Looking for a low sugar chocolate snack? Here's how to read the label to tell if it really is low sugar...
The pressure on companies to reduce sugar levels in their products has been noticeably rising over the last year. And today, attention spiked even more following the challenge dealt out by Public Health England (PHE) to manufacturers encouraging them to cut sugar by 20% in their products by 2020. Applying to nine different categories including chocolate and sweets, the guidelines could be far-reaching in their effects if adhered to.
While companies are under no obligation to follow them, time will tell whether they choose to comply. Looking at the guidelines though, a change can’t come soon enough with the baseline average total of sugar contained in the chocolate confectionary category shown to be a massive 54.6g per 100g. What can we do in the meantime?
According to nutritional therapist and Director of Nutrition at Bodhimaya Daniel O’Shaughnessy, paying close attention to our food labels holds the key: “Under the 'carbohydrates, of which sugars' section of the food label, look for the total per bar. Ideally, there shouldn't be more than one teaspoon of sugar in it which approximately equates to 4/5g. Per 100g, look for no more than 15g.”
Which low sugar chocolate snack bars carry both his seal of approval and that of our sweet tooth’s? Here are Daniel’s top picks:
Kind Bar Dark Chocolate, Mocha, Almond, £15.48 for a pack of 12
Contains 5.5g of sugar per bar, 14g per 100g
“This is one of the lowest sugar supermarket-stocked bars and the protein from the nuts helps balance blood sugar levels.”
Pulsin Bars, £1.59
Its Mint Choc Chip Protein Snack contains 6.1g of sugar per 50g bar, 12.3g per 100g
“These have all the frees - gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free and it’s vegan.”
Lindt Excellence 90% Cocoa 100g, £1.99
Contains 7g of sugar per 100g bar
“The darker the chocolate, the less sugar in it and you probably won't eat as much. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium. Magnesium is also necessary for your muscles and nerves to function correctly - including regulating your heart rate - and it helps your immune and skeletal systems stay strong.”
Mindful Bites Brazil Nut Butter & Cacao Nibs Crunchy Bites, £2.49
Contains 1.1g of sugar per bar, 3.2g per 100g
"These are not only low in sugar, but they also contain 6 grams of protein per pack which won't cause any energy dips after eating. The cacao nibs can give you a nice lift and Brazil nuts are rich in selenium - essential for thyroid health and a mineral that is often depleted in our diets."
Available at Whole Foods Market nationwide.
Bulletproof Fudge Brownie Collagen Bite, £1.95
Contains <1g of sugar per bar
“These contain collagen which can help skin, hair and nails. Plus, it’s sweetened with stevia and suitable for low carb diets.”