Dangerous Dining with Alex #5

Snickers Bar

Overview: Small . . . but deadly?

Label: Short, and sweet. 250 calories. 12 g of total fat, including 4.5 g of saturated fat and 0.2 g of trans fat. 120 mg of sodium. Merciful heavens.

Review: I’m not allergic to peanuts. Very few people are. In the U.S. 0.6 % of the population has a peanut allergy. Nevertheless, peanutphobia is a big deal, and has probably had some impact on the sale of candy bars like Snickers. Even a Mars bar now has a “no peanuts” logo on the wrapper, despite the fact that I don’t think anyone thinks Mars bars have peanuts in them. Some people have seen in all this evidence of “mass psychogenic illness,” or a hysterical reaction out of all proportion to the actual danger. On the other side of such a debate, I remember the mother of a friend of mine once saying that people who really do have such allergies should “just be allowed to die,” as their bodies were obviously too weak to survive in a natural environment. She was a hard case.

The numbers here shocked me. This isn’t a big chocoloate bar. Only the length of my index finger (and I have small hands). And yet what a punch it has! That’s 1/4 of your daily recommended saturated fat in three or four bites. Or put another way, it’s 1/3 of the fat contained in an entire Dr. Oetker’s frozen pizza. And 250 calories! When I go to the gym, on some of the machines there’s a computer display that tells you how many calories you’re burning while you’re working out. 250 calories is half an hour of hard exercise — easily the hardest work I’ll do all day. And it’s all made up in one snack.

I love chocolate bars, and I like Snickers. These little guys are delicious. How could they not be? All they are is sugar and fat. Or, technically, they are 52 g in total, 12 of which are fat and 27 of which are sugar. They’re so tasty, I often have two. But as I get older I’m really wondering if this is a habit I can maintain. I also worry about my teeth. Snickers bars are quite sticky, and I often have to spend some time after finishing one scraping the residue from around my gums. That can’t be good.

Price: $0.89 on sale.

Score: 6 / 10

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