Monday, February 20, 2012

Protein Bars - Read the Labels

Nutrition bars or a Big Mac -- seems like an obvious choice -- but is it really?

Nutrition bars became popular because they were labeled as such but believe it or not, many of these bars have as many calories, fat and carbs as a Big Mac.

Consider this: A study by found that 18 of 31 nutrition bars sampled did not contain what the labels claimed. Two of the biggest issues are the term “high protein” and the mislabeling of carbohydrates. Those 18 bars failed because they contain far more carbohydrates than indicated on the label.

As you know, dietary supplements are not regulated. Consequently, there may be misleading or even false claims about your favorite bar. For example, many manufacturers do not include glycerin in the total carbohydrate count. Glycerin is a carbohydrate used to keep bars moist, add bulk and provide texture. Some manufacturers argue that glycerin may not be fully metabolized by the body; therefore, it does not need to be included in the total carbohydrate count.

In other situations, a bar is described as being “High Protein” but there are not any standards. To illustrate the variation, some "high protein" bars have as little as 10 proteins while others include up to 35.

Nutrition bars/protein bars come in many varieties: 100 to 500 calories; 6 proteins to 35+; 2 sugars to 40 sugars.

I opt for around 200-300 calories and 20 proteins with less than 8 sugars. The bottom line is read the label closely before purchasing. What might appear as “nutritious” may not be as good as you initially thought!

Stay tuned….....

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