Breaking Down Nutrition Bars

Breaking Down Nutrition Bars

While nutrition bars may have started out as a diet option for athletes, they now have a much wider market... and a wider range of ingredients. Action 12's Gretchen Bolander shows us how to make sure it's a healthy choice.
While nutrition bars may have started out as a diet option for athletes, they now have a much wider market... and a wider range of ingredients. Action 12's Gretchen Bolander shows us how to make sure it's a healthy choice.

Historically nutrition bars have been used by endurance athletes as a quick and easy delivery system for nutrients and calories. People who were in marathons, triathlalons or people who just wanted a competitive edge in their sport. But nowadays you can get nutrtition bars for everything and everyone." But Freeman Dietitian Kristen Woodruff says not every bar is a healthy choice. "You want to look for something that has whole grain or whole wheat as one of the first three ingredients and that'll give you some fiber. You want about 3 grams of fiber per bar. You want to look for one that has usually 10 g of protein per bar and you want to look for one that has less than 15 g of sugar per bar." Woodruff adds that some nutrition bars could have trans fats. "So watch out for bars that have hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients you wasnt to watch out for sugar alcohols, xylitol, sorbitol. A lot of companies will use these sugar alcohols in place of sugar to decrease the carbohydrates or sugar and some people can be very sensitive. GI upset is common with sugar alcohols."
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