This or That: Is Snickers Healthier Than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Kelly Hogan, MS, RD
by Kelly Hogan, MS, RD
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This or That: Is Snickers Healthier Than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Chocolate is a delicious treat containing some health benefits like antioxidants and micronutrients. Still, due to its high sugar content, we don’t often eat chocolate for the nutritional benefits, but rather as a “necessary indulgence” and enjoyable part of a well-balanced diet.

That said, there may be certain chocolate candies that are more filling and nutrient-dense than others. Here’s how two of the most popular choices — Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — compare to one another:

NUTRITION

SNICKERS

The popular candy is marketed as one that promotes satisfaction, with slogans like, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” and “Snickers handles your hunger.” The combination of fat and protein from the peanuts is the biggest contributor to the satisfaction factor, although the overall protein content is not that impressive. Moreover, the minimal amount of fiber and high added sugar content means if eaten by itself as a snack, it’s likely to spike blood sugar levels and lead to a subsequent energy dip.

If you’re looking for more variety in texture, Snickers might win out since it has a more complex nougat base, soft, chewy caramel and crunchy roasted peanuts. Also, it likely takes longer to eat a Snickers bar than two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

In general, peanut butter is a nutrient-dense food containing healthy fats, protein and some fiber, making it a satisfying addition to a meal or snack. Delving a little deeper into Reese’s specific nutrition, one package (two peanut butter cups), contains fewer calories, carbs and sugar and more fiber and protein compared to Snickers. Thus, it gets slightly higher marks for overall nutrition and satiety.

There is no denying peanut butter and chocolate are a tasty combination, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups may be the “OG” product for this pairing. It’s smooth, rich flavor can be enjoyed in a few bites.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Given the comparison and slight nutritional advantage, should you always choose Reese’s over Snickers? If you are craving one, absolutely! But the purpose of eating either chocolate treat is just that — a treat. There can and should be room for fun foods like candy bars in a varied, plant-forward diet. The more we neutralize foods like chocolate and resist diet culture labels like “good” or “bad,” the more treats like this can be a part of our lives in a balanced, guilt-free way.

Discover hundreds of healthy recipes including kale and broccoli via “Recipe Discovery” in the MyFitnessPal app.

About the Author

Kelly Hogan, MS, RD
Kelly Hogan, MS, RD

Kelly Hogan, MS, RD is an NYC-based registered dietitian specializing in women’s health, sports nutrition and plant-based eating. She is passionate about helping people develop a positive relationship with food and their bodies, and uses a non-diet approach in her practice. When she’s not talking or writing all things nutrition, Kelly can be found running in Central Park – she’s run 11 marathons and counting! – cooking recipes new and old, handstanding at the yoga studio or hanging with friends and/or her rescue dog, Peanut.

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