All Posts In Taste Test

Taste Test: Which Hot Dogs Are the Top Dogs?

by in Taste Test, June 30, 2014

hot dogs
With the season of backyard food fests in full swing, Healthy Eats vetted the most popular hot dog brands around to see which ones deserve a coveted spot on the grill grates. Find out which frank emerged as top dog.

The Criteria
We rated beef wieners on a 5-point scale (5 being highest), judging the dogs on taste, ingredient quality and nutrition and paying special attention to calories, fat and sodium. We stuck with regular franks instead of the reduced-fat versions, as many of those use a considerable amount of fillers made from potato starch to displace some of the meat (no thank you). We were also on the lookout for the presence of preservatives such as sodium nitrite. Hot dogs ranged in size from 42 to 57 grams (1.5 to 2 ounces) per piece.  Read more

Taste Test: Healthier Crackers

by in Taste Test, June 21, 2014

crackers
Have you  browsed the cracker aisle lately? In addition to stocking the classic varieties, shelves are overflowing with versions made from whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. But are these options really what they’re cracked up to be?

The Criteria
For this taste test, we chose the plain or original flavor crackers. Each was tasted alone, without any toppings or condiments. The crackers were rated on calories, fat, fiber and sodium, along with ingredients (including preservatives and additives), flavor, texture and cost. Each brand was rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being highest.

Kashi Original 7 Grain Snack Crackers (above)
Rating: 5.0
Cost (per ounce): $0.44
Nutrition Info (per serving: 15 crackers): 120 calories; 3.5 grams total fat; 160 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber
The Healthy Eats Take: With plenty of crackers per serving (15!) and a respectable amount of fiber, these delicious crackers won’t leave you hungry. The snacks have a hearty crunch and a well-rounded list of whole-grain ingredients, including millet, oats, hard red wheat, brown rice, barley, buckwheat and sesame seeds.

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Taste Test: Kale Chips

by in Taste Test, May 25, 2014

kale chips
Crunchy versions of this leafy green vegetable are taking the chip aisle by storm. There’s no doubt kale is delicious and nutritious — but do its dried spin-offs live up to the hype?

The Criteria
We rated these leafy snacks on a 5-point scale (5 being highest) and judged them on taste, texture, price and nutrition, with special attention paid to stats such as calories and sodium. All of the brands were vegan and gluten-free, but none contained only kale. Most featured various spices and nuts, so it’s worth reading labels carefully, particularly for anyone who has food allergies.

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Taste Test: Frozen Burritos

by in Taste Test, April 4, 2014

burrito
As more burritos hit the frozen food aisle, Healthy Eats was curious to see which fit the “healthy” bill. Sure, making your own bundle of deliciousness is ideal — but sometimes you’re just in the mood for a grab-and-go meal. So which burrito to heat and eat?

The Criteria
Supermarket freezer cases are overflowing with burrito options, including vegetarian, beef and egg. But for the sake of simplicity, this taste test was narrowed down to chicken. Five brands of burrito were in the running, and each was heated in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s directions. The burritos were rated on calories, saturated fat and sodium, along with ingredients, flavor, texture and cost. Although some brands contain seemingly healthy ingredients, they can also have a laundry list of preservatives and additives. Each brand was rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being highest.

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Taste Test: Turkey Bacon

by in Taste Test, March 20, 2014

turkey bacon
Do you reach for turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to conventional bacon? As it turns out, there’s not always a huge difference between the two when it comes to nutrition stats. An average slice of traditional pork bacon (about ½ ounce in weight) contains 35 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 130 milligrams of sodium. Now find out how the turkey version stacks up.

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Taste Test: Better-For-You Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

by in Taste Test, February 27, 2014

cookies
Reaching for a more wholesome cookie seems like a smart choice, but do these seemingly healthier brands pass the test for nutrition and flavor? Healthy Eats did a Taste Test to find out.

The Criteria
Each brand of cookie was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). The cookies were evaluated on taste, nutrition and ingredient quality, with special attention paid to the types of sweeteners and fats used in the all-important filling.

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Taste Test: Healthier Frozen Pizzas

by in Taste Test, February 19, 2014

frozen pizza

A while back, Healthy Eats asked Facebook fans to name their favorite healthy frozen pizzas. Most people said they preferred to make their own pies, while others insisted the term “healthy frozen pizza” was an oxymoron (fair enough). That said, it never hurts to know the better choices available out there. Because let’s face it: Sometimes the frozen pizza aisle just calls your name.

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Taste Test: Bottled Lemon Iced Tea

by in Taste Test, July 17, 2013

lemon iced tea
Looking for a refreshing beverage to beat the summer heat? See the results of this taste test before popping open a bottle of sweetened iced tea.

The Criteria
This taste test focused on sweetened teas with lemon (no other flavors for this challenge). Close attention was paid to ingredient quality, calories and sugar, and each tea was rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Although the teas came in various sized containers, all teas were scaled to 16-fluid ounces, the most popular size.

One thing that varied widely was sugar content, something worth keeping an eye on. The tea with the highest amount contained 48 grams, while the top-rated bottle had fewer than 10 grams. (To help put things in perspective, a 16-ounce soda/cola contains 52 grams of sugar.)

Here’s how the teas stacked up!

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Taste Test: Salsa

by in Taste Test, May 30, 2013

salsa
Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties — find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria
Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Specific attention was paid to flavor, texture and nutrition info, focusing on calories and sodium.

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Taste Test: Strawberry Greek Yogurt

by in Taste Test, April 28, 2013

Greek yogurt
Back in 2010, we did our Nonfat Greek Yogurt Taste Test and there were only a few brands to choose from. Today, the number of companies making Greek yogurt has exploded, and so have the flavor options. So how do the flavored varieties stack up? Find out.

The Criteria
I used our typical 5-point scale (5 being the highest) to rate these yogurts. For nutrition, I paid close attention to calories, protein and sugar content. Even plain Greek yogurt contains some natural sugars from milk (aka lactose) but when looking at flavored varieties, there’s often a large variation of ingredients. Sugars on the label can come from milk, fruit and/or added sugars.

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