Not All Health Bars are Created Equal
By Diana Schiro
It’s true, not all health bars are created equal. I really want to share some ingredients that you need to look out for. This is really important for your health, my friend. Sometimes we all need to grab a bar on-the-go as a meal replacement or snack, but just make sure to grab bars that are authentically good for you.
There are so many nutrition bars on the market and most of us read the nutrition panel first and not the ingredient list.
The truth lies in the ingredient list!
Some bars have a staggering 30 ingredients added to them. Just remember, less is best and the more recognizable the ingredient, the healthier and more simply nourishing it will be for you.
Here are the top 5 ingredients to stay away from when choosing a bar:
1. Fractionated Palm Oil
This is a thickener that prevents chocolate from melting. Fractionating oil is a process most often used on palm and palm kernel oil that involves heating the oil, then cooling it quickly so that it breaks up into fractions. It is loaded with saturated fat, is highly processed and is linked to obesity and high cholesterol.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is so commonly shared as an easy product to avoid, but it is still the primary ingredient in so many nutritional granola bars that are found in the supermarket. It is the WORST thing you can eat and the adverse effects are well documented.
Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is used to lower the actual sugar in the bar. It is used in most sugar-free processed foods. The glycemic index is 35, which is half of sugar, but it is artificial and causes gas, cramping and a laxative effect if you consume too much. Stay away from artificial sweeteners and stick to real, healthy sources like stevia, monk fruit or coconut palm sugar.
This is a thickening additive that is derived from a natural source, but once it is processed becomes a completely different substance. It causes digestive distress, causing inflammation in the gut. You can do an experiment with Almond Milk. Compare the Silk Brand, which is Carrageenan-free with a competitor and see how your stomach reacts. Although I really don’t recommend doing so and suggest avoiding this gut-disrupter altogether.
5. GMO Soy Lecithin and Soy Isolates
Processed soy is one of the most dangerous ingredients you can put in your body. This product is everywhere because it binds the food together and creates a crunchy, low-carb protein alternative. But in this highly processed form, you are not benefitting from the value of a fermented food. Phytoestrogen is a compound in soy lecithin that mimics estrogen in the body.
Why you need to choose GMO-free nutrition bars – If they are truly a health conscience nutrition bar, then the ingredients will be labeled GMO-free and be free of all hormones, pesticides and other synthetically engineered chemicals. When you choose to eat food that contains soy as an ingredient, then it is particularly important that you only choose organic and GMO-free. It is well documented how unfermented, toxic soy is directly linked to numerous systemic illnesses and allergies.
The best thing to keep in mind while choosing the right bar for you is to keep it simple and wholesome and always remember that less is best!
These health bars pass the grade, although be wary of the sugar content, as most bars on the market have your daily serving included, or more!
- Kind Bars – Certified Non GMO and Soy Free
- Health Warrior – Organic & Non GMO
- Natures Path – Organic Optimum Energy Bar
- LARA Bars – Non GMO and Soy Free
Diana Schiro is currently studying to be a Certified Health Coach and holds a M.S.Ed. A lifelong interest in food, health and wellness practices has led her to professionally pursue a career in educating others about how to truly be healthy through food and balance. Diana advises lifestyle changes by emphasizing strong core nutritional values and simplifying how to add them to your life regularly.
A very unhealthy relationship to sugar and processed food was finally healed once a holistic individualized approach to her life was practiced; resulting in stable body weight, eliminating medication for sleep, as well as mood balance.
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