‘Nutri’ and ‘grain’- reading this, you might be wondering if all the healthy stuff is infused in Nutri Grain bars, right? Nutri Grain bars are indeed one of the most popular snack food items on the market right now, but are Nutri Grain bars healthy as you might think?
Nutri Grain bars are marketed as nutritious, low-calorie snacks that contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals, like calcium and iron. Yet Nutri Grain bars aren’t as healthy as you might think; in fact, their high calorie and sugar content can do more harm than good if you eat them regularly.
Here are some reasons Nutri Grain bars may not be as healthy as you think they are and some healthier alternatives to fill you up!
Are Nutri Grain Bars Healthy?
Who doesn’t know the Nutri Grain bars you find at the grocery store? They’re those delicious, crunchy little bars made of whole grains and nuts that are supposedly good for you, right? However, it turns out not so much.
Here are a few reasons Nutri Grain bars may not be as healthy as you think they are
- Excess Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, And Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
Many people think that just because it’s healthy to eat whole grains like oatmeal or wheat toast, it must be good for you to eat Nutri Grain bars as well.
While Nutri-Grain bars contain some whole grains, they also contain a lot of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated vegetable oils. These ingredients can offset any health benefits that whole grains might provide.
- Inclusion Of Unnecessary Ingredients
While some of the ingredients in Nutri Grain bars are healthy, like whole grains and dried fruit, there are also a lot of unnecessary ingredients like added sugars and artificial flavors. And while they may be advertised as all-natural, the ingredient list proves otherwise.
For example, one bar includes a natural maple flavor but also contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) as well as partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
- Additives Contain Questionable Ingredients
If you take a look at the list of ingredients on a Nutri Grain bar, you’ll notice that many of them are additives. Additives are substances added to food to enhance its flavor, texture, or shelf life. These preservatives can be harmful to your health and may offset any benefits you would get from eating whole grains.
Some people avoid these additives because they may be unnatural and unhealthy. In fact, artificial sweeteners have been linked to an increased risk for cancer and neurotoxicity in lab animals!
- Contains Low Protein And Fiber Content
Although Nutri Grain bars contain negligible vitamins and minerals, they lack protein and fiber. Protein and fiber are essential nutrients that help keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating.
Low-quality protein also means a reduced ability to build muscle, repair tissues, and fight inflammation. On the other hand, fiber helps with digestion and may also help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Nutritional Value of Nutri Grain Bars
Let’s look at the nutritional value of nutri-grain bars.
Nutritional fact of kellog’s Nutri Grain bar Mixed berry – 1 bar (116 g)
|Total fatSaturated fat||3 g0.5 g|
|Total carbsDietary fiberSugar||25 g2 g13 g|
|CalciumIron.||2%4% of DV.|
While Nutri-Grain bars may be marketed as a healthy snack option, they may not be as healthy as you think.
For one, they are high in sugar. In fact, a single Nutri Grain bar can have up to 16 grams of sugar. All other flavors of these bars contain the same amount of sugar – plain strawberry (12 g), blueberry (13 g), and apple cinnamon (13 g).
Nonetheless, they also often contain large amounts of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, which may provide instant energy but has been linked to liver toxicity and stomach ulcers in the long run.
Moreover, there is no ingredient in the bars rich in protein, for which the protein content is equivalent to 1 g. It is not an ideal energy snack when you are on a diet or doing heavy workouts.
Finally, the fats found in many Nutri-Grain bars are typically unhealthy saturated fats that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
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Side Effects of Over Consuming Nutri Grain Bars
One mixed berry Nutri Grain bar from Kellogg’s contains 13 grams of sugar! Plus, the artificial ‘blueberry’ filling contains many additives. So, imagine what if you consume 4 bars at a time every day- that’s nearly 54 grams of added sugar, which is over the limit of the daily value (25-36 grams).
Compared to the number of calories in a single bar, which is 130-140, this much sugar content is insane.
Moreover, there is an unacceptable amount of sodium content in a single bar. The American Heart Association used to recommend 2300 mg of sodium daily in a normal adult’s diet, but now they recommend 1500 mg.
Covered by the sweetness of the bars, you may feel like there is no sodium in them. But unknowingly, you are consuming the same amount of salt as compared to a salty snack.
Sugar and salt are already slow poison that leads to many short- and long-term health problems.
Some side-effects of over-consuming Nutri-Grain bars include:
- Spike in blood sugar
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic reactions
- Weight gain/ obesity
- Lower immune system
- Spike in blood pressure.
You won’t see these side effects in a single day or two unless you don’t overeat these unhealthy Nutri-Grain bars.
Who Should Avoid Nutri Grain Bars
Don’t worry; Nutri-Grain bars are not fatal and won’t kill you! Since it contains many unhealthy ingredients and somewhat allergic ones, some people should eat it as little as possible or even avoid it.
- People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid eating Nutri Grain bars as they contain gluten in the form of enriched flour to obtain that chewy texture.
- Additionally, people with nut allergies should avoid them as they contain nuts.
- Those following a vegan diet may also want to stay away from these bars as they may contain animal products like milk and eggs.
- Even though Nutri-Grain bars are marketed as a healthy snack, they may not be the best choice for diabetic patients. This is because Nutri-Grain bars are high in sugar and carbs, which can cause blood sugar levels to spike. If you have diabetes, limit your Nutri Grain bar consumption to one or two bars a week.
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Healthy Alternatives to Nutri Grain Bars
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to Nutri-Grain bars, try making your own granola bars at home. Plenty of recipes online use healthy ingredients like oats, honey, and dried fruit. Not only are they filling, but nutritious too. With a few variations in flavor, it’s easy to make them taste just the way you want.
Meal-replacement shakes can also be an excellent option if you need something filling but don’t have time to prepare food. It takes just seconds to blend up a shake with yogurt, milk, protein powder (whey or soy), fruit, peanut butter or almond butter, and ice cubes. The options are limitless!
Are Nutri-Grain bars good for weight loss?
Nutri Grain bars may not be the best choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Though they’re convenient and easy to eat on the go, they’re often high in sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain. In the long run, if you continue to eat them on a daily basis, you may be able to gain weight instead of losing it.
Are Nutri-Grain bars vegan?
While many Nutri-Grain bars are vegan, some contain honey, which is a non-vegan ingredient. In addition, some of the flavors of Nutri-Grain bars contain dairy and other animal-based products.
So, it is always better to read the labels to see what ingredients are your preferred bars made of.
Are Nutri-Grain bars healthy for toddlers?
If you’re looking for a healthy snack for your toddler, Nutri Grain bars may not be the best choice. Because they’re high in sugar, the ingredients aren’t natural, there’s no nutritional value in the sugar, and they contain artificial flavors.
Moreover, they’re loaded with fats that raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. And finally, they don’t give children enough vitamins and minerals that they need to grow up strong and healthy!
Are Nutri-Grain bars good for diabetics?
While Nutri-Grain bars may be marketed as a healthy snack option, they may not be the best choice for people with diabetes. This is because Nutri-Grain bars are high in sugar and added sugar, which can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
If you are thinking – are Nutri Grain bars healthy – it’s time to throw out Nutri-Grain bars from your regular diet. The high sugar and calorie content can offset any nutritional benefits, and the processed ingredients may not be ideal for everyone.
However, there is no harm in treating yourself with one bar once in a while. The bottom line is that there are healthier options out there than Nutri-Grain bars.