The most stereotypical stoner snacks and why you should avoid them

Published Jan 12, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / happy_lark

We don’t want to rain on anyone's parade, but chances are pretty good that many of the snacks you reach for when you’re stoned are terrible for your health. Of course, some of us have been fortunate enough to create better habits, but the ten stoner munchies that we’re going to talk about today are the most well-known because most of us tend to fall back on them when we’re high. It’s ok to indulge in your favourite stoner food once in a while, but we’re going to tell you why you should avoid these stereotypical go-to snacks and how they can be replaced with far superior alternatives.

1. Potato chips

Chips are as easy as it gets and they’re cheap. We love the way that they crunch, and the salty kick doesn’t hurt either. In fact, it’s a huge part of what makes it so hard to put the bag down before you make it to the bottom, but they’re terrible for your health, and not because of the high salt or calorie content. When most store-bought chips are cooked, they are superheated in oil, producing a chemical called acrylamide that is known to increase a human’s risk of cancer when ingested.

Healthier alternatives: Great options include things like banana chips or nuts, as both offer a great salty taste, but they also include great additions like proteins and vitamins that are excellent to snack on.

2. Soda

This one isn’t exactly something you eat, but it’s just as infamous as a perfect solution to quench the thirst when you’re stoned. It’s sweet, sticky, bubbly, and full of sugar and caffeine, two things that will temporarily lift you up, but eventually, you’ll crash, feeling even groggier than before, and the large doses of sugar mean high calories, which are empty and absolutely useless for the body.

Healthier alternatives: If you want to replace soda in your diet, there are some fantastic drinks to choose from like kombucha, iced coffee, iced tea, homemade smoothies, coconut water, or sparkling water.

3. Chocolate

This one is all about the sweet tooth again, a craving that seemed to be triggered when we’re stoned and looking for munchies, but if you aren’t reaching for the right types, then you snacking probably isn’t doing your health any favors. Chocolate is really high in saturated fats which can add up to weight gain, and the serious doses of sugar don’t help that at all.

Healthier alternatives: Chocolate is a flavor that is hard to mimic in a healthy way, especially in snack form, but you could try cocoa powder sprinkled into a cup of milk, over oatmeal, or combined with coconut milk for a similar sweet taste. Then there are things like cocoa nibs, carob, dark chocolate, or plain old fruit which has high amounts of natural easy to process sugar, which is much better for you.

4. French fries

French fries, even those that are whipped up at home using regular household ingredients, aren’t all that great for your health. We tend to view potatoes as a harmless vegetable that can’t be bad for us, but it’s not the base ingredient you have to worry about. It’s all of the saturated fats and high amounts of salt that we use to cook and dress these delicious morsels that are worrisome.

Healthier alternatives: The next time you’re craving a hot plate of fries, you might want to try a more nutritional option like carrot fries, sweet potato fries, avocado fries, green bean fries, or parsnip fries, and when they’re prepared, it’s best to avoid or reduce additions such as oil and opt for baking for the healthiest results.

5. Fast food

Fast food is so appealing because it’s easy, but it keeps you coming back and addicted because of the high amounts of sugar that are in everything from the bread to the meat that’s offered. Chains like McDonald’s have openly admitted things like calorie count and other hazardous ingredients in their food, and the rest aren’t much different. Between all of the grease, sugar, and salt found in fast food, it’s a recipe for disaster for your waistline and health.

Healthier alternatives: Fast food is a challenging habit to get out of, and there aren’t many alternatives unless you’re willing to plan ahead but doing so can save you money while keeping you healthier. That’s why we recommend pre-making burgers, or whatever it is that you order when you’re stoned and freezing them so that they can be easily cooked or reheated for a fast a simple health-conscious meal choice.

6. Candy

Candy is one of the most stereotypical stoner foods which is probably why gummies are one of the hottest cannabis products on the market today. Things like Nerds, licorice, and those sweet little berries go down so much easier when you’re high, but they’re also terrible for you, especially if you eat too many. These treats are nothing but sugar, corn syrup, and empty calories, but the good news is that they’re easy to replace.

Healthier alternatives: The best and most nutrient-filled replacement for candy is freeze-dried fruit. It might be a bit more expensive, but you can get all of the delicious sweet, sugary taste without any of the guilt, and they come in a wide variety of flavors to choose from.

7. Baked goods

Cakes, cookies, pastries, brownies, muffins, cupcakes, and every other baked dessert you can think of is generally a hit among cannabis users when the munchies hit. They are easy to make, cheap, widely available at any corner store or coffee shop, but they are really bad for you for more than one reason. Baked goods tend to be high in fat, calories, and sugar since they are usually coated in some type of icing glaze or filling, so while they taste great, they are pretty bad for your health, plus they won’t keep you full for very long.

Healthier alternatives: Technically, you can still have all of your favourite baked treats while keeping your health in mind. You’ll just need to stock up on some ingredients that will make your snack much better for you. In homemade baked good recipes, use these alternatives for a more nutrient-rich solution to our hunger.

Flour: Coconut flour, wheat flour, or nut flour

Sugar: Pure honey, coconut sugar, agave nectar, bananas, or maple syrup

Egg: Chia seeds or flaxseed meal

Oil/butter: Nut butter, bananas, or applesauce

8. Ice cream

Ice cream might seem like an innocent enough snack, especially if you stick to plain flavors like vanilla with the occasional helping of fruit because it’s a milk product that we view as something that’s good for us, but in reality, ice cream usually contains artificial ingredients, high amounts of sugar and calories while offering no beneficial nutrients at all. It might get rid of the munchies, but there are much healthier options out there.

Healthier alternatives: Lo fat or non-fat options that also reduce the amount of sugar and calories include frozen yogurt, frozen kefir, and lactose-free brands and varieties of ice cream. The texture might be slightly different, but the sweetness is there, and your body will thank you for making the switch.

9. Pancakes

Pancakes are really easy to make, and most of us have a box of instant mix sitting somewhere in the back of a cupboard just waiting for the day an urge hits to make a batch. They are sweet, delicious, filling, and it’s fun to experiment with different toppings or additions, but for the most part, pancakes are a pretty unhealthy stoner food. Pancakes are unhealthy for the same reason as their baked counterparts, and the solution to turn this snack into something that’s good for you is just as simple.

Healthier alternatives: To make healthy pancakes, all you need to do is avoid adding sugary ingredients like chocolate chips, opting for fruit instead, and when it comes to topping them all, reach for a light dash of icing sugar or honey as a sweetener instead of syrup. You’ll also want to make them from scratch so that you can use healthier substitutions we mentioned above because they will fill you up and leave you feeling great.

10. Cereal

Cereal has long been accepted as a suitable thing to enjoy for breakfast, which makes us think that it’s a great way to get going when you’re hungry and, in a rush, but this sweet sugar-filled option is full of more empty calories and sugar than any other snack we’ve mentioned here. They’re filled with preservatives, and most contain nothing that’s going to be good for you at all, which is why it shouldn’t be eaten too often, if ever at all.

Healthier alternatives: Cereal is delicious but things like granola bars, oatmeal, cornmeal, and granola-based mixes will be much more nutrient-dense, providing you with energy to burn for hours which is perfect when you're stoned.

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