We all know that sweets are mostly composed of sugar and refined fat. However, there aren’t many people who know, what the exact nutrition value of popular confectionery is. Do these treats really lack vitamins and minerals? Do they supply only “bad” fat? Are they completely without any proteins and fibre? I will try to answer these questions by analysing the nutrition value of one of the popular bars.
Jeśli nie masz wystarczającej wiedzy - chętnie ułożymy profesjonalny plan za Ciebie. Dołącz do grona 50 000 zadowolonych klientów :)
- Darmowe konsultacje z doświadczonym dietetykiem i trenerem
- Ponad 4000 posiłków i 500 ćwiczeń, które możesz dowolnie wymieniać
I suppose we all remember the advertisement of “Mars” bar with an aging native American, who tells his son during hiking that “it’s good time to die”. In the next frame we can see that the young man is swinging in prayers and a chocolate bar falls out from his pocket, which is noticed by the old man who grabs it, eats it, and tells a joke after a second. The next thing we see is the son coming down with his father laughing and gesticulating. The moral of this advert is that after eating “Mars” everything “is fine” (beforehand this spot ended with a phrase “Mars strengthens”). Why did the producers decide for such message?
The ingredients of “Mars”
When we read the label of “Mars” carefully, and to be precise – the ingredients list, we can notice, that the strengthening power of this bar can be easily justified. For this product is mostly composed of sugar. The ingredient list is following: saccharose, glucose syrup, cocoa fat, full powder milk, cocoa paste, sunflower oil, skimmed powder milk, lactose, powder whey, low-fat cocoa, milk fat, barley malt extract, emulsifier, salt, egg white in powder, palm fat, hydrolysed milk protein natural vanilla extract.
As you can see, the ingredients list is quite long, but there are at least seven products which are carbohydrates (including majority originating from lactose) and at least six components which supply fat, but most of that fat supplies saturated acids. There are also some protein components in this bar (but altogether there isn’t much proteins) and additives, such as vanilla aroma and salt (adding salt to sweets is very common nowadays). How do these ingredients influence the nutrition value?
The nutrition value of Mars
One Mars bar in standard edition weighs almost 50g (47g to be exact). To make the message clear, however, I will present the nutrition value on the basis of 100g of the bar, it will be much easier to compare different products then (in the near future there will be other descriptions of popular food products). You can find the exact information below (including the content of particular ingredients, as well as the percentage realisation of recommended intake):
- Energy value: 450kcal,
- Proteins: 4g, including 2.5g of animal protein,
- Carbohydrates: 70g, including 62g of simple sugars and 1g of fibre,
- Fat: 18g, including 12g of SFA, 5g of MUFA and 1g of PUFA (omega 6),
- Vitamin A: 2mcg, 0.22%
- Vitamin D: 0.3mcg, 3%
- Vitamin E: 0.5mg, 5%
- Vitamin C: 0.0mg, 0%
- Vitamin B1: 0.05mg, 4%
- Vitamin B2: 0.2mg, 15%
- Vitamin B6: 2.5%
- Folic acid: 10mcg, 2.5%
- Vitamin B12: 0.0mcg, 0%
- Sodium: 200mg, 12%
- Potassium: 200mg, 4%
- Calcium: 100mg, 10%
- Phosphorus: 100mg, 15%
- Magnesium: 30mg, 8%
- Iron: 1.2mg, 12%
- Zink: 0.7mg, 6%
As you can see, although “Mars” bar is rich in energy, it is quite poor in non-energetic nutrients (except for vitamin B2, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and iron). Practically speaking, the more energy we supply from similar products, the less proteins, vitamins and minerals demand is covered. It is one of the reasons why it is not advised to include such products in a diet – they take place in the balance of the more valuable products. Another matter is that they have high energy density, yet they are very tasty, which is why it is easy to supply excess amount of calories with them – very dangerous calories, which are the composition of fat and refined sugars, for shape.
Is there a place for “Mars” type bars in a diet of active people?
We already know, that mars bar is not particularly valuable when it comes to the content of non-energetic nutrients, although some amount of vitamin B2, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and iron may be an advantage comparing to others, less valuable confectionery. “Mars” could be good as a substitute of energy bars for sportspeople of endurance disciplines. Eating one bar after workout by slim, active people without the tendency to put on weight doesn’t have to be a worse option than drinking one portion of “carbs”. Therefore, such bars, conditionally – may be used by sportspeople and intensively training people, however they shouldn’t be overestimated and it’s good to keep moderation in eating them.