Are Pretzels A Healthy Snack?
Snacks, especially crunchy ones like pretzels, are a satisfying part of any balanced diet. They’re cholesterol-free, low in fat and taste great, but are often criticized for their sodium content.
So, Are Pretzels A Healthy Snack?
There are certain types of pretzels you should choose to be sure your family is getting a healthy snack. Unique Pretzel Bakery is a 120-year old family-owned business founded in Reading, PA, during the late 1890s that has grown for six generations. Our most famous brand is Unique Pretzels “Splits”, a split-open pretzel which was accidentally invented in the early 1950s after the dough was left to set too long and the pretzels split during baking.
Making Pretzels Healthier
Some nutritionists may convince you that pretzels are not healthy, but they overlook the important differences between products made from refined white flours and those made from healthy whole grains.
Unique Pretzels’ Sprouted “Splits” and Sprouted Shells, for example, are made with organic sprouted 100% whole grain flour from Essential Eating® Sprouted Foods. These are the only sprouted flour pretzel snacks in mass production and the first to be made with healthier organic extra virgin olive oil. You’ll find them at Wegmans, Fresh Market, Whole Foods and GIANT Food Stores.
Whole grains in general, but especially sprouted whole grains, provide the body with many nutrients that are essential for good health and may also reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. Where do the nutrients come from? They are naturally present in the nutrient-rich germ, the starchy endosperm, and the fibrous bran of 100% whole grains.
Unfortunately, the majority of the grains we consume today have been processed to remove the bran and germ to create a softer, finer texture and improve their shelf life. These “refined” grains have lost most of their dietary fiber, iron, and many of their B vitamins. They are later “enriched” with some of the nutrients lost in processing, but parts of the nutritious whole grain are still missing.
Benefits of Sprouted Whole Grains
Whole grains are actually the dormant seeds of plants, primarily cereal grasses. Like any other plant seed, they have the potential to germinate (sprout) and grow into new plants when subjected to the right temperatures and moisture conditions.
When sprouted properly, these grains begin to turn into plants, and the body recognizes and digests plants as vegetables. The starch molecules (which might otherwise be stored in the body as fat) are converted to simple sugars that the body can more easily absorb and use for energy. The sprouting process also increases the availability of other nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Until recently, however, most sprouted products have been made with a wet-milling or “mash” process. The grains are not milled into flour, but are ground into a paste for baking, and there is no guarantee that the grains actually sprouted. Mash products are coarser in texture and bitter (which means that sweeteners must often be added).
Unique Pretzels’ Sprouted “Splits” and Sprouted Shells are not made from mash. Instead, the flour we use from Essential Eating® is made with a newer process that involves rinsing, drying, sifting and milling the sprouted grain into 100% whole grain flour that has great baking characteristics and no bitterness.
The pretzels we make from sprouted whole grain flour are:
- Trans-fat free
- High in fiber
And, since properly sprouted flours made from sprouted whole grains are classified as vegetables by the USDA, eating our sprouted pretzels is almost like eating vegetables!
Sprouted “Splits” and Sprouted Shells from Unique Pretzels are, indeed, a healthy snack. The ingredients are organic, GMO-free, and contain no added sugars, colors, flavors, malts, preservatives or additives. As for salt, we add just enough sea salt to give our pretzels a delicious flavor and pleasing crunch. Look for them today and add some authentically healthy whole grains to your diet!