Come for the Juice, Stay for the Health

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Are you and your loved ones eating “foods” that are touted as healthy? It is vitally important to examine packaged foods for their ingredients as a whole to get to the facts of what they truly include. Many times these items are in fact not healthy but quite the opposite.

If you are putting it in you or your family, you need to know what is in it.  Don’t put blind faith in marketing and products.  Get Educated like a BOSS and KNOW WHAT’S IN IT!!

Today’s product: Fiber One Protein Peanut Butter Bar

Fiber One products are touted as healthy and good for you because they provide fiber.  The fiber contained within is insoluble fiber, which research has shown can inhibit the absorption of healthy nutrients from other foods and has the potential for creating inflammation within the intestinal tract. Fiber One products are highly marketed on TV and print medias.  Why don’t you ever see broccoli marketed on a television commercial? Easy answer: because everyone knows broccoli is good for you.  We don’t have to be convinced.  Well if you think those Fiber One protein bars are a healthy option, think again.

Ingredients (31):

Chicory Root ExtractSugarPalm Kernel OilPalm OilRice FlourWhey Protein ConcentrateSoy Protein IsolateOats Whole GrainPeanuts Flour Partially DefattedCorn SyrupPeanuts RoastedSoybeans OilCocoa Processed with AlkaliVegetables GlycerinDextrinRice StarchPeanuts Butter(PeanutsSalt) , SaltMaltodextrinCanola OilSoy LecithinMilk Non Fat DryPeanuts OilBarley Malt ExtractFlavoring Artificial and NaturalFructoseBaking SodaCaramel ColorTocopherols Mixed Vitamin E

I am just going to pull a few of the ingredients and outline their effect on health and wellness. Normally these ingredients are used in processed foods as they are very inexpensive and readily available to the industry. This helps to extend shelf life and make the profit margin higher. 

These bars are loaded with sugar sources! On top of the few that I mention below, there are a multitude of sources of sugar in this so-called “healthy” protein product. Sugar sources include: sugar, oats, vegetable glycerin, dextrin, rice starch, maltodextrin, non-fat dry milk, barley malt extract, fructose, caramel color.  One trying to become healthy would easily understand that a product laden with sugar (hidden to the untrained eye) is not so healthy, despite claims, clever marketing and packaging.  Beware of the marketing geniuses. Remember that their job is not to make you healthy, it is to get you to buy!

Corn Syrup: Sugar produced from cornstarch; comprised of glucose (dextrose), maltose and higher sugars; 70 percent to 80 percent solids. Sugar based sweeteners are those such as that developed from corn starch. The development of the various types of corn syrups, maltodextrins, and high-fructose corn syrup from corn starch sources could be called one of the biggest changes in the sugar and sweetener industry over several centuries. In the late 1800s it was found that corn starch could be hydrolyzed and a sugar formed. It was not until the 1970s that it became commercially used as a major product bringing about extensive changes in the food industry. Over-reliance in the food industry and over-indulgence by consumers of these processed sugars, particularly corn syrups, has most likely contributed to obesity in western countries.

Canola Oil: Possibly the most popular of the oils in salad dressings and touted as a healthy oil. Canola oil comes from rapeseed, a completely unpalatable seed high in erucic acid, which is bitter and very toxic in its original form. Canola oil is rapeseed oil processed and stripped of erucic acid. It is called a “heart healthy” oil rich in healthy omega-3s, but the fact is that canola oil processing uses heat of 500 degrees which means the major portion of the Omega-3s in the oil are rancid on the shelf before you even eat it. I recommend you avoid canola oil at all costs.  Look at your salad dressings and if present, toss them in the trash!

Soybean Oil: Soybean oil is about as ubiquitous as corn and canola (thanks to Monsanto). In fact, you’ll often see an ingredient list include “canola and/or soybean oil.” Huh? Do food manufacturers honestly not know what kind of fat is going into their product? Best avoid the crapshoot and skip anything that “might contain” soybean oil altogether. The fact is that it’s usually partially hydrogenated and those are the worst types of oils altogether. 

Vegetable glycerin: Vegetable glycerin is a colorless, odorless, viscous, non-toxic liquid with a very sweet taste. Glycerin is an alcohol and is used as a preservative in the food industry, as well as a sweetener.

Dextrin:  is used as a diluting agent for pills and capsules, as well as a thickener in creams and foam stabilizer in beer. It can also be found in baked goods, candy, gravies, pie fillings, poultry, puddings, and soups. FDA considers it Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) when used in amounts sufficient for its purpose. Do you really want to feed your children something Generally Recognized as Safe? 

Barley Malt Extract: If barley is wetted in a container or on a special floor and stirred to keep oxygen levels high it will germinate. This produces high levels of alpha amylase which converts the starch to sugar. This process is called malting and the product is malt. This is an ancient process for producing a sugary solution for making cheap beverages such as whisky and beers. After malting, the grains do not just contain sugar. Before heating, it also contains high amounts of alpha amylase. This enzyme can convert still more starch to sugar. 

Caramel color: One of the most widely used colors is caramel, the color of burnt sugar. There are many different types of caramel color, each engineered to serve a particular purpose in food chemistry. They are all based on the cooking of sugars and starches. Sometimes acids such as acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, or phosphoric acid, are used to break the bonds between sugars to create invert sugars, or to make sugars from starches, before the sugars are raised to a higher temperature for carmelization. Caramel color is an emulsifying agent as well as a colorant. In soft drinks, it helps keep the flavor oils suspended in the solution. The problem with caramel color is that it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA, caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: "the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet)." Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process. If you are gluten sensitive, stay away to be safe.

Soy Protein Isolate: Most soybean crops are grown from genetically-modified soy, which has been linked to a host of health problems, including cancer. Choose only certified organic soy.  Ideally, choose certified organic soy that has been fermented.

We could continue to go on about these ingredients, but I trust you get the idea. Most all boxed and packaged bars are marketed as “healthy”. They are widely consumed as they are convenient. But the truth of the matter is a very different story.

Remember, if you want optimal health and performance, know what is in what is going in you!  Processed “food” like this does not aid your journey to optimal health. There are a lot of real food options out there that can have you performing like a BOSS!




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