More and more we are seeing cereal bars being marketed as healthy options, but are they really as good for you as they claim? Hmmm- I suspect NOT!
With most of the population being busy and grabbing food on the go, cereal bars are rapidly becoming a more popular choice for breakfast, a snack and even a meal replacement. But are you sacrificing your health or weight loss for the sake of convenience?
So, what do some of the macronutrients in these cereal bars look like
|Nutrition per 100g
|Alpen strawberry yogurt bar
|Nature Valley crunchy granola bar
|Kellogg’s Nutri-grain elevenses raisin bar
|Nak’d Bar Cookie Cashew
|Green and Blacks 70% Cocoa
When picking your food choices, it is important to look not only at the calories, but also the carbs, fats (remember to also break fats down between saturated and unsaturated. As a general rule of thumb if the saturated fat content is more than a third of the total fats than don’t buy it) and sugars, especially when purchasing things like cereal bars. Some cereal bars have more calories in them than a Mars bar (and a pretty close to the mark with sugar and carbs!) Don’t kid yourself. If you want sugar and something sweet take a chocolate. Leave the cereal bars out of it completely. The only cereal bar that in my opinion can be put into the health range because of its natural products are the Nak’d Bars. The one above is one of the highest in calories out of the range.
Although some muesli and cereal bars can be low in calories, there is a lot of added (not natural) sugar in them. Let me give you the following example. A meal of chicken, accompanied by a cup of broccoli, a cup of asparagus and a cup of baby spinach would be approximately 18g of carbs. Now compare that to a nature valley granola bar which is 15g of carbs. Option one is so much more nutritious, filling and wholesome yet the general public are sitting down to a cereal bar for supper because of laziness. Crazy right?!!
So next time you reach for a cereal “healthy” bar as your snack or meal and you’re trying to lose weight…stop right there! Often prepacked, processed or food with a long shelf life have many added ingredients, added sugars and are not fresh and natural.
Here are my top 5 snacks for on the go..
- 2x Celery sticks with a tablespoon of cashew butter
- 1x small pot of total Greek yogurt with a handful of blueberries
- 2x Carrot stick with a tablespoon of hummus
- Small pot of mixed olives, feta and sun dried tomatoes
- 15 almonds and 15 chickpeas mixed together