(Natural News) For many of us, the word “granola” conjures up thoughts of healthy, nutritious food. However, it is one of the unhealthiest on-the-go or pre-workout snacks out there. Their stylish package, 100 percent natural claims, amazing antioxidant content, and superfood status usually make these treats the kings of the healthy snack aisle. But a bittersweet truth lies behind their fancy wrappers.
If granola bars are your favorite grab-and-go snack, choose wisely since they are not all created with the best and healthiest intentions. Writing for Healthy Holistic Living, Trisha Miller revealed 10 popular granola bars that you should never eat.
1. Fiber One
If you take a quick look at the food label of Fiber One bars, then you immediately notice a long list of unfamiliar or highly processed ingredients. You don’t need to be a dietitian or scientist to know that this is bad news.
2. Quaker Oats
Mainly marketed to children, Quaker Oats granola bars are packed with rice flour, sugar, and salt. They also often contain milk chocolate or other tempting, sugary foods to appeal to the taste buds of your child. This, however, only adds to their already high sugar content.
3. Special K
While they list a few healthy ingredients such as peanuts and almonds, Special K bars are high in corn syrup, sugar, fructose, and cane syrup.
Marketed as the ideal pre- or post-workout snack, these bars are a carb, sugar, and calorie bomb. While they may be helpful for athletes that need an extra energy kick, for most people it is just too much.
If you love Kashi bars, then you should take note of the ingredients list. While some Kashi bars can be considered healthy, others are questionable in their ingredients. Another great reminder of the importance of reading food labels.
6. Zone Perfect
Zone Perfect bars are far from “perfect” for your body and should be avoided at all cost. They are loaded with calories, fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar, among a laundry list of other questionable ingredients.
This fat and sugar bomb is comparable to a candy bar. It packs 23 percent of the daily saturated fat allowance, 22 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of sugar.
8. Nature’s Valley
One of Nature’s Valley’s classics, the Oats & Honey bar, contains sugar, canola oil, rice flour, salt, brown sugar syrup, soy lecithin, and “natural flavor.” If canola oil and sugar aren’t bad enough already, there are actually no quality ingredients to be found in this bar.
Last year, General Mills was sued for misleading marketing and the false use of the “100% natural” claim on Nature Valley Granola Bars. These bars have been found to contain a toxic synthetic chemical, glyphosate, a toxic herbicide, according to some reports. Glyphosate is the main ingredient of Monsanto’s notorious weed killer known under the name Roundup.
While it isn’t only bad news when it comes to Odwalla bars, there are just too many unnecessary ingredients completing their food list. According to Trisha Miller, the Apple Toffee Pistachio Chewy Nut Bar contains about 15 of these useless components.
10. Think Thin
Touted for their high protein content, which unfortunately comes from processed soy and many other questionable ingredients, this bar shouldn’t come anywhere near your mouth. One of their so-called “healthier” versions, the Lemon Delight” packs a whopping 240 calories, 260 milligrams of salt, and only has one healthy, wholesome ingredient — almonds — on its ingredients list.
If you are a granola bar lover, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite snack. They are super easy to make. If you don’t have time to make your own, Trisha recommends following safe granola bar brands: Kind, Larabar, Health Warrior, Curate, Cascadian Farm, Nature’s Path, and Zing, among others.