Not All Mall Snacks Are Created Equal — What Should You Eat If You’re Trying To Be Healthy?

The siren smells of the mall food court can weaken even the most determined healthy eater worn down by a day at the mall. With the aroma of Auntie Anne’s tickling your nose and stirring a rumble in your tummy, it ain’t easy to avoid a calorie fest. Good thing our benevolent benefactors at Consumer Reports are on the case. The snack beat, as it were.

Chow down at Starbucks on some tasty breakfast items and grab a pretzel dog around lunch and suddenly you’ve had more calories than you should eat in a day. But where there’s a healthy will, there’s a way.

Prepare before you go: Sure, part of the fun of the mall is eating mall snacks. But if you don’t want to leave heavier than you started, eat a meal at home before you shop.

Make the smart choice: Going for reduced fat or light options can help, points out Consumer Report. For example, getting the reduced-fat blueberry muffin at Dunkin’ Donuts will spare you 50 calories and 5 grams of fat that you would get with the regular version.

Don’t overload on toppings: Yes, candy and nuts are nice, but adding fruit to frozen yogurt will help you save on calories and fat. Just say no to butter and salt at Auntie Anne’s to cut 30 calories and 590 mg of sodium and give yourself the gift of 150 fewer calories by passing on the melted cheese dip. Cheese. Sigh.

Check nutrition figures online before you go: Just because something has fruit or veggies in it doesn’t mean it’s definitely the healthiest — a fruit smoothie can cause a calorie avalanche and Starbucks’ zucchini walnut muffin comes with 490 calories of potential regret.

For more tips and a handy table of common options you can swap out at many mall food courts, check out Consumer Reports’ guide in the source link below.

Smartest snacks to eat at the mall: What to nosh on when you’re out shopping [Consumer Reports]