Many of us reach for a muesli bar as a mid-morning or afternoon pick me up. But are these seemingly healthy bars that good for you? Today I will evaluate a new muesli bar on the market that I found in the “Health Food” section of my local supermarket.
What makes a healthy snack? Generally speaking a snack should be around 200 Calories for weight maintenance or 100-150 Calories for weight loss. When eaten in conjunction with three balanced meals throughout the day, snacks can actually keep your metabolism kicking along nicely, meaning you will be burning fat more effectively and have consistent energy levels during the day = happy you!
Recently I noticed these bars in the supermarket and thought I would assess them for you.
When choosing a muesli bar, you should always look at the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) on the box/packet as this will give you a true insight into the product. Do this before believing any health statements or claims on the front as these may be misleading.
Usually I would look at the 100g column, but for bars we will focus on the per serve. Aim to find a bar that has around 100 Calories and meets 3 out of the 4 criteria below.
- Greater than 1g of fibre
- Less than 1g of saturated (bad) fat
- Less than 3.5g fat per serve if there are NO nuts, or less than 7g fat if it has nuts
- Less than 5g sugar if no fruit, or less than 15g sugar with fruit
How did the above bars shape up (per 30g serve)?
- Fibre 0.9g = Borderline
- Saturated Fat 1.7g = X
- Total Fat 4.6g = X as there are no nuts
- Sugar 10.7g = OK
This bar really only ticks one box as it has less than 15g of sugar considering that it has fruit (cranberries). The small amount of fibre means you won’t be full for too long, and you probably won’t be satisfied either. Corn flakes are the main carbohydrate source in the bar which are high GI, again this won’t keep hunger at bay = more cravings.
Assessment: this bar would be suitable for a treat as it does contain chocolate which contributes to the higher fat content. I would not recommend it as a regular snack during the day as it won’t be sufficient to tide you over between meals.
For the Gluten Free among us it could be a suitable after dinner treat for when you need something sweet.
Next time you are at the supermarket be sure to try your own assessment!
Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).