Snack bars…. Are they actually healthy?

I realise that many of us are time poor these days and instead of making our own snacks, we are buying them from supermarkets. There is literally a whole isle at the supermarket dedicated to snack foods. They label themselves as ‘high in protein,’ ‘wholegrains’ ‘fat free,’ ‘natural, ‘high in fibre,’ and ‘healthy.’ They are easy to store, last for ages, come individually wrapped and can be taken anywhere. But are these tasty snacks actually a healthy options for your snack food cravings?

Unfortunately, many of these bars are full of sugar and low in fibre, so not only will they fill you with sugar, but they won’t keep you feeling full for very long.

Below are a few things to consider when purchasing snack bars for your family…

Look at the ingredients list

Ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest amount. So you want the firstΒ  few ingredient to be completely natural, such as nuts or oats. Any sugar or additives should be very last on the list. Ideally you should be able to recognise all of the ingredients on the list, any you don’t understand are probably not good for you.

Low sugar content

Make sure you check the sugar content on the nutritional panel. You want to aim for less than 10-15g per 100g. So the muesli bars dipped in chocolate or with choc chips, will probably be out of the running.

High fibre content

We all know fibre is important, but did you know it can help you feel fuller for longer? Finding a muesli bar high in fibre will help you feel full until your next meal.

Health star rating

Australian products now come with a health star rating, 0 stars being poor and 5 stars being a healthy option. Whilst this system is not perfect, it has its flaws, it is a good start for comparing different bars. Stick with bars that have at least a 4 star rating.

Can you make your own

I understand the ease of simply purchasing a packet of muesli bars from the shops, but if you think about the cost per bar and unhealthy ingredients, is it more practical to make your own? When purchasing the ingredients for your bars, the initial cost is higher, however I assure you, the ingredients will make many more bars than you could buy for the same price. Also, you can control what goes into the bar and modify it to your own tastes and requirements. (I will put up some recipes in up coming posts)

These are a few of my favourites:

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nut bar

Strong.Fit.Mom

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