Friday, April 25, 2014

Healthy Treat or Sugary Sweet?


Is your favorite granola bar actually healthy, or is it nutritionally equivalent to that of a candy bar?

A "staple" college snack includes the granola bar. This can be a healthy & convenient choice, but buyer beware as some can contain as much sugar as candy bars!


Commonly consumed granola bars sugar content 
compared to the Snickers candy bar

Although none of the listed granola bars exceeds the Snickers bar in sugar content, some still provide half or more of your daily recommended limit of added sugar. 

The American Heart Association suggests no more than 24 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar for most women and no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar for most men.
Added sugar has no nutritional necessity or benefit in the diet (other than taste!).

When choosing a snack bar, consider the following:

  • Look for one with simple, easy to understand ingredients. 
  • Look at the sugar content, try to find a granola bar with less than 10 grams of sugar. 
    • Note: if the bar contains dried fruits, this will increase the sugar content, but is not added sugar, so having more than 10 grams of sugar in these bars is usually okay.
  • Check that there is an adequate amount of fiber and protein
    • 3 grams or more fiber
    • 5-6 grams or more protein
  • Don't worry too much about the grams of fat, just be sure that the sources of fat are from healthy ingredients like nuts and seeds. 
Try out some of these RD-approved bars!
*available on campus

Better yet, make your own no bake energy bites!

These would make wonderful finals study companions ;) 

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