This is a question my girlfriend has asked me before, and I noticed she just bought some Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter bars so I thought I would write a post about it.
A lot of people who are new to dieting or trying to lose weight will often look towards these bars as a healthy snack, mainly because of the way they’ve been marketed by the food companies.
This post is directly talking about Nature Valley bars, but most any snack or cereal bars probably fall into the same category.
If you are trying to lose fat I don’t recommend Nature Valley Bars.
The bars often include healthy ingredients: peanuts, oats, cinnamon, apple, fruits, nuts, etc, but the added ingredients which makes them taste good are not good for dieting.
Taking a look at the “Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter” bars we have at my house right now I first took a look at the calories: 170. Not bad. The next thing to look at is the “sugar’ listed under carbohydrates. These bars have 11 grams of sugar. Not good if you’re trying to lose weight.
Taking a look at the ingredients you will see that the second ingredient listed after roasted peanuts is high maltose corn syrup. The next is sugar. And the 5th is high fructose corn syrup. No wonder these “healthy snacks” taste so good.
I wanted to check the other Nature Valley bar products so I went onto their website and examined some more labels. Pretty much every bar on their product line has over 10 grams of sugar and have sugar as one of the first ingredients listed.
It looks like Nature Valley recently released “protein chewy bars” and these are the healthiest choice of their line of bars… although not totally healthy. The 190 calories includes 6 grams of sugar. Almost half the sugar content of the other bars which is nice. The second ingredient listed is soy protein isolate which contributes to the 10 grams of protein in these bars.
Overall the Nature Valley Bars aren’t the best bet for diets, but if you aren’t on a totally strict diet you can get away with having one of these as a snack. I would highly recommend something like an apple and palm full of nuts instead though.
Always be aware of pre packaged snacks like these when you are grocery shopping for “diet food”. Take a look at the labels and make sure there aren’t a lot of grams of sugar and also take a look at the ingredients to make sure things like sugar and corn syrup aren’t high up there.
Good luck with your weight loss journey and if you need a hand check out www.5WeekMakeover.com!