Protein bars, energy balls and nuts: snacks compared

Energy balls, nuts and protein bars: Snack manufacturers are always bringing new things to the market. Often with a healthy dye. What can snacks really do?

Satisfy your hunger between meals without reaching for a chocolate bar: there are more snacks on the market that claim to be healthier alternatives. The range ranges from protein and muesli bars to fruit slices and energy balls. Products are often based on dates, nuts, almonds or dried fruit, and some contain protein powder. How recommended are these snacks?

Nutritionists such as Rita Rausch from the Rhineland-Pfalts consumer center in Mainz are quite skeptical: “All snacks have a huge variety, but many are more candy than healthy snacks,” Rausch says.

Sugar is also found in date snacks

The reason is that the products are often high in sugar. This applies, for example, to fruit slices or muesli bars. In some cases, one bar contained twelve grams of sugar – that’s the equivalent four sugar cubes. Sometimes it’s more.

According to the recommendation of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), you should not consume more than 50 grams of sugar per day. “So if you’re eating a muesli bar, for example, you’ve already consumed a good portion of your daily sugar intake,” says Rita Rausch.

By the way: This also applies if no sugar is added to the products. Because that’s how the ingredients like it Dates, dried fruits, rice syrup or honey affects the sugar balance of products.

Fiber keeps you fuller for longer

After all: a comparative account with some snacks such as muesli bar high fiber content, which keeps you fuller for longer. “Along with the sugar content, high fat content and added flavors also negatively impact many snacks,” Rausch said.

This is not to say that all snacks on the market are bad from a health perspective. In the end, it depends on the individual product. It’s best to take a closer look before it goes into your shopping cart, and then into your backpack while you’re on the go.

Kempten nutritionist Elke Binder therefore advises to be critical See the ingredient list. This can help you compare data from different products. How much sugar is in it? how much oil How long is the list of ingredients in total? It feels like which snack is better in terms of nutritional value.

Who are protein bars worth?

But what about protein bars – a fitness snack? They should support the body in building muscles and thus help regeneration during exercise. “However, the term protein bar is fundamentally misleading,” says Elke Binder. “Because the bar is not only made of proteins, that is, proteins.”

Protein bars often contain sugar or substitutes such as glucose or invert sugar syrup. And: Bars are often covered in chocolate, more turns into candy.

Besides: “For the majority of the population, this snack is simply excess,” Rausch clarifies. Recreational athletes, even with regular exercise, are unlikely to have increased protein requirements. If you eat a balanced diet, you can get your protein this way – for example, oatmeal, legumes or nuts.

Fun Facts: Vegan Proteins: Top 5 Sources

“Mostly, it may make sense to consume protein bars in addition to their regular diet for some high-performance athletes and people who do strenuous physical work, such as construction workers,” says Rita Rausch.

Bars are often expensive

Another disadvantage of snacks: They are relatively expensive. Homemade snacks are usually cheaper and often healthier. “About one A slice of rye bread top with cheese and fresh pepper flakes,” advises Elke Binder. Rye bread causes blood sugar levels to rise more slowly and is easily digested, so it scores points over wheat bread. The protein content speaks to the cheese and the red pepper also provides vitamin C.

It’s also a healthy in-between snack because it’s unprocessed: “Eat fresh fruit“, says Rausch. It can be an apple or a handful of berries. Also vegetables – such as carrots, cucumbers and peppers – suitable: cut into bite-sized sticks, for travel or as a snack on the go.

“Also one A handful of unsweetened dried fruit is often a good choice for providing energy to the body,” says consumer advocate Rausch.

Energy balls can also be made at home from dried fruits, nuts and dates. For example, with this recipe: A healthy alternative to energy bars: Make your own energy balls. You can also make your own crunchy or savory bread: Healthy snacks: delicious recipes and ideas.

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