Monday, January 10, 2011

Corazonas Heart-Healthy Snacks-Review!!





I love kettle-cooked potato chips. My Mom does not, so anytime she gets a bag at a deli, she always gives them to me. Kettle-cooked chips are my go-to snack of choice at all times throughout the day. So, when Corazonas sent me 5 bags of their kettle-syle chips...let's just say I was, ummm....jumping for joy? Okay, not literally, but I was very, very happy to try them out :) 




I had read up on the Corazonas brand chips, and found that they are actually good for you. Wow, was I sold on that! My favorite snack, and I didn't need to feel guilty about it! The chips come in 5 flavors-Slightly Salted, Italiano 4 Cheese, Spicy Rio Habanero, Parmesan Peppercorn, and Sea Salt and Vinegar.  I do have to admit the Spicy Rio Habaneros were just a tad too spicy for my taste buds. I still ate them, but I probably wouldn't pick this variety when shopping. BUT...the Parmesan Peppercorn and Italiano 4 Cheese are out of this world DELICIOUS!! The Parmesan Peppercorn has just enough of a kick to bring tears to your eyes on the first bite, but not too strong. And the Italiano 4 Cheese has a wonderful cheesy blend flavor. 
Now, since I am confessing all sorts of things during this post...I have to confess that my sister and I polished off all 5 bags of these chips by ourselves-in less than a week! Yep, 2 people -5 bags of Corazonas kettle style chips in under 7 days! We had them with lunch, for an afternoon snack, and then again for a late-night snack! These are now a staple on my shopping list! The other 2 varieties, Slightly Salted and Sea Salt & Vinegar were also very tasty. Being somewhat of a saltaholic, I of course enjoyed the salty taste of both these.
Along with the kettle-style chips, Corazonas also sent me 5 of their Oatmeal Squares-Banana Walnut, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Flax, and Chocolate Brownie and Almonds. Yes, you read that right! A healthy oatmeal snack with chocolate and almonds! The Oatmeal Squares were all very good, (especially the fudge brownie with almonds :). They are very sweet and chewy, and the perfect snack to slip in your purse when you're running errands all day!



"Clinical studies indicate that, when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, plant sterols can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine by up to 50%, which in turn can lower LDL blood cholesterol by 5-14%.
Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are plant-based compounds that occur naturally in fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole-grain products and most vegetable oils, but usually at levels too low to effect LDL cholesterol. But plant sterols can be added to other foods at beneficial levels that help lower blood cholesterol and reduce risk of coronary heart disease.
These naturally-occurring substances are the plant’s cholesterol. Just as humans have cholesterol, so do plants. If you were to look at plant sterols under a microscope, they look very similar to human cholesterol. Thanks to this nearly identical structure, plant sterols compete with cholesterol for access to receptors in the small intestines known as micelles. Micelles help transport cholesterol through the intestine into your blood stream. Over 140 clinical studies have shown that plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 5% - 14%.
While there are more and more heart healthy snacks and heart healthy foods available today, those which have plant sterols (meeting specific FDA criteria) can sport a statement on the package indicating they may help reduce the chances of heart disease.
Experts recommend that to get the maximum cholesterol-lowering benefits, you should consume between 1.5 to 3 grams of plant sterols per day. To begin to see any benefits you need to consume a minimum of 0.8 grams per day. Most Americans get approximately 0.25 grams of plant sterols per day from the foods they consume. While it may be difficult to get this amount naturally from heart healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, it is very achievable if you incorporate foods fortified with plant sterols such as specific chips, breads, and margarines."
Sooo, next time you're looking for the perfect, healthy snack-check your local grocery store for some Corazonas Kettle Style Chips or Oatmeal Squares...they also have Tortilla Chips available that look delicious too! You can check the Store Locator to find the closest store with Corazonas products too!

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