I don’t like multigrain crisps. I used to eat them in Australia. They were like sawdust. Odd crunchy sawdust. So it’s a huge surprise to me that I’m coveting the last packet of Walkers multigrain Sunbites in the house.
No, they aren’t new to the market, but they are new to my tastebuds – and, as up until now I would normally have left them on the shelf thinking ‘sawdust snack alert’ I felt I should confess my new found love in case you’re labouring under the same misguided illusion as me.
People, you are missing out……
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These ones are good – particularly the Cheddar Cheese ones which are a top favourite.
Now once upon a time, that’s pretty much where this post ended, but over the years heaps of you have asked questions of this post about whether Sunbites are good for you – so, here’s a bit of analysis.
How Many Calories are in Sunbites?
This depends on the flavour – but on their website they give a general guide of 120 calories per 25g serving – that’s how big the bag is.
That’s a smaller serving size than a standard 32.5g bag of crisps (at 171 calories), but that’s not a bad thing as it helps you realise you probably don’t need anywhere near the number of crisps to satisfy you than you think you do.
Have a good look at the portion size and try and remember that next time you’re munching through a big bag of normal crisps – or one of their new sharer size bags!.
Are Sunbites Healthy?
Well, they aren’t an apple – but, let’s just look at the facts for the salt flavour comparing them a normal packet of ready-salted potato crisps…
They contain 67 per cent whole grains in the form of whole corn, whole wheat and whole oats. Potatoes have many good things about them, but wholegrains they are not.
They are slightly higher in fibre than normal crisps (most of the fibre in a potato is in the skin and normal crisps don’t use the skin) containing 1.4g per packet as opposed to the 1.7g in normal crisps.
Walkers Sunbites don’t expressly state if they are baked or fried, but they do use oil for whatever cooking method they use and that means that they contain 5.4g of fat per 25g packet (a normal packet of ready salted crisps contains 10.4g)
However, because they are fried in sunflower oil, only 0.6g of the fat comes from saturated fat. In fact, they only contain 5.4 calories from saturated fat – which is less than 3% of their calories. Which isn’t bad. Our imaginary packet of normal crisps contains 4 per cent of their calories from saturated fat.
Like all crisps, they’ve got salt in them – 0.24g per packet – which is the equivalent of 0.04 of a teaspoon. A normal 32.5g bag of ready salted crisps contains almost double that – so, when it comes to salt Sunbites are definitely better for you than a normal packet of crisps.
The only not so good thing is that they do contain sugar, 1.8g per packet – which is confusing as crisps are a savoury snack – and the amount in them is far higher than the 0.1g in a normal packet of crisps.
Lastly, Sunbites are also free from added MSG, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
So, are Sunbites Good For You?
Well, I can’t say they’re as good as accompanying your lunch with some celery sticks or some cherry tomatoes, but compared to a normal bag of potato crisps, they are generally better for you.
In fact, when a dietitian at respected health website netdoctor analysed them she said that Walkers Sunbites Original were a healthy addition to your lunchbox.
Are Sunbites Gluten-Free?
Those of you with coeliac disease or who actively avoid gluten will have spotted the words wheat and oats above and already realised the answer to this, but if you’re just seeing if you can buy Sunbites for someone who has to avoid gluten, or chooses to do so, unfortunately, no they aren’t gluten-free as you find gluten in wheat, rye, oats and barley and Sunbites contain two of those.
Their allergy information also states they are made in a factory that also handles: Milk, Barley, Soya, Gluten, Celery, Mustard.
Are Sunbites Vegan?
They state they are suitable for vegetarians – but they don’t say they are vegan – but don’t go away just yet.
While a closer examination of the ingredients shows that the Cheddar, Sour Cream, Honey BBQ and Tomato and Mozarella definitely aren’t vegan as they contain things like whey powder, butter and honey – I can’t see anything on the Sea Salt or Sun-Ripened Chilli ones that screams animal ingredient – and they are on the list of Peta’s Accidentally Vegan Snack foods so I think that means you’re safe and yes, at least two of the Sunbites flavours are vegan.
So, here endeth the snack related update for today – and the good news is, that Walkers Sunbites are generally an okay choice for your lunchbox – and they taste good too.
While we’re here do you remember their Cardboard Jane advert – it always makes me laugh? I’ve spent way too much time feeling like that on diets.
If you want to try them, you’ll find them in supermarkets, or, the nice people at amazon will deliver them for you if you like. Click here to order.
If you like this post, you might also like some of the others in our Is It Healthy series – we’ve looked at things like whether Ryvita is healthy? The facts about whether chai latte and chai tea are healthy – and what the difference is between them (which you’ll find here).
We love it when the answers surprise us like they did in this one.
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.