Let’s be honest – many of us have been led to believe that granola bars are healthy and nutritious but nothing could be further from the truth. They are simply overrated, smartly marketed candy bars. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re eating a healthy snack with bars like CLIF, Luna, Kind, Nature’s Valley and more. In fact, I would stay away from most of them. You might as well eat a candy bar. If you take a closer look at most granola bar ingredients you will see a ton of sugar, inflammatory canola/ sunflower oils and toxic high fructose corn syrup.
Let’s take a look at Nature’s Valley Ingredients:
Red Flag Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Rice Flour, Palm Kernel Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, Maltodextrin, Fructose, Canola Oil, Soy Lecithin
Cliff Chocolate Almond Fudge
INGREDIENTS: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Dry Roasted Almonds, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Organic Fig Paste, Cocoa, ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Psyllium), Sea Salt, Natural Flavors.
As you can see almost all granola bars are loaded with sugar and mostly added sugar. In granola bars, popular added sugars include corn syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, tapioca syrup, barley malt extract, fructose, and dextrose which eventually can contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 Diabetes.
Sugar is toxic and can cause cardiovascular problems, metabolic diseases and cancer.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Produced predominantly from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup is definitely not natural and not healthy. High fructose corn syrup consumption has been linked to various health problems such as diabetes, immune suppression, damage to the DNA, liver failure, heart disease, obesity, dementia and cancer. Studies from 2010 published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that the fructose in HFCS can lead to cancer growth, specifically pancreatic cancer.
Additionally, every time you consume HFCS, your body breaks it down into toxic waste materials such as uric acid which leads to inflammation and other health problems.
Rice flour is another form of sugar for your body. It’s very high in glycemic index and can lead to a sudden rise in your blood sugar levels. Additionally, most rice contains high levels of inorganic arsenic which has been found to cause cancer of the skin, kidneys, bladder, and lungs.
The majority of canola oil is made from genetically modified crops. Canola oil and other inflammatory vegetable oils such as sunflower and soybean oils are some of the worst ingredients to add to your food. Consuming these vegetable oils will only distort your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio leading to severe inflammation. When you eat junk fats, you compromise the integrity and the health of your cell membranes. Replace soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and other vegetable oils with healthy fats.
Besides being high in glycemic index, oats contain phytic acid, a compound that is known as an “anti-nutrient.” Anti-nutrients are ingredients that can prevent the absorption of other nutrients. Phytic acid, in particular, can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium so they can’t be absorbed very well.
Choose healthier snacks that don’t contain these awful ingredients. This is my favorite snack by far – here