Alpen is one of the most popular cereal brands in the UK, and has been a permanent fixture on our supermarket shelves for more than 40 years. From full boxes to snack bars. It is easily the biggest Swiss muesli brand in the UK, and even has a following in the states.
Many people choose Alpen for breakfast as a healthy option, thinking that a cereal consisting of not much more than rolled oats and fruit must be pretty good for them. In fact, Alpen is often served at hotels as a healthy alternative to croissants and fried eggs. But is Alpen actually healthy? We've taken a close look at this product to try and find out the answer:
What type of Alpen are we talking about?
One of the really important things to mention is that there are a few varieties of Alpen out there, and some of them definitely can't be considered healthy. For example, the 'Original' Alpen actually has added sugar, and quite a lot too - around 21g per 100g of cereal, which incredibly appears to be more than Coco Pops which, at the moment (given their recent 30% reduction in sugar) contains 17g of sugar per 100g. Pretty interesting!
So obviously we definitely can't recommend the Original Alpen as a healthy cereal, so we'll be looking at the No Added Sugar variety instead (pictured).
What are the nutritional stats of Alpen No Added sugar?
So obviously Alpen No Added Sugar contains zero sugar, but as well know sugar is not the only determining factor when it comes to deciding if something is healthy or not. Calories are another major factor, and the No Added Sugar Alpen contains 369 kcal per 100g. To put that into perspective, Coco Pops contain 382 calories per 100g - really not much of a difference again, is there?
Probably the main aspect of Alpen which is healthy would be the fibre content. Per 100g of the No Added Sugar Alpen you've got 8.3g of fibre, whereas a cereal like Coco Pops only contains 3g. The raisins in the Alpen also provide you with one of your day, and there is almost twice as much protein in a bowl of Alpen compared to Coco Pops (12g vs 6.3g). So if you're trying to gain some muscle, a bowl of Alpen might actually be a good idea for breakfast.
Overall, we are quite surprised by what we found here. Alpen certainly isn't unhealthy, but to see it recommended as a healthy breakfast option so often seems a little surprising to us given the sugar content of the Original Alpen, and even the calorie content of the No Added Sugar Alpen. But what do you think of Alpen? Leave us a comment below!