

The almonds are dry roasted and there's non paleo potato starch plus some frankenfood chemicals. Fat 8g, carbs 4g, protein 3g. Obviously not the healthier choice, but, out of curiosity and for the sake of comparison, I decided to try it. (I can pass them on to my chocolate loving mother.)

I started with the plain nuts. Here's the wee packages inside the box (there are 7):

And here are the actual nuts. The walnuts were broken up quite a bit, but not pulverised. There wasn't any dust or teensy pieces and both types of nuts seemed to be good quality.

I honestly enjoyed them and they made a good small snack. If I can fit them into my budget, I'll probably keep a box around as a grab-and-go quick low-carb / paleo snack.

"OK. Yeah. But what about those chocolate ones?" you ask (a bit too eagerly).

Well ... if you are dieting to lose weight, I'd recommend you NOT, repeat NOT, buy these. Don't even push your trolly down the nut aisle, ok?

Srsly. This product is exactly what is typical of the food industry today. You take a basic, wholesome food (almonds), add some chemicals, some starch, some ... SUGAR, and toss in a substance (chocolate) that has millions of Americans already addicted, and you have a recipe for repeat sales and obese customers.

The "Natural walnuts and almonds" are wholesome, convenient, and good. The "Cocoa roast almonds" are insane. I dislike chocolate but when I opened the pack that candy bar smell burst out, bringing memories of my days of eating Snickers, Kit-Kats, and Almond Joys in twos and threes. The nuts themselves are very sweet and crunchy, immediately triggering shoveling behaviour.

I had to snap out of it after the first nut and get hold of myself. Memories of myself at 300+ lbs and my 52 inch waist helped, but it was tough.  And remember: this from a person who hates chocolate!

So, again, if you are low carbing or Paleo, the plain nuts are a quick convenient snack. As for the dark chocolate healthy-disguised nutty sugar bombs? Run. Run v. far away. You'll be doing your heart AND your backside a favour.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:36 am   3 comments


At 9:37 am, Anonymous Jezwyn said...

But wait a minute - aren't you meant to be thrifty? Surely buying pre-packaged allotments is going to cost a lot more than buying a single bag of nuts and dispensing them as needed (personally, I use a ziplock mini-bag to dole out my portion, and re-use the same bag each time). And how about a nod to the excessive amount of trash individual portioning contributes to landfill?

At 8:38 am, Anonymous MrsEvilGenius said...


Thrift isn't like a food allergy. One doesn't die if one buys something not on sale or *gasp* fails to buy in bulk one time.

We are not all alike. A busy work-outside-the-home mom might need an emergency toss-in-your-handbag snack for rare occasions. A dieter might struggle with portion control and know that she will overfill her own bags.

At 9:22 am, Anonymous Jaime said...

Just out of curiousity, how many ounces of nuts was in one single package of the good nuts (almonds and walnuts)?


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