Yogurt-covered pretzels are a popular, simple snack made from crunchy pretzels covered in a yogurt coating. These are one version of a nearly endless list of yogurt-based foods typically viewed as a healthy alternative to traditional snacks, such as candy and chocolate. Manufacturers make versions ranging from vanilla flavored to strawberry or peanut butter flavored.
While yogurt on its own offers significant nutritional benefits, snacks like yogurt-covered pretzels seldom offer much in the way of nutrients or health benefits. Like other yogurt snacks, including coated peanuts or raisins, yogurt-covered pretzels are a delicious dessert rather than a health food. They should be enjoyed like other types of snacks, and eaten in moderation to avoid problems with weight gain or poor health.
A single cup of yogurt-covered pretzels contains approximately 400 calories, or significantly more than the average candy bar in the United States. A serving consisting of ten of these coated pretzels packs in roughly 300 calories. Perhaps more important is the fat content, which hovers around 12 grams for each ten pretzels. Yogurt-covered pretzels also contain a surprisingly high amount of saturated fat. A single cup of nonfat yogurt, on the other hand, contains 120 calories and no fat or saturated fat.
Plain pretzels contain little to no fat, and the same is true for nonfat yogurt. The high fat content of yogurt-covered pretzels comes from the other ingredients used to make this snack. Many pre-packaged versions contain sugar and unhealthy oils to give the appearance and taste of yogurt, but contain little to no actual yogurt. This means that snackers who turn to yogurt-covered pretzels instead of yogurt will miss out on the protein, vitamins, and minerals found in most fresh yogurts.
Yogurt also contains live, active cultures, which may help regulate the digestive system and help the body absorb calcium and other nutrients. Yogurt-covered pretzels, on the other hand, contain relatively little yogurt, and virtually no live cultures. This means that eating these pretzels will not provide the same health benefits of eating a cup of yogurt and a serving of pretzels on the side.
Of course, this doesn't mean that people should give up yogurt-covered pretzels entirely. Instead, they should be viewed as an occasional snack, and treated just like other desserts. Buyers should read labels to educate themselves on the ingredients in these pretzels and how many calories are contained in each serving. Some yogurt manufacturers also offer recipes on their websites, which allow pretzel lovers to make this snack at home with less fat and sugar than what's typically found in packaged varieties.