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Energy or Protein Bars - Deceptive Junk Food?
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They’re everywhere these days – ‘nutrition’
bars that claim to be healthy and good for muscle building or weight
loss. However, when you read the label, you may see a lengthy list of
sugars, processed trans fats, chemicals, and other processed ingredients.
Today there are many types of "protein
bars" or "energy bars" on the market, but how do you know if
you’re actually getting a healthy product, or just a piece of junk food
deceptively disguised? Basically, you really need to know how to
To be honest, most of the proclaimed ‘health’
bars out there are junk – simply sugar bars shelled in a health food wrapper,
and marketing does the rest.
Take for example the ‘slim bars’ available in
most shops nowadays. Note: these bars are marketed as health foods aimed
at losing weight. What a joke! There is nothing
even slightly nutritional about them!!
Firstly, a major ingredient in this bar is
corn syrup. Then the second ingredient is sugar (woohoo more sugar!!), followed
closely by hydrogenated oils (source of damaging trans fats). After that -
nothing more than junk - artificial colors, flavors, and artificial sweeteners,
more refined oils, and highly processed soy protein isolate (apart from popular
belief, processed soy is NOT healthy for you).
Furthermore, not only are these
"health" bars a nutritional disaster, but the taste dreadful!
So how do you determine a healthy protein bar
or energy bar?
I look for simplicity. I believe the
healthiest bars on the market have just a couple of basic ingredients, for
example: seeds, fruit, and nuts. Look for organic ingredients and raw
(unprocessed) ingredients as much as possible.
My favourite, true health bars include
ingredients such as organic almond (or cashew) butter with organic seeds,
fruit, and possibly organic rice protein. The best usually have just
fruit and nuts - that's about it! Simpler is better!
Not only are these types of bars highly
nutritious, but they also taste great. You may not find these bars at a
grocery store, but they should certainly be available at health food stores.
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