Pretzels are bad for weight loss. Actually, they can make you gain weight, as they’re high in calories and they don’t reduce appetite. Also, we tend to eat higher amounts than the recommended daily serving. However, pretzels have fewer calories than other popular snacks, like breadsticks, rice cakes, and even popcorn!
Can pretzels make you gain weight?
Pretzels are promoted as a healthy, low-calorie, guilt-free snack, ideal for weight loss. But, pretzels can actually make you fat.
Too many calories per serving
Above all, pretzels can make you gain weight because they’re particularly high in calories. They have about 380 calories per 100g, or 3.5 oz!
Not only are pretzels calorie-dense foods, but also, they have a poor nutritional value. They lack of vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting phytochemicals, which are necessary for a good metabolism. Pretzels are mainly starch. Per 100g (3.5 oz), they contain:
- 80 grams of carbs
- 10 grams of protein
- 2.2 grams of sugar
- only 3.4 grams of fiber
Most noteworthy, pretzels are bad for weight loss because most people consume higher amounts than the recommended serving! Thus, nutrition facts labels can be misleading.
A serving of pretzels is only 1 oz (28 grams). This tiny portion has only 5–20 pretzels, depending on their size, and 110 calories! As we can consume a couple of servings, we consume hundreds of extra calories without even realizing it.
We gain weight when we consume more calories than we burn!
Don’t reduce appetite
Moreover, pretzels are made of refined flours, which contain negligible amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber is good for weight loss, as it reduces appetite.
So, pretzels are bad for weight loss. They’re high in calories, but low in fiber. So, they don’t suppress hunger, leading to overconsumption.
Additionally, pretzel consumption can spike blood sugar levels, as they’re high in carbs. In fact, pretzels have a high Glycemic Index of 84. Even table sugar has a lower Glycemic Index of 65. Consuming high amounts of foods with a high Glycemic Index can make you gain weight. They make it more difficult to stick to a long-term, hypocaloric diet for weight loss.[2,3]
Moreover, most pretzels are packed with salt. Sodium is necessary for good health. But, nowadays, we tend to consume too much salt, which makes us fat. Sodium promotes overeating and retention of fluids.
Are other snacks healthier for weight loss than pretzels?
Actually, most popular snacks can make you gain weight, as they’re high in calories. In addition, most people consume much higher amounts than the recommended serving. So, better avoid consuming breadsticks, popcorn, and rice cakes. Obese people who want to lose weight should be very cautious with portion sizes.
In fact, the best snacks for weight loss are whole fruits and nuts. You can eat a banana, an apple, or a handful of walnuts or almonds, as a healthy snack between meals. After all, it’s highly recommended to consume at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruits are low in calories, but high in fiber, which regulates appetite.