Pretzels are a popular snack around the world. They’re baked with a touch of salt and come in many varying shapes but mainly take a twisted knot form. They say the classic shape of the pretzel represents two praying arms as it was created by a monk.
Pretzels are low in calories and are made in various sizes. They are sometimes made hard and served small and crunchy. Other times, they are prepared to be soft and big with a chewy texture. Typically these salty treats are eaten with a dip sauce or are coated with one.
Sprayed with sodium hydroxide before being baked, pretzels have a brown and shiny appearance. They are high in carbohydrates and have some fiber too. The calorie-free snacks also comprise of some B vitamins and a little fat and protein content. Pretzels are prepared at home as well as available at convenience stores.
Pretzels are not as healthy as they are popular
While these grab-and-go items are great to beat hunger, they are not particularly nutritious. All varieties of pretzels are made of wheat flour which is composed of carbs. Now while carbs are a great energy source as they are converted into glucose, too many carbs can contribute to weight gain. The wheat flour used in the making of pretzels is refined, known as white flour.
This refinement process strips the little fiber and nutrients found in pretzels. Fiber is needed by the body as it improves gut and digestive health. Without fiber, pretzels can be difficult to digest. Moreover, pretzels have a high glycemic index which means they rapidly increase blood sugar levels. Too much GI can increase the risk of diabetes type 2 as per research.
Pretzels that are made of whole-wheat flour instead of white flour are a healthier option as that type of flour doesn’t boost a high GI and doesn’t negatively influence blood sugar levels. Soft pretzels can have a high calorie count which is why it is best to share big but soft pretzels rather than eat the whole pretzel on your own.
What’s more, these snacks are sometimes filled on the inside, other times they come with flavors and sauces. The addition of these can add to the calorie quantity too. Lastly, pretzels contain a lot of salt. In fact, salt is what gives pretzels their flavor. Hard pretzels comprise of more salt for preservation.
Add in the salt that is hidden in the sauces and fillings, and the salt content would rise even more. Too much salt is not healthy for a lot of people as it can raise blood pressure levels. And high levels of blood pressure are linked to a number of health concerns including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Wrap up thoughts
Pretzels can be enjoyed once in a while and in moderation. However, though they are a famed snack, they cannot be called nutritious. People with health complications must eat pretzels that are not accompanied by fillings or sauces. Pretzels are also healthier when made with whole wheat flour rather than white flour.