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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cereal Bars Are Not 'Healthy' Until The Excessive Sugar Is Removed


Cereal bars might be convenient, but they contain excessive sugar

You've seen all the television ads praising the virtues of going on a cereal diet to lose pounds and inches by eating a bowl of certal every single day, right? Well, a more recent trend in the cereal industry has been to take that image of the "healthy" cereal and rolling it into a grab-it-and-go bar.

But as this UK-based Which? article points out, these so-called "healthy" cereal bars are anything but.

An investigation into the bestselling cereal bars in the UK found that virtually all of them are much too high in sugar and saturated fat to be healthy. I'm not going to pay attention to their warnings over saturated fat because we have established pretty firmly at this blog that eating it can be good for you in the context of livin' la vida low-carb.

More science regarding just how healthy saturated fat is will be coming out as early as next year from people like Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Eric Westman, for example, that will prove this point. As a special extended Thanksgiving weekend treat next week while I am away for the latter part of the week on vacation with my family, you'll have the opportunity to read a fairly comprehensive guest column from a man who has done his homework about fats and he will impart that knowledge he has gained on you. Stay tuned.

But let's get back to the sugar issue for a moment.

Which? found that the virtuous-sounding Kellogg's Fruit 'n Fiber Bar has a whopping 10g sugar per bar, comparable to a similar-sized chocolate candy bar. Although the packaging shows a picture of some fruit with a listing of supposedly healthy ingredients like whole grains in them, that's all just a smokescreen for, as the Brits would say, the "rubbish" they put in these bars!

In fact, the average cereal bar today contains around 11g sugar each, definitely not something someone on a healthy lifestyle wants to be putting in their mouth. There are better options for people who REALLY desire to eating healthy which I will highlight in a moment.

What's really interesting to me is that even Kraft's much-heralded South Beach Diet Cereal Bars, which would seem to be good for people following low-carb diets since it has "South Beach" on the label, contain around 7g of sugar. While that is certainly lower than the others, why would you want all that sugar in your body if you are livin' la vida low-carb? It's just another friendly reminder about why it is always important to READ THE LABELS carefully, even if the product "looks" like it is healthy.

The bad thing about cereal bars is that EVERYBODY seems to be eating them these days. While breakfast is the most logical meal to eat them at as many people are wanting a quick meal in the car on the way to work, I've seen people stuffing their mouths with these things for snacks and meal replacements anytime. I cringe every time I see this because I can't help but think about not just the sugar that's being consumed, but also the other needless refined carbohydrates in the cereal itself. Double whammy!

In Great Britain, their version of the FDA--the Food Standards Agency (FSA)--has a "traffic light" measuring stick for food products based on the sugar content. Most of these cereal bars would qualify for the red light distinction (that's bad, by the way!) because of the excessive sugar that is in them. Perhaps somebody over the FDA in the United States should follow their lead and openly condemn these cereal bar companies about the sugary garbage they are serving people. Not likely!

Kellogg's had no comment when asked about the sugar they put in their cereal bars. Well, why the heck not, Kellogg's? Don't you have a responsibility to your customers to answer the hard questions about the quality of ingredients you put in a product you market as healthy? Are you simply content with promoting a lie? It certainly seems that way.

So what are the alternatives if all these cereal bars are off-limits to low-carbers? I'm glad you asked because there are some EXCELLENT low-carb alternatives to these high-sugar cereal bars that are not only genuinely nutritious, but delicious, too!


ATKINS MORNING START BREAKFAST BARS
--1g sugar!


ATKINS ADVANTAGE BARS
--1g sugar!


ATKINS ADVANTAGE CARAMEL BARS
--1g sugar!


GO LOWER BARS
--1g sugar!


CARBRITE DIET PROTEIN BARS
--0g sugar!


THINK THIN LOW-CARB PROTEIN BARS
--0g sugar!


DIXIE CARB COUNTERS SMARTBREAK BARS
--1g sugar!


DIXIE CARB COUNTERS TRAIL MIX STICKY BAR
--1g sugar!


BIOCHEM STRIVE CRUNCH BARS
--0g sugar!


EAT WELL BE WELL WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL BARS
--0g sugar!

These are the kind of products that the big cereal manufacturers need to realize are a MUCH HEALTHIER option for people in terms of both sugar and refined carbohydrates. Stop selling us junk and provide truly wholesome food that is good for people to eat on the go. Convenience is one thing, but not when it sacrifices my weight and health in the process.

With excessive sugar consumption being tied to pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and a multiplicity of other health-related problems, the time has come for people to begin reevaluating whether these innocent little indulgences are worth it in the long run. I for one wouldn't put my own health in jeopardy any longer whether I was overweight or not. The days of overconsuming on sugar are long gone!

How about you? Have you decided it's time to kick your sugar habit for good? If so, then CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the most amazing experience of your life free from the bondage of sugar. If not, then I encourage you to give it a try for a couple of weeks and see if you don't start to feel better. I KNOW you will and YOU CAN DO IT!

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1 Comments:

Blogger Newbirth said...

What's really interesting to me is that even Kraft's much-heralded South Beach Diet Cereal Bars, which would seem to be good for people following low-carb diets since it has "South Beach" on the label, contain around 7g of sugar. While that is certainly lower than the others, why would you want all that sugar in your body if you are livin' la vida low-carb? It's just another friendly reminder about why it is always important to READ THE LABELS carefully, even if the product "looks" like it is healthy.

Forget the sugar - South Beach bars a chock full of sugar alcohols and are as sweet as a candy bar.

11/14/2006 8:48 PM  

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