Snack bars and health: Why reading the fine print helps
Talk about snack bars and there are several of them lining the supermarket aisles nowadays. So, which is the healthiest snack / energy bar?
Snack bars often seem a nutritious way to energize yourself as you zip off to work in the morning or run for your Zumba class in the evening, yet some of that is simply smart promotion. Add the words "whole grain" or "granola" on any packaging, and hey presto! Any food product starts looking healthy.
A word to the wise—meal replacement bars, granola bars, and other similar bars can incorporate ahighamount of sugar, oil, sodium, and other not-really-healthy added substances. Furthermore, that apparently nutritious bar may well lack in other healthy nutrients.
However, don't turn your nose up at snack bars altogether. If you know what to look for, snack bars can actually up your health quotient.
Here’s what you need to keep your eyes peeled for in healthy snack bar:
- Low in sugar
Make sure your snack bar has less than 9 grams of added sugar. However, the natural sugar of dried fruits iscompletely fine and dandy!
- High in fiber
Pick up a snack bar with no less than 10 percent of your daily estimated intake of fiber to get the advantages of enhanced satiation and better digestion, as well as a lesser risk of heart problems, type-2 diabetes,and obesity.
- Less sodium
If there’s anexcessive amount of salt in the bloodstream, it puts pressure on your veins. This is a big no-no in terms of a possibility of getting a heart disease. In a healthy snack bar, thesodium content is limited to 140 mg.
- Lowin saturated fat
Saturated fat is the Skeletor of the fat world. It’s bad with a capital ‘B’. This type of fat can increase cholesterol level in blood, intensifying risk of stroke and heart disease. Ensure only 15 percent or lesser amount of a snack bar's calories is from saturated fat.
- Filled with other healthy nutrients
Get a bar that offers 10 percent or a greater proportion of at least one healthy nutrient, such as protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A or C,orfiber. If a bar appears to have more calories and carbs, it is not as healthy as its packaging information may proclaim.
- The fewer ingredients, the better
The best snack bars have aminimalnumber of ingredients. These simple but healthy ingredients provide protein, vitamin E, fiber, potassium, andmagnesium—it can provide you just the energy buzz you are looking for.
- Low calories
A low-calorie bar is best for both women (between 140-200 calories) and men (between 170-300 calories). Therefore make sure to check the label so you know theexact amount of calories the bar packs in. For those extra largebars, you may have to slice them down to avoid those excessive calories.
Picking the best snack bar may not always be simple but now you know precisely what to hunt for. Happy snacking!