AROUND AND AROUND WE GO…
There’s no doubt about it; eating healthy can be difficult.
Many of us are so busy we are forced to eat our “meals” on the run. For those of us who are go-go-go we lack the time or the patience to sit down for a proper meal.
The quick fix?
A muffin in the morning, the drive through in the afternoon, and a granola bar to hold us over until dinner. And then, on top of a long day of work, who really feels like cooking dinner when you get home in the evening? It’s more than likely you’ll be placing a call to your favorite pizza delivery restaurant or local take-out establishment.
Often, after dinner, you then lack the energy to accomplish much else, so you sit in front of the TV for a few hours before bed.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
There’s a reason why you’re feeling so drained at the end of the day. You set yourself up for failure when you started your morning with that pastry and mocha frappachino. You sealed the deal with that granola bar, YES, the GRANOLA BAR, in the afternoon.
WHY ARE GRANOLA BARS SO BAD?
If you’re unfamiliar with the granola bar misconception, then the last statement probably confused you a bit. Perhaps you’ve been under the impression that granola bars are healthy.
They have oats and grains and nuts, and aren’t they always being advertised as a high-fibre, low-fat snack? While it’s true they do possess some of these ingredients and qualities, if you dig a little deeper you will find some unpleasant truths about granola bars.
Granola Bars have been marketed as a healthy snack or even a meal substitution. We always feel better when we reach for the grainy biscuit instead of a piece of chocolate. But, beware! These granola bars are little more than glorified candy bars themselves!
The main problem with granola bars is the sugar content. Of course, companies don’t advertise the negatives about their product. They focus on the positive, nutritional value from ingredients such as oats and wholegrains.
Be warned: a bar boasting “low-fat” doesn’t mean “low-sugar.” In fact, the average granola bar has about 8 grams of sugar. That’s about 1/3 of what the American Heart Association recommends for the average person consuming roughly 2,000 calories per day.
Take a regular sized Snickers, the candy bar that markets itself as a quick snack that will provide the energy needed when you’re feeling grumpy and tired. Now take a look at the label. The serving size is one bar at 250 calories, 12 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar. If you’re a woman, you’ve just exceeded your recommended sugar limit for the day re
Now, let’s take the popular, delicious and “healthy” Clif Bar. One Clif Bar has 250 calories, 6 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. While the fat content is considerably less, everything is else is shockingly comparable.
Result: Snickers is slightly unhealthier than a granola bar.
This comparison reveals just how much sugar these bars are packing. You’re getting almost your entire daily allowance of sugar from one tiny bar. And chances are you will exceed your daily limit by consuming the rest of your meals and snacks before the day is through.
The similarities between granola bars and candy bars is real and legitimate.
What’s the lesson? Check the label! Sugar, calories, fat and all the other nutritional information are listed in plain site on the back of every box. In one quick glance, you’ll be able to tell if the snack you’ve selected is about to save or sabotage you.
Now you’re probably thinking…..
WHAT ARE MY OTHER OPTIONS?
Look for granola bars that are high in fiber and low in sugar. When you see the words “high fructose corn syrup” or “MSG”, put it back.
Your safest option is to avoid any packaged and store bought granola bars altogether.
The concept of the granola bar is great. What makes it difficult is the lack of control consumers have over the ingredients. That’s why if you’re not crazy about giving up your beloved granola bars, there is one final solution…
DIY GRANOLA BARS AT HOME
The main benefit of making your own granola bars is you know exactly what ingredients were used, and more importantly, the quantity. You can choose to reduce or increase the amount of each ingredient or throw in something extra.
Creating your very own brand of bar is something fun and easy that can be done at home!
See below for one example of an simple granola bar recipe. You will need:
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut
-2 cups of your choice of nuts (almonds and cashews are good choices)
-1 ½ cups honey
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
Sprinkle a dry tray of nuts with shredded coconut and lightly toast in the oven at 375 F for ten minutes. Simultaneously, heat the honey, 1 cup of water and salt in a medium sized sauce pan to 270 F. This should take about 20 minutes.
Stir the nuts and coconut into the honey mixture.
Mix until the nuts are evenly coated.
Put the combined mixture on a non-stick baking sheet and use a spatula to press it down as firmly as you can. Let them set for about 45 minutes, then cut into squares and enjoy your first batch of home-made, HEALTHY granola bars!
Share this post