Which snack bar is best?
Muesli bars, fruit and nut bars and protein bars are a popular and convenient choice of snack. There are so many to choose from however they are not all created equally! They can be very energy dense (be mindful of your portion size) and are often too high in sugar and too low in fibre to be considered an everyday food.
Don’t pay too much attention to the health/nutrition claims on the product packaging. Instead, flip over to look at the nutrition information panel. Here is an example:
The key things to look for on the nutrition information panel when choosing a healthy product are:
· Energy: About 600kJ per serve/per bar (or 150 calories) is a good aim
· Fibre: more than 3g per serve/per bar
· Sugar: less than 15g per 100g (or as low as possible)
· Sodium: less than 120mg per 100g
· Saturated fat: less than 2g per 100g
· Total fat: less than 10g per 100g (Don’t be put off if a bar is higher in total fat, because it may be higher in healthy fats i.e. fats from nuts and seeds that help to keep us full and satisfied for longer. The most important thing is to aim for the saturated fat to be less than 2g/100g).
· Protein: ~10g per 100g depending on the ingredients, but this is not essential
Here are some of the best snack bar options from the supermarket:
· Freedom Foods Crunchola Bar
· Uncle Toby’s Farmers Pick: Pecan, Maple and Cashew with Sea salt or Macadamia, Chickpea with Spice
· Uncle Toby’s Chewy Apricot Bar
· Carman’s Almond, Hazelnut & Vanilla Bar
· Carman's Greek Style Yoghurt & Berry Gourmet Protein Bar
· Goodness Superfoods Cranberry and Nut Bar
You can also make your own so then you will know what ingredients you are putting into them! There is a good muesli bar recipe as well as some other healthy snack ideas at this link: https://www.baker.edu.au/-/media/Documents/fact-sheets/Baker-Institute-factsheet-healthy-snacks.ashx?la=en
Regardless of the product, it’s good to use common sense i.e. bars with chocolate or yoghurt coatings are likely to be more of an occasional option. Check the product label and ingredients list and make your decision. Overall, a bar with both oats and nuts is going to make you feel more satisfied than a fruit and nut bar. Remember that variety is important in a healthy diet and it’s good to mix up your meal and snack choices throughout the week.
Also check out this link for a snack bar review by Choice: https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/bread-cereal-and-grains/cereal-and-muesli/articles/muesli-and-cereal-snack-bar-review
To get in touch with Anna for more information, to book a workshop or a one on one consultation click here to be redirected to her Active Farmers Nutrition page.