Energy Bars Not Real Food?

January 29, 2008 at 9:27 am 2 comments

The headline read: “Energy Bars Not Real Food, Experts Say“!  I shook my head in irritation.  “That’s not necessarily true,” I thought.  I eat energy bars quite a bit, and I always buy the ones with high quality, real-food ingredients.  That’s why I was relieved when I clicked into the article and read the subtitle: “Choose Bars Carefully to Find Benefits”.

It was disappointing that the headline was so misleading because the subtitle is really the essence of how to incorporate any processed food into your life.  Choose carefully.  You can’t paint them all with a broad brush.  

For instance, my favorite energy bars are ZBars, manufactured by CLIF for kids.  These organic bars are low-calorie (120 to 140 calories), low-fat, made with whole oats, contain 3g of fiber, and are low in sodium.  They are also fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals.  They do not contain preservatives or artificial colors or flavors.  ZBars are terrific to keep on hand.  I have been grateful to have them on many occasions, particularly because adventures with my BF do not usually involve a “regular” schedule.

American Dietetic Association spokesperson Christine Gerbstadt says, “…the issue of whether or not these bars are healthy depends solely on the type of bar a person chooses.”  She suggests that, “looking at the first three to five ingredients on a bar, a person can tell the value of the food.” 

You can find real food out there in a packaged form, but you’ve got to do your research.  Gerbstadt says, “If you see sugar or high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil … those are less healthy.  But something with grain, rolled oats, or brown rice can indicate a healthy bar.”  According to dietician Alan E. Shugarman, president of Discovery Nutrition, “You want to see some fiber.  Keep fat grams under six, if possible. Unless you’re trying to gain weight, you want to keep calories low.”

The bottomline on energy bars – or any other packaged item: Read Your Labels and Choose Carefully.  Happy Eating!

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Entry filed under: coping strategies, food review, tips & techniques. Tags: , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sharon  |  January 30, 2008 at 2:25 am

    You are so darn cute. You have always been sassy, sexy and shapely……..now you just wear a smaller size. I’ve read some of your blogs and am so impressed (and envious) of all that you’ve accomplished. I’m not the least bit surprised, just impressed. I intend to return again and again to find inspiration and motivation from all that you’ve accomplished with the hopes that I, too, can get healthier.

    Reply
  • 2. Raising the Bar « Sassy Sexy Shapely  |  March 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    […] March 6, 2008 Eating well during a busy day is a constant challenge, which is why many of us turn to nutrition bars to keep hunger at bay while providing our bodies with the sustenance they crave. Not all bars are created equal, though, as I blogged several weeks ago. […]

    Reply

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