Product Type: Tesco Snacks
Newest Review: ... and I can't tell if it's suitable for vegans thanks to the non-specific "Natural flavouring" - could be honey or similar,... more
Sugary cereal bars that I can pretend are good for me
Tesco Light Choices Maple Cereal Bars
Member Name: beckyX
Tesco Light Choices Maple Cereal Bars
Date: 04/02/10, updated on 03/06/11 (110 review reads)
Advantages: Low fat, relatively low cal
Disadvantages: Too sweet for some
Tesco Light choices maple cereal bars are a sugary breakfast cereal bar that costs £1.53 for a box of six bars and are described as "Rice and wheat cereal bars with maple syrup".
I picked these up because I wanted a cereal bar and these were one of very few of the extremely large selection of cereal bars that didn't have dairy in it. I've not really got any idea why so many of them have dairy in other because than it is cheap - it's generally pretty low down on the list of ingredients, so it's not like they are trying to reproduce the "Morning bowl of cereal and milk" taste. So, I've given the product a plus one on the rating for the lack of dairy.
The bars are quite small - about four inches long, an inch wide and half an inch deep and, as such, aren't filling. They certainly aren't a breakfast replacement!
They are extremely moist and chewy and unbelievably sugary - good if you happen to be a sugar fiend like I am, but bad if you don't have a toothbrush with you to brush your teeth right afterwards. Beware them pulling at any loose teeth or fillings! These are basically rice and wheat that has been bound together with syrup, with a tiny bit of maple syrup in (2%) to give it the name. The maple flavour does come through pretty well though, so I think that it must have been fortified a bit by the unspecified "Natural flavouring".
They have a little bit of that crystalline sugary taste that you get when something has a little bit too much sugar in, and I can't really taste the cereal through the sugar itself, so that's just there to give it bulk I suppose.
===So, is it good for me?===
Sorry, depending on what measure of "good" you are using, these are not necessarily good for you, in spite of the Light Choices name, but I'm a firm believer that occasional treats are a good thing, so I don't personally care that the occasional snack is a bit high on sugar. Everything in moderation, eh?
If you look a little bit closer at the pack, you see that what "lighter choice" means is (in their words) "Light on calories, sugar or fat". Yes, it's that magic word OR there. This product is relatively low in fat, but it's nearly 20% sugar by weight! Obviously they are going to make the most flattering claim for their product (and after all, why shouldn't they?), so pointing out the lack of fat in a sugary product is fine but only really useful if you are only monitoring your fat intake - most of us would care about all the nutrients not just one of them. Would you think that lard was healthy if you read the claim "Lard: low in sugar!"? No, you wouldn't. Obviously, it would be low in sugar if it were 100% fat, but unless you only care about sugar and not about everything else, then it's not going to help you choose a healthy option.
But it's not all bad news - it doesn't have artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat, and it isn't too high on the salt, which makes a refreshing change! And anyway, sugar is useful in its own right if what you want is an instant calorie hit e.g. if you go jogging.
Each bar has 75kcal, 1.0g protein, 15.5g carbs, 4.2g sugar, 0.6g fat, 0.2g saturated fat and 0.1g sodium. Each bar has only 1 WW point. The ingredients are: Rice, FOUR different types of sugar/syrup (including maple syrup), wheat, glycerol, oil, malt, salt, natural flavouring and soya lecithin. The allergens are wheat, gluten and soya. It is suitable for vegetarians, and I can't tell if it's suitable for vegans thanks to the non-specific "Natural flavouring" - could be honey or similar, for all we can tell.
Apparently the bar has 30% less fat than Tesco's cranberry cereal bars. Which mostly makes me think that I'd better not get the cranberry bars! These bars aren't big enough to be a meal replacement, but they are good for elevenses or if I need a sugar boost - such as on a hiking trip.
The bar tastes quite nice. It's not the healthiest thing ever, but snacks rarely are. It's a good size to pack for a hiking trip, plus unlike chocolate, it won't melt too much in the heat. I'll probably buy this product again, because it's dairy free and pretty nice.
Review may be cross-posted elsewhere.
Summary: A very sweet cereal bar flavoured with a bit of maple syrup