Sunday, 27 October 2013

Product Review: Chic Nuts

I recently discovered this product when it was recommended to me by another dietetics student. I love the taste and think they're a healthy snack and a great way to get extra legumes into our day (one food group many of us miss out on altogether). Chickpeas themselves are full of nutritional benefits but I thought I would analyse these roasted chickpeas and do the hard work for you!

What are chickpeas?

Chickpeas are a legume. Also called 'pulses', legumes include all forms of beans and peas from the Fabaceae botanical family. Other legumes include: butter beans, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, soy beans, lentils, mung beans and split peas. Think baked beans, hommus, Mexican dishes and dahl!

Why are legumes good for us and how much of them should we be having?

Legumes are rich in protein, fibre, B vitamins and phytonutrients. They are low G.I., low in fat (in particular saturated fat), and gluten free.

They are the only food that are included in two of the five food groups:
- 'Vegetables and legumes/beans'
- 'Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans'

They are classed in the vegetable group because of their high source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and as part of the lean meat and alternatives group because they are a good source of protein. This makes them great for vegetarians too!

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we have:
- 5-6 serves from the 'vegetables and legumes/beans' group each day (where 1/2 C of legumes counts as a serve), and
- 2-3 serves from the 'lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans' group each day (where 1 C of legumes counts as a serve)

So when you eat legumes it counts towards your serves from both food groups!

So how do Chic Nuts stack up?

Chick Nuts are just chick peas that have been slow roasted and seasoned with salt and/or herbs and garlic. A serve is 25g (or around a 1/4 of a cup). This means it's equal to half a serve of veg!

I've used the nutrition information panel to compare Chick Nuts to the recommendations for each nutrient (see Nutrition Information Panels: Decoded) to see if Chick Nuts really are a healthy snack:

  • Energy:             399kJ/serve    (Recommendation is <600kJ/serve for a snack)
  • Total fat:           9.3g/100g        (Recommendation is <10g/100g)
  • Saturated fat:    2.1g/100g        (Recommendation is <3g/100g)
  • Sugars:             2.6g/100g        (Recommendation is <15g/100g)
  • Dietary fibre:    4.1g/serve       (Recommendation is >3g/serve)
  • Sodium (salt):   300mg/100g    (Recommendation is <400mg/100g)

The final word...

Chick nuts are a crunchy, salty snack that is a healthy alternative to things like chips, while giving you an extra serves of legumes (with plenty of fibre and protein). They meet all of the nutrition panel recommendations and get the tick of approval from me!

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