Mars Bar v. Alpen Light Bar

School Of Nutrition Posted Jul 21, 2014 Future Fit Training


Are you craving chocolate right now? You might be thinking of replacing it with a ‘healthier’ cereal bar instead. But are cereal bars really healthier?

Mars Bar v. Alpen Light Bar

Let’s look at some stats comparing a Mars bar with an Alpen Light bar:

 

MARS BAR

ALPEN LIGHT BAR DOUBLE CHOCOLATE

Serving size

100g

100g

Calories

449kcal

344kcal

Protein

4.3g

5g

Fat

17.1g

6.2g

Saturated fatty acids

8.3g

2.6g

Carbohydrates

68.9g

56.2g

Of which sugars

59.7g

20.5g

Fibre

1.2g

21.8g

Sodium

0.16g

0.08g

Salt

0.41g

0.21g

Ingredients

Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Sunflower Oil, Lactose,  Milk Fat, Vegetable Fat, Whey Powder, Fat Reduced Cocoa ,Barley Malt Extract, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Salt, Egg White Powder, Hydrolysed Milk Protein, Natural Vanilla Extract, Milk chocolate contains Milk Solids 14% minimum, Milk Chocolate contains Vegetable Fats in addition to Cocoa Butter

Cereals (33%) (Rice, Whole Oats, Whole Wheat), Oligofructose Syrup, Cocoa Fudge Pieces (10%) (Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Glucose Syrup, Humectant: Glycerol, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Vegetable Oil, Milk Butter Fat, Emulsifier: Mono & Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Salt, Flavouring), Cereal Flours (Rice, Wheat), Plain Chocolate (8%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Powder, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Flavouring), Sugar, Glucose Syrup ,Grape Juice Concentrate, Humectant: Glycerol, Vegetable Oil, Malted Barley Extract, Dextrose, Flavouring, Salt, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin, Antioxidant: Tocopherols

Here are some highlights:

  • They are similar in terms of protein content but the Mars bar is significantly higher in total fat, saturated fatty acids, calories, sugar and salt.  
  • The Alpen Light bar is made with cereals (33%) and is, therefore, impressively high in fibre.
  • A glance at the labels shows that both have sugar and glucose syrup as sweeteners. Glucose syrup can also act as a thickener, which improves the texture and flavour of the product. The Alpen Light bar is also high in oligofructose syrup, a plant derived sweetener that is often used, as a healthier alternative to sugar, in calorie-reduced foods. Oligofructose may promote satiety but, because it is a fermentable carbohydrate, it may also cause mild gas and bloating. On the other hand, the Mars bar has a shorter ingredients list and contains fewer additives.

OUR WINNER: Alpen Light Bar Double Chocolate!

Neither of these two products is a great snack choice. If we had to choose one, we would reluctantly pick the Alpen Light bar as at least it contains the goodness of wholegrain and is higher in fibre and lower in calories, fat, sugar and salt.  

Having said that, you will be snacking on dextrose, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, humectant, flavourings and emulsifiers. So we recommend that you save any type of chocolate bar for an occasional treat only and snack on home-made additive-free cereal bars instead.

Why not have a go at making your own Home-Made Chewy Muesli Bars here.

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