WARNING: Most of the nutritional, healthy, protein bars out there are pure junk food and scams…candy bars disguised through labeling as a health food bar.
Before I went to the gym I needed some protein bars to make sure I had enough energy.
Well, I didn’t have any of my usual protein bars on me, so my friend gave me an extra Slimfast bar he had.
Keep in mind that this Slimfast bar is marketed as a “health food”, that is supposedly appropriate for someone trying to lose weight.
What a freakin joke these protein bars are! In my opinion, these Slimfast bars are WORSE for you than a candy bar!
The 1st ingredient in these “weight loss” protein bars is corn syrup!
Then the 2nd ingredient is sugar (yay more sugar!), followed by hydrogenated oils (trans fats), and then the list went on with nothing but junk such as artificial flavors, colors, more hydrogenated oils, nasty artificial sweeteners, and rounded out with some highly processed soy protein isolate just to give your body some more junk.
*By the way, you should stay away from processed soy products like the plague if you care about your health…
I can’t go into detail on this today, but the average adult eating a typical modern western diet in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, etc consumes approximately 67% of their total caloric intake from only 3 foods (and their derivatives).
These 3 foods you must AVOID if you want to stay lean and healthy.
If you are not sure what foods actually help with fat loss, click the image below to get a 100% FREE PDF on the 14 foods that BOOST your thyroid.
Just remember when it comes to soy that this is a HUGE multi-billion dollar industry, so they have a lot of power in trying to portray soy as a “health food” so that most people are eager to devour this fake food in almost every form… in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Back to these “worse for you than candy bars” Slimfast bars…not only are they a disaster nutritionally, but the bar tasted horrible… it tasted like chemicals and was way too overly sweet (not a surprise with all of the corn syrup, sugar, sugar alcohols, AND artificial sweeteners).
This is a prime example of “over-engineering” of food.
So how do you determine a healthy nutrition bar?
I look for simplicity in protein bars.
Many of the healthiest and tastiest protein bars I’ve found have only a couple basic ingredients such as nuts, seeds, and fruit. I also look for organic ingredients and raw ingredients if possible.
So with that being said, let’s take a look at Special K Protein Bars.
The sheer number of artificial ingredients, chemicals, and preservatives in each bar is actually astonishing.
Just look at the ingredients list — Special K’s Protein Bars has over 50 different ingredients!
COATING (SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL†, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, WHEY, NONFAT MILK, SOY LECITHIN, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SALT, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, POLYSORBATE 60), SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER (PEANUTS, HYDROGENATED RAPESEED AND COTTONSEED OIL, SALT), CORN SYRUP, INULIN, FRUCTOSE, SUGAR, RICE STARCH, POLYDEXTROSE, RICE CEREAL (RICE, WHEAT GLUTEN, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEY, MALT FLAVORING, REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE [VITAMIN B6], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE [VITAMIN B1], FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B12), DEXTROSE, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF CALCIUM CARBONATE, SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS, GLYCERIN, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SOY LECITHIN, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, XANTHAN GUM, POLYSORBATE 80, D-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E), NIACINAMIDE, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), ALMOND FLOUR, PARTIALLY DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR, WHEAT STARCH, VITAMIN B12, FOLIC ACID, BHT FOR FRESHNESS, VITAMIN D.
Special K’s “health” protein bars contain the triumvirate of horrible food additives — partially hydrogenated oils (AKA trans fats), HFCS, and added sugar.
To make matters worst, both bars contain multiple different types of added sugars (sugar, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, etc.) and up to three different types of partially hydrogenated oils.
Health food NEVER contains ingredients like that, let alone commits a multi-layered offence.
Trans fats, in any amount, are never acceptable in the diet. That’s an immediate red flag and a reason on its own to lay the hammer ban on Special K bars altogether.
Manufacturers can technically label food as “0 g trans fat” if it contains .49 g or less per serving. Because ANY amount — even .01 g — adds up and has major long-term healthy implications, any food made with partially hydrogenated oils automatically becomes a health hazard.
Other negatives —
- Low Quality Protein — I respect Special K’s attempt at a protein bar, but soy protein doesn’t cut it. It’s MUCH lower quality than whey protein, which has a far superior Biological Value (BV). BV assesses how much, how well, and how fast a certain type of protein can be used by the body. Better protein = better recovery, better growth, and ultimately better results.
- Low Quality Carbs — Special K Bars are made predominantly from fast-digesting rice and corn, and an abundance of sugar. Fast-digesting carbs = higher propensity for the body to store fat. I’d love to see wheat, oats, or other whole grains as the primary carbohydrates.
Looks like special K protein bars aren’t so special after all.
A couple of my favorite truly healthy protein bars:
1. Organic Food Bars – This is actually the brand name.
Depending on which flavor, these are usually a base of organic almond butter (or cashew butter) with a certain type of fruit, organic seeds, organic biosprouts (quinoa, etc), and some organic rice protein.
Some flavors include an organic dark chocolate as well. They also have a line of bars that use exclusively raw ingredients.
Not only are these food bars extremely nutritious, but I think they are delicious as well and have a lot of flavors to choose from such as blueberry, cranberry, chocolate chip, high protein, and more.
You won’t find these bars at your local grocery store, but I have found them at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and several health food markets.
2. Lara-bars – These are even simpler in ingredients than organic food bars.
Usually lara-bars are just 2 or 3 ingredients, and mostly raw… a blend of crushed nuts along with a type of fruit is the usual combination, but they have a lot of different flavors so it can vary.
These are also delicious and you will NEVER see a list of chemicals a mile long in their ingredient list… usually just nuts and fruit, and that’s it! Simple IS better. I don’t know who this Lara is, but she made a great product.
Again, I’ve found these bars at various health food markets. http://turnaroundfitness.biotrust.com/shop.asp?p=bars&sid=proteinbars
There’s one VERY important thing you should know about mainstream nutrition advice. There is a LOT of misinformation and LIES being spread around, especially these deadly seven=>TOP 7 Biggest LIES of Mainstream Nutrition
If you really want a great tasting protein bar WITHOUT all the harmful chemicals, BioTrust’s Organic Protein Bars are your go to!
BioTrust’s Protein Bars are guilt free, convenient and delicious:
20 Grams of Organic Protein
Free From Wheat, Soy Protein, Trans Fat and Gluten; Non GMO
5+ Grams of Organic, Prebiotic Fiber
In fact, each BioTrust Organic Protein Bar is a large, ultra-convenient, and completely balanced meal that boasts an ideal blend of low-glycemic organic carbohydrates and an array of healthy fats to complement the 20 grams of organic protein contained in each bar.