What's really in your muesli bars?
Muesli Bars used to be a daily staple in my kid’s lunch boxes a couple of years ago. They seemed kind of healthy, they had nuts in them, the kids liked them and they were a quick and easy snack. However, now I know different - that snack is loaded with A LOT of sugar and also some other nasties.
Amongst your usual nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, milk solids and juice, the majority also contain polydextrose, humectant (glycerol), soy lechithin 476, natural flavour (which usually contains allergens) , vegetable oil, gelling agents, and caramelised sugar.
Basically you’re getting a big sugar hit combined with a lot of substandard ingredients and freaky lab creations. It’s all a bit scary.
Making your own would be the best alternative. But on the shop shelves…. I was pretty hard pressed to find anything that was truly “natural”. Tasti Super Grains were probably the best of the generic lot, but still contained quite a few freaky lab creations - so not really a whole foods recommendation.
Ceres Organic does a great Raw Food bar – dried apple, almonds, dates and cinnamon, and is quite often at the supermarket (in the health food section) or vegie shops. And I did find a few Paleo bars at the supermarket. However, these brands still contain about 5 teaspoons of sugar per bar. And the same could be said for home made bars too.
Another alternative is Frooze Balls or Bliss Balls – which have all whole food ingredients. But beware, if you eat the whole pack (5 balls) your getting a whopping 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. Eeeekk. That’s about the same as a can of coke!
All in all, if you're going to go for muesli bars, I'd suggest the whole food options, but also recommend that these be considered a ‘now and again’ snack and not an every day item, due to the sugar content.
Keep on learning.