You're not you when you're hungry

Because of the fact, that the article on the nutritious and functional value of a popular sweet called “Mars” has been very interesting for you, I will pay attention to another top chocolate bar, called “Snickers” in this article. I will “look into” the ingredients, as well as the composition of macro and micro elements. I will also pay attention to the positive and negative aspects of regular consumption of this bar. So, what's inside snickers?

You should definitely read:

“Mars” in closer perspective, i.e. what can we find in it?

Snickers – a bit of history

The history of “Snickers” is very long and goes back to 1930, when Franklin Clarence Mars – the founder of Mars Incorporated, compiled the recipe of a bar which would connect sweetness with nutritious snack, and gave it the name inspired by... his favourite horse! This product became a hit. Despite almost 90 years of history, the recipe of “Snickers” is still based on the nougat filling, peanuts, caramel and chocolate as a coating. Once in a while, however, there are limited editions of modified versions of this bar, such as “Snickers Hazelnut”.

What is “Snickers” made of?

The ingredient list of “Snickers” seems to be very interesting, however, it's hard to call it revolutionary in present times. This bar is based on the following components: sugar, glucose syrup, peanuts, cocoa paste, cocoa fat, skimmed powder milk, sunflower oil, milk fat, lactose, palm oil, dried whey, salt, emulsifier (soyabean lecithin), dried egg white, natural vanilla extract, milk protein, natural aroma. The producer also presents the list mentioned above in a much easier form, and you can read, that the bar contains nougat filling (14%) with fried peanuts (24%), coated with caramel (27%) and milk chocolate (35%).

Hard facts

Whatever words you use to describe the ingredient list of the mentioned bar, there's no doubt it mostly contains simple sugar and fat. In fact, there are no hydrogenated fats (as the source of harmful trans isomers), but the connection of saturated fatty acids (milk components, palm oil), polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega 6 group (sunflower oil, peanuts) and saccharides, such as glucose and saccharose, is not such a good idea, referring to the body aesthetics and metabolic health. However, maybe there is something in this bar, which could “defend” its honour and would make it and attractive option because of the culinary and nutritious values?

Nourishing snack?

There's no doubt that “Snickers” belongs to a group of quite nutritious sweets. First of all, it is connected with high energy value – in 100g of this bar (almost 2 pieces) there are over 500kcal, mainly coming from fat and refined sugar. Second of all, it also contains some amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. You can find the exact information concerning the nutritious value of this bar below (together with the content of particular components and the percentage realisation of recommended intake):

  • energy value: 510kcal,
  • proteins: almost 9.5g, including 2.5g of animal origin,
  • carbohydrates: 53g, including 44g of simple sugars and 3g of fibre,
  • fat: 29g, including 13g of SFA, 11g of MUFA and 5g of PUFA (omega 6),
  • vitamin A: 1mcg, 0.11%,
  • vitamin D: 0.2mcg, 2%,
  • vitamin E: 1mg, 10%,
  • vitamin C: 0.0mg, 0%,
  • vitamin B1: 0.1mg, 8%,
  • vitamin B2: 0.2mg, 15%,
  • vitamin B6: 0.2mg, 15%,
  • folic acid: 40mcg, 10%,
  • vitamin B12: 0.0mcg, 0%,
  • sodium: 360mg, 25%,
  • potassium: 210mg, 6%,
  • calcium: 100mg, 10%,
  • phosphorus: 185mg, 25%,
  • magnesium: 72mg, 17%,
  • iron: 1.3mg, 13%,
  • zinc: 1.3mg, 12%.

What does it all mean?

Looking at the numbers above, it can be noticed that “Snickers” supplies large amount of energy in small dose. It can be an advantage e.g. for people who need a lot of strength, like physical workers. In case of white-collar workers, who sit in front of a computer for most of the time during the day, this bar is very risky. The advantage which distinguishes “Snickers” from other sweets is quite high content of proteins, up to 10g (in 100g, not in one bar, of course). It can be an important value, however, you should pay attention to the fact, that majority of proteins is of plant origin, therefore, it is of lower quality. The presence of fibre is also positive, but you shouldn't overestimate it.

Besides the fact that “Snickers” is a rich source of sugar and fat, it also supplies a significant dose of B group vitamins (mainly pyridoxine and riboflavin), as well as vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. High content of sodium is not an advantage, just like high dose of phosphorus – because we often eat too much of both elements.

Small tip

You should keep in mind  the fact, that when I admire the nutrition value of “Snickers”, I compare it to other sweets, and not to conventional, low-processed food. All the “values” of this bar are worth judging in the context of high energy density and palatability – those two features make it easy to supply a lot of energy and cross the daily demand without noticing it.

Summary

There's no doubt that “Snickers” can be a snack which “wins hunger”, what is caused by high energy value, the presence of proteins and fibre. However, it is not realistic to be oneself for a long time after consuming this bar, because sweets usually fill the stomach only for a short while, and after that we want to eat again. Therefore, you should know that half an hour after consuming “Snickers” you won't be you again.

Mars in closer perspective