Don't Be Duped By Not-Nutritious 'nutrition Bars'

Nutrition bars - we use the word loosely - show up in movies in the oddest ways. In "Mean Girls" (with Lindsay Lohan), they're fobbed off on an unsuspecting clique of popular girls as weight-loss snacks, when in fact they're designed to pack on pounds. And in "Snowpiercer" (with Octavia Spencer and Tilda Swinton), a sci-fi flick about a post-climate change world, they're gelatinous protein blocks made from insects. Sadly, those may not be much better than what's available to you!

A report by Consumer Lab finds that many aren't as healthy as they claim. The report analyzed the nutritional content of 17 top-selling bars and found that they often contain more carbs than listed on the nutrition panel - one bar had 57% more! Some are also high in fat and cholesterol: One had 22% more fat than listed - mostly sat fat - and double the cholesterol. Others are too low in fiber: One contained only 62% of the fiber listed.

To be a smart shopper, read the nutrition panel and look at the ingredients listing! Bars that declare "net carbs" often are hiding their true content. If the wrapper of a bar says net carbs total only 2 grams, but the Nutrition Facts panel shows 20 grams of carbohydrates, there may be 18 grams of sugar alcohols (such as erythritol) in the bar. Skip bars containing tapioca starch (not a good fiber source).

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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