Nutri-Grain Breakfast Bars. Even the name of these bars makes them sound like they’re brimming with healthy, good-for-you ingredients. Practically a perfect breakfast.
And they’re certainly marketed that way. Described as “wholesome” and made with “real fruit” they certainly seem like a healthy, nutritious choice.
But the truth is in the label, NOT the marketing. So let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in one of the most popular flavors of this morning favorite.
At first glance the label on Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Strawberry Breakfast Bar looks good. Whole grain oats are at the top of the list, not a bad start. But when you read deeper into the label, things start to get ugly.
The 6 WORST ingredients in Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Breakfast Bars
Following are six of the worst offenders on the list. And while they’re far from the only questionable ingredients, they’re at the top of the pile when it comes to risks to your health.
Soybean and/or canola oil:
It honestly doesn’t matter if this is an “and” or an “or” because both of these oils are bad news!
Soy is a hormone disrupter and continued long-term exposure to this junk crop could potentially raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer. And since 93 percent of soy is genetically modified, you’re risking being exposed to toxic pesticides and potentially other unknown health consequences every time you eat it.
But if there’s canola oil in your breakfast bar, that’s not much better because approximately 90 percent of all canola oil comes from GMO crops. The only way to be assured canola oil isn’t GMO is if it’s marked organic.
And if there’s both? That’s a double-shot of bad because both soybean and canola oils are processed with chemicals that are known to be dangerous. To make matters even worse, both are high in omega-6 fatty acids. While we need omega-6s in limited amounts today’s modern diet is far too high in them. Diets high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s are linked to serious health problems including heart disease.
Sugar, sugar, sugar:
In a strawberry fruit bar, you’d expect a certain amount of natural sugar to show up on the nutrition label. And there is strawberry puree concentrate listed on the label of Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Strawberry Breakfast Bar.
If the sugar content ended there we wouldn’t have too much to say about it. But, of course, it doesn’t. These bars are LOADED with the stuff. In fact there are eight different types of sugar listed on the label!
In the crust we have sugar, dextrose and fructose. In the filling we have invert sugar, corn syrup, strawberry puree and sugar.
Whenever you see “artificial flavors” on a label put the product back on the shelf and back away. The truth is, it’s simply impossible to know what those ingredients actually are.
But you know what we DO know about it for sure? Those so-called “flavors” were synthesized in a lab, and not from an edible plant or animal source. Think about that one next time you reach for a Nutri-Grain breakfast bar, or anything else with artificial flavors in it.
If you thought that golden baked brown color on the crust of your breakfast bar all came from an oven, think again.
Unfortunately, the caramel coloring that helps give the bar that appetizing crust is created by a process that includes combining sugar with ammonia. Even worse, at least one of the chemicals created in the process has been shown to cause cancer in animal experiments.
Carageenan seems innocent enough, after all it’s made from seaweed. However, there’s more to this thickening agent than meets the eye.
Carrageenan has been proven to cause systemic inflammation in animal and human cells. You know, the kind of inflammation that’s associated with pretty much all major diseases from heart disease to cancer.
In fact it’s so effective at triggering an inflammatory response that carrageenan has been used to create inflammation in studies on anti-inflammatories!
Maybe the people who make Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Strawberry Breakfast Bars don’t think strawberries are red enough on their own because they’ve included Red 40 food dye in their recipe.
They should’ve stuck with the natural strawberry color because Red 40 has no business in food. It’s been linked to hyperactivity in children, as well as birth defects and an increased risk of mortality in animal studies. Think you’re safe because you’re grown? Think again – Red 40 has been declared to be “reasonably anticipated” to cause cancers in people of all ages.
The bottom line is Nutri-Grain Breakfast Bars may be a quick breakfast, but they certainly aren’t a healthy one!