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Is Chex Mix Healthy? Nutrition, Calories, Sodium
Nutrition

Is Chex Mix Healthy? Nutrition, Calories, Sodium

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 30
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5 min
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Chex Mix is a famous snack mix brand made by General Mills. This article dives into the nutrition information behind this beloved snack.

Chex Mix is filled with crunchy and salty snacks that are available in different flavors such as Cheddar, Bold, Honey BBQ, and many more. 

Many love this savory snack mix because it appears to be healthier than regular potato chips. However, is this really the case? 

Read on to learn more about the nutrition of Chex Mix!

What Is Chex Mix? 

Chex Mix typically contains ingredients such as Chex, rye chips, mini breadsticks, round pretzels, and pretzel sticks. However, the exact ingredients and flavoring vary based on the variety of Chex Mix.

Chex Mix is available in its classic Traditional flavor, as well as Bold, Cheddar, and more. They also have the snack available in sweet flavors. For example, they offer Honey Nut and Turtle flavors. 

Is Chex Mix Healthy?

Overall, Chex Mix is not a healthy snack mix as it is low in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, it is high in sodium and carbohydrates and contains added sugar.

What Ingredients Does Chex Mix Contain? 

Overall, the snack mix contains Chex, rye chips, mini breadsticks, and a variety of shapes of pretzels. The Chex cereal is both wheat Chex and white. 

However, on a smaller scale, Chex Mix consists of whole wheat, corn meal, enriched flour, and rye flour. Therefore, it has both whole grains and white flour, depending on which part of the mix you are consuming. 

Additionally, it contains a vegetable oil blend with soybean, rice bran, canola oil, and sugar.

There are many ingredients that Chex Mix contains 2% or less of, including flavorings such as dried onion and garlic powder, barley malt syrup, caraway, natural flavor, and more.

It has added color, salt, spices, citric acid, and more as well. 

For an entire list of all the ingredients in Chex Mix’s “Traditional” flavored mix, click here

Nutrition Facts

From calories and carbohydrates to sodium and protein and more, let’s dive into the nutrition information behind Chex Mix, using the “Traditional” flavor as an example.

Nutrition table (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount 
Calories (kcal)419
Sodium (mg)871
Net Carbs (g)67.7
Fiber (g)3.2
Sugar (g)9.8
Fats (Total)16.1
Protein (g)6.45
Cholesterol (mg)0

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1631212/nutrients

It is important to note that 100 grams of Chex Mix contain a little over three half-cup servings of the snack. A serving is approximately 31 grams in weight. 

High in sodium

A half-cup serving of Chex Mix, which contains approximately 31 grams, contains 270 milligrams of sodium.

The daily recommended limit for sodium consumption is 2,300 milligrams, according to the American Heart Association. Therefore, consuming a serving of Chex Mix is already more than 10 percent of this recommendation. 

More so, since a serving is just half of a cup measurement, it is easy to overeat with this snack blend, and therefore you could potentially eat a lot more sodium than you think. 

The American Heart Association actually states that sodium consumption of just 1,500 milligrams or less is ideal.

Excess sodium consumption can contribute to elevated blood pressure levels or hypertension that increase the chances of developing heart disease, including a heart attack or stroke. 

Click here for a reference article on sodium and how it can impact weight loss. 

Low in protein 

Protein is such an essential component of a healthy diet as it supports healthy muscle growth and maintenance and much more. However, a 31-gram serving of Chex Mix only contains a mere two grams of protein.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you pair your Chex Mix snack mix with a protein source such as cheese, savory spiced nuts, or milk to get adequate protein in your diet. 

Additionally, adding a protein source to Chex Mix will help keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Therefore, having a healthy protein can also contribute to weight loss or maintenance because you are full for longer. 

High in carbs

A 31-gram serving of Traditional Chex Mix contains 23 grams of carbohydrates and only two grams of dietary fiber. Since the Chex Mix is high in carbohydrates, it has the potential to increase blood sugar levels, mainly because it is low in fiber.

Dietary fiber content is beneficial to controlling blood sugar levels because fiber helps slow down the digestion and absorption of the sugars that the carbohydrates contain. This prevents drastic spikes in blood sugar and energy levels. 

Additionally, while carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for the body, consuming an excessive amount of carbohydrates that do not get used for energy can be stored in the body as fat. 

High in calories and fats 

Additionally, a serving of a one-half cup of Traditional Chex Mix contains 130 calories. 

While this amount can be considered low for some foods, Chex Mix is very low in vitamins and minerals, with just a tiny amount of iron – just about 4% of the daily recommended value. 

Therefore, Chex Mix could be considered high in calories at 130 calories but without any significant amounts of vitamins and minerals or even protein and fiber.

It is best to choose nutrient-dense food sources, meaning they have a lot of nutrition (such as vitamins and minerals) for the number of calories they contain, rather than energy-dense foods. 

Additionally, a 31-gram serving of Chex Mix contains 3.5 grams of total fat and half of a gram of saturated fat. Excess fat in the diet can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and more.

FAQs

Is Chex Mix good or bad for you?

Overall, Chex Mix is bad for you because it does not contain very much nutrition, such as protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, or minerals. It is difficult to call Chex Mix healthy because it primarily includes carbohydrates, sodium, and fat.

Is Chex Mix good for diabetes?

Chex Mix is not good for diabetes because it is high in carbohydrates but low in fiber and protein. Fiber and protein help to slow down the digestion of the sugars in carbohydrates.

Is Chex Mix good for weight loss?

Chex Mix is not good for weight loss because it does not have much fiber, protein, or healthy fats. Therefore, it will not necessarily leave you feeling full and satisfied with just one small serving.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Overall, Chex Mix is a salty and savory snack that should only be enjoyed in moderation. 

While it does contain some whole grains in the wheat Chex cereal, you would not call Chex Mix healthy because it only has about two grams of fiber in a small serving. 

It also contains enriched flour and does not contain significant amounts of any vitamins or minerals, except for iron (it has 2% of the daily value). 

Instead of Chex Mix, it is best to choose whole grain crackers with a protein source, such as cheese, and healthy fat, such as nuts. This powerful combination will likely leave you feeling full and satisfied, as well as keep your blood sugars steady.

Making a homemade Chex Mix or trying these healthy snacks will also give you the same savory and salty taste you enjoy from Chex Mix.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Chex Mix is a high carbohydrate food that is low in essential nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. 

It has only some whole grains and a small amount of iron. Additionally, eating Chex Mix is not suitable for losing weight because it will not likely leave you feeling full after a serving.

You may easily consume multiple servings of Chex Mix, which can be problematic due to the high sodium content. 

Finally, making a homemade Chex mix can be a great way to eat Chex mix. Add rice Chex, garlic powder, corn Chex, and more as an alternative to potato chips. You can incorporate healthy fats, such as olive oil, whole grain snacks, and protein if you add nuts or seeds.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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