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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 scrutinize labels.

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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