Chex Mix is a favorite snack of many people. It’s not surprising with the variety of flavors (most of them being delicious) and the low cost. However, you may have seen an article on the Internet questioning whether or not Chex Mix is as healthy as it seems. This article will explore that question, talk about its research, and do some math to make a more informed decision.
The Chex Mix has been around for decades. It’s a staple food in the pantry of many households in America, and it’s been a go-to snack for kids and adults alike for generations. But is it healthy?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, because it’s made from whole grain corn, wheat, and oats—and that’s pretty healthy. It’s also got 19 grams of protein per serving! And no, because it doesn’t have any dietary fiber. This means that if someone sandwiches a serving between two slices of white bread with a single slice of cheese or turkey bacon on top, they’ve got an unhealthy meal on their hands.
What Is Chex Mix?
Chex mix is a popular snack food at parties, in the office, and as a snack on road trips. It is made up of various types of Chex cereal—wheat, corn, rice, and sometimes puff corn. The pieces are mixed with seasonings and then baked or microwaved to a crispy consistency.
It contains several different types of Chex cereal from General Mills, plus pretzels, nuts, and crackers. It is served dry with a seasoning that is added before baking.
The current version was created in 1954 by Ruth Friesen of Detroit, Michigan. She was trying to find an alternative to popcorn for her children when she came up with the idea of mixing different kinds of cereal to make a new snack. Her recipe included Cheerios (another General Mills product), Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, and Corn Chex mixed with pretzels and nuts. She had found success with this recipe at home but wanted some help developing it into a commercial product, so she contacted General Mills, which agreed to produce it after some modifications were made to the formula.
When it was first introduced in 1954, the mix consisted only of Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, and rice square “crackers” (now rice squares). Over time more items have been added, including pretzels and other types of cereal and bagel chips.
Will Chex Mix Make You Gain Weight?
A cup of Chex mix has about 250 calories. That is probably more than what you think; most people tend to underestimate calorie counts, and they underestimate them by A LOT. If you ate one cup of Chex mix every day, that would add nearly 90,000 calories a year. To put this in perspective, the average man needs 2,000 calories a day, and the average woman needs 1,800 calories a day (according to the USDA). This amounts to about 45 days of calories for the average man and 50 days for the average woman.
One thing to keep in mind about this calculation is that it assumes that every cup of Chex mix you eat is exactly 250 calories. This isn’t true. Chex mix tends to come in different combinations and varieties, some of which could have more or less than 250 calories per cup. But no matter how much it has, you’re probably eating more than one cup when you eat Chex mix, and you’re certainly not eating it every day!
If you’re not careful, Chex Mix can make you fat.
Made with whole grain Chex cereal, Chex mix is a snack food that contains nuts, seeds, spices, and pretzels. When eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, Chex Mix can be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, as it contains high amounts of salt and fat, it should be consumed sparingly.
How Much Salt Does It Contain?
Chex Mix contains about 500 mg of sodium per 1-ounce serving. This is 22 percent of the recommended daily allowance for people on a 2,000-calorie per day diet as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Any more than this amount could lead to high blood pressure or kidney problems over time.
Is Chex Mix Good For Weight Loss?
Chex mix contains several ingredients that make it very high in calories and fat. A one-ounce serving can hold up to 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, and that’s without any additional ingredients like nuts or pretzels. The salt content is also relatively high, which can make you very thirsty if you eat a lot of it at once. This can cause you to consume more water than you need.
Another issue with Chex mix is that it’s easy to eat several servings in one sitting since the bag is so tiny, and the calories per serving are high. That can lead to serious weight gain over time if you’re not careful.
So if you want to lose weight, stick to low-calorie snacks like fruits or veggies instead.
Can Chex Mix Be Eaten Every Day?
Chex mix can indeed be consumed every day. However, caution should be exercised if you have high blood pressure, a family history of cardiovascular disease, or salt sensitivity.
The standard recipe for Chex mix is relatively high in sodium and sugar, with 19 grams of sugar and 1,280 milligrams of sodium per serving. According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, less than 10 percent of calories per day should come from added sugars; which works out to about 50 grams per day and 200 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet.
Additionally, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. This is equivalent to about one teaspoon of salt. People 51 and older, African American, or have kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure should only consume no more than 1,500 mg per day.
Chex Mix is not the healthiest snack on the market, but it’s not necessarily unhealthy either. Like most snacks and prepackaged foods, you shouldn’t over-consume. Plus, keep in mind that “health food” is a misnomer; fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other nutritious foods are technically “unhealthy,” because they’re calorie-rich. Given all this, it’s probably best to think of Chex Mix as a party snack that can be enjoyed now and then; not as a meal replacement.
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