The best thing on earth after a workout or just as an afternoon snack, is grabbing a delicious and nutritious snack bar. I used buy boxes of snack bars at the stores, until I figured out that they are not as healthy as they seem to be. They were full of sugars, “natural” colors, flavors, etc. Here’s what a typical snack bar contains, this one happens to be Nature Valley’s Oats ‘n Honey granola bar:
Whole Grain Rolled Oats , Sugar , Canola Oil , Yellow Corn Flour , Honey , Soy Flour , Brown Sugar Syrup , Salt , Soy Lecithin , Baking Soda , Natural Flavor
Oh boy, so where do we start. Each package contains 24 grams of sugar. On average a sugar cube weights 3 grams. So that’s 8 cubs of sugar that you are eating with each package (2 little bars). Other snack bars can contain even more sugar in a single bar. Refined white sugars can lead to a wide variety of health issues. Healthy snack bars may contain sugars (sometimes as high) but they are usually from healthy natural sources. Look for sugars that have been added from fruits, organic agave syrup, organic or raw honey, organic cane sugar, etc.
Most Canola Oil in the U.S. (93 PERCENT) is genetically engineered (GE). With countries and states banning GMOs left and right, it’s safe to say that GE canola oil IS NOT so safe. Look for organic certified canola oil instead.
Yellow Corn Flour & Soy Flour
Once again, majority of corn and soy in U.S. is genetically modified. So same cautions goes to corn and soy products as Canola oil.
Gasp! You are not going to say something bad about honey, are you? Well, unfortunately I am. Not all honey is made the same. Typical store bought honey has been stripped of it’s nutrients and can contribute a variety of health problems as well. Choose raw organic honey instead.
Salt causes blood pressure to rise. High intakes of salt can lead to strokes, heart disease, stomach cancer, etc. Table salt is usually more heavily processed and contains additives to prevent clumping. Most of the time, salt can be avoided (especially in snack bars), but you can also choose sea salt instead.
‘Natural’ in today’s world can mean just about anything. Some companies add animal waste to products, and then label it as natural flavors. Yummy. Avoid anything that says natural flavors or colors.
So what’s left of our nutritious natural snack bar? Not much. The entire bar did little to nothing to add to your good health, but it did a whole lot to contribute to health issues. 100% “natural” and nearly 100% unhealthy. And I picked the most typical snack bar. There are hundreds of commonly eaten snack bars that are even worse than this. So if you are thinking about a healthy snack, reconsider buying snack bars from the store. The very least you can do is read the label. But if you are a big snack bar person like me, you’ll need something to replace them with. How about homemade snack bars? They can be delicious, nutritious and easy to make! Not to mention that you will always know what goes inside them and they will always be fresh.
Here’s how to make Delicious Organic Snack Bars at home in Less than 40 Minutes