Are you trying to eat a little healthier? Now more than ever, it can seem impossible to find the right things to be popping into your shopping cart.
One quick check online will even tell you that the fruit and vegetables that you buy in stores can be bad for you. So how can you pick the right items for you and your family? It can be so overwhelming.
Nutri-Grain bars are always advertised as a nice healthy choice of snack. But are they really as good as they seem?
Before you swap out snacks that you actually enjoy, let’s take a look at if these bars are actually any better for you.
While they do contain a few healthy ingredients, these small bars also have around 12g of sugar and almost no fiber or protein.
They also contain carrageenan which is known for causing some gut problems in some individuals. So overall, they’re not actually that great for you
Throughout this article, we will look at the nutritional value of these bars a little more extensively.
What Are Nutri-Grain Bars Made Of?
There are many flavors of Nutri-Grain bars, but most of them contain pretty much all of the same ingredients.
Usually, I would list all the ingredients that are used in the bar, but this list is pretty long and extensive.
So I’m just going to talk about the more notable ingredients and what the implications of these are.
- Whole Grains – There are whole grains in this bar that are good for you. So we do start with a plus.
- Refined Flour – This plus, ends rather quickly though unfortunately, as the grains are mixed with refined flour which is processed and is generally bad for you.
- Added Sugar & Sweeteners – For a ‘healthy’ bar there is quite a lot of sugar within these bars. There’s sugar, fructose, invert sugar, and corn syrup. The filling inside the bars is a particular offender which is made up of practically all sugar and syrup. So it’s not quite the fruit filling you’re expecting. In fact, the high sugar content mixed with ingredients such as fruit concentrate and enriched flour could cause possible blood-sugar spikes,
- Real fruit – Now, there is nowhere near as much real fruit in this product as you are really led to believe. But there is some which I suppose is good for you, although that is fairly redundant since it is mixed with so much sugar,
- Soybean Oil – This oil is pretty high in calories and pretty low in nutritional value.
- Carrageenan – While not completely backed up with scientific evidence, many researchers believe that this ingredient can cause both a leaky gut and damage to the GI tract.
Overall, the unhealthy ingredients significantly outweigh the healthy whole grains and small amounts of real fruit within the bar.
The main ingredients in the bar are sugar and syrup which are not really synonymous with health.
Are Nutri-Grain Bars High In Sugar?
A Nutri-Grain bar typically has between 12-13g of sugar per bar.
For these types of bars that is fairly high, especially when you consider that most of the sugar content is added sugars.
In terms of other bars in the market though, it sits around the mid-table.
Nature Valley, Kashi bars, Quaker bars, and Kind bars all have less sugar than Nutri-Grain bars.
However, they do have less sugar content than Clif bars, Larabars, and RXBARs. Gomacro bars have about the same sugar content.
Although you must also take into account the calories within the bars. Most bars that have a higher sugar content also have a fair few more calories than these bars.
So when you take into account the smaller size of these bars, the sugar content is definitely not great.
Are Nutri-Grain Bars High In Protein?
Not really. These bars usually have no more than 2g of protein per serving. Compare that to protein bars that contain upwards of 20g, it’s pretty lacking.
There really aren’t any ingredients within the bar that are rich in protein. And considering it is the protein that will help keep you fuller for longer, this is quite poor.
This snack is likely to leave you quite hungry not long after you eat it.
Are Nutri-Grain Bars High In Fiber?
Fiber is a really important nutrient that we tend not to get enough of, so it would be really great if these bars were high in fiber.
But, they are not. In fact, there is as little as 1g of fiber per bar.
Most energy and whole grain bars will have at least a couple of grams of fiber, so the fact that these only have 1 gram of fiber is quite poor. Even most breakfast bars will have 2 or 3g of fiber in them.
If you’re looking for a nice healthy snack for you or your family, honestly, I’d steer clear of Nutri-Grain bars because there’s not really anything healthy about them.
Sure they may have some whole grains and fruit within them.
But considering they have practically no fiber or protein and a whole host of sugar, those benefits are massively outweighed by the unhealthy ingredients.
If you are hoping to lose weight, these bars aren’t a great choice.
While they are only around 130 calories, nothing within them is going to give you any nutrition and you’re going to be pretty unsatisfied and hungry again within a matter of minutes.
That being said, if you are quite fond of a Nutri-Grain bar, they don’t need to be completely cut from your diet.
Everything is okay as long as it is in moderation. One of these bars every now and again won’t cause any significant damage to your body or your diet.
But I would not advise eating these all day every day just because the sugar content is so very high.