I am ALWAYS on the hunt for a new health bar for the kids. Life is too stressful to cook from scratch everyday, but I don't like processed food. That poses a problem!
If you're a fitness enthusiast or a parent looking for a healthy snack for your child, you might opt for an energy bar. But they don't always taste good and sometimes they don't deliver on what they promise.
At custom smoothie in Seattle, the drinks are all healthy and so are the snacks. "The bars that we carry are very different, each one represents some different diet or lifestyle, whether it be a higher protein bar, a bar that has low fat in it, or a bar that has more carbs in it than protein in it," said the store's manager.
So what's best for a healthy boost? Don't expect the label to do the talking.
Registered Dietician Sandi Kaplan said, "Actually there are no labeling requirements, that people can call their bars whatever they like. So you can be called an energy bar, a nutrition bar, a protein bar."
Adding to the problem… "Many of the other bars out there will have either too many carbohydrates or to be too high in protein or too low in fat and really don't work well as a snack option for people whether they are trying to lose weight or maintain weight," said Kaplan.
Bars fortified with vitamins and minerals can have a metallic after taste. Kate Schenk said,"I think nutrition bars taste synthetic, there's always a chemical after taste." If you're worried about calories, you should know a well-balanced nutrition bar is about the same as a candy bar, roughly 200 calories.
Kaplan said"many of the bars have way too much refined sugar." Sandi is one of four registered dietitians who teamed up to design an all-natural alternative, called Zing Bars.
Kaplan said, "Because it's using wholesome high quality ingredients and because we don't supplement with vitamins and minerals, it's a perfect snack option for kids of any age."Sandi says the best way to pick a nutrition bar is to look past the advertising on the label and go straight to the ingredients list.
Flavorings, colorings, and preservatives can contribute to kids being either too energized or not energized enough, so check the label for that, too. If you want to try Sandi's Zing Bars, they're available online at Zingbars.com.
- Americans purchased 42 million pounds of nutrition bars in 2004.
- A nutrition bar can be a good choice for someone who is occasionally pressed for time or misses a meal.
- Some nutrition bars are no better than a glorified candy bar. Consumers must read package labels to determine if the bar meets their needs.
- Zing® Bars are a new line of nutrition bars made with natural ingredients and a balance of carbohydrates, whey protein and healthy fats.
Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.