Just because nutrition bars are labeled as a “healthy” or “natural” choice, doesn’t mean it is always a good option. It seems as if the worst ingredients in these bars are not always as recognizable as they should be because they are disguised with lengthy words that are difficult to read and pronounce. You may be surprised what is lurking in your go-to snack. To ensure that you are getting nothing but the best in every bite, avoid the following hidden ingredients that are commonly found in nutritional bars.
1. Barley Malt – Barley malt is a simple sugar that is extracted from barley grain but is just as damaging as normal sugar. This seemingly innocent sugar will break down quickly in the bloodstream which will lead to that undesirable feeling of a sugar rush. Not to mention, over-consumption over time can even cause weight gain.
2. Evaporated Cane Juice – A popular ingredient in nutrition bars that should be avoided at all costs is evaporated cane juice. It may sound appealing and fancy, but in reality it is just another sugar. It may be less refined that normal white sugar but can still do damage to your weight and blood sugar.
3. Partially-Hydrogenated Oils – Also known as trans-fats, partially-hydrogenated oils are the most dangerous kind of fat that can be found in any type of food. You may be surprised to learn that they are lingering in that healthy nutrition bar that you had for breakfast but it is actually very common. Eating a nutrition bar with these fats is the equivalent to eating a bag of chips!
4. Soy Protein Isolate – This processed form soy may sound healthy but it is usually genetically modified and extremely difficult for the body to digest. This ingredient is also known to cause a severe reason to those people who tend to be sensitive to soy.
5. Agave Nectar – It may be labeled as a “natural” sugar but it still has a 90% fructose content which is higher than high fructose corn syrup! When shopping for nutrition bars, opt for one that is sweetened with pure stevia or dried fruit, definitely not agave nectar.
6. Acesulfame Potassium – This artificial sweetener is rarely used now-a-days due to its potential healthy risks but is still found in many protein and nutrition bars because of its undeniably sweet taste and it is extremely cheap to produce. Acesulfame potassium is said to be a carcinogen (a cancer causing agent) that is like chlorine in its compound form.
7. Sugar – A nutrition bar may be loaded with tons of healthy and amazing ingredients but if it still has sugar in it, you may as well toss it in the garbage.
8. Sucralose – Sucralose is yet another artificial sweetener that you should be looking out for in your nutrition bars. This unhealthy sugar substitute has been linked to many cases of digestive disorders, excess sugar cravings and even possible liver damage.
9. Natural Flavors – Natural flavors is a phrase that companies use to disguise tons of different ingredients without having to list them on the label, even if they are harmful. Many of these ingredients are often refined wheat, gluten, yeast or hazardous chemicals.
10. Vegetable Glycerin – It may be used for its potential health benefits but vegetable glycerin is known to cause adverse effects in some people. Until it has been researched more, it may be your best bet to kick it from your palette as soon as possible.
Although there are many ingredients to be aware of, there are still plenty of healthy options free from them that you can chose from. Next time you’re in the market for a nutrition bar, do yourself the favor and read the label. If they contain any of the previously listed ingredients, it may be best just to leave it on the shelf.