When searching for the right snack bar, the first place you should look is the ingredient label. Some of the largest snack bar companies are dishonest about what they put into their products. There’s a lot of hidden sugars and fats that these companies don’t want you to know about.
For example, palm kernel oil is an ingredient in a lot of these popular snack bars. It is often advertised as a healthy cooking alternative, however, it’s high in saturated fat. It also has been linked to heart disease. Saturated fats can easily raise your total blood cholesterol levels, and palm kernel oil is 80% saturated fat. This oil is convenient for these companies to use, but there are plenty of healthy alternatives.
Brown rice syrup is another ingredient many large snack bar companies use in their products. Although brown rice syrup is often advertised as a healthier alternative to regular sugar, our bodies ultimately break it down into simple sugars no differently than white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Brown rice syrup also has a higher glycemic index (how fast your body turns sugar into glucose) than table sugar as well as almost any other sweetener on the market.
Studies show that an excessive intake of high fructose corn syrup increases your risk of obesity and weight gain. It has proven to increase the risk of fatty liver disease, and it ultimately adds an unnatural amount of fructose to diets. In addition, excess fructose may increase harmful substances called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which may harm your cells. Many large snack bar companies use high fructose corn syrup because it is sweet like sugar, but it’s less expensive.
Next time you’re looking to snack mindfully, make sure you double-check the ingredients label. Don’t judge a snack by the wrapper!