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    Archive for the ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ Category

    Fruit! And Yogurt! Well, More Like Sugar and Partially Hydrogenated Oils…

    231363Regular readers of this blog know how much I love to call out healthy-sounding food products that are anything but.

    On the hot seat today?  Kellogg’s Yogos Bits.

    The front of the packaging describes them as “yogurty covered fruit flavored bits.”

    Did you catch those two red flag terms?

    First there’s “yogurty covered”.  Not quite the same as “yogurt covered” (we’ll get to that in a minute).

    Then there’s my personal favorite: “fruit flavored“.  That’s basically marketing speak for “sugar that tastes like [insert name of fruit here]”.

    Let’s have a look at the not-surprisingly-lengthy ingredient list:

    Sugar, coating (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and palm oil, calcium carbonate, nonfat yogurt powder [cultured whey protein concentrate, cultured skim milk, yogurt cultures [heat-treated after culturing], nonfat milk, reduced mineral whey, color added, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, salt), corn syrup, modified corn starch, apple puree concentrate, contains two percent or less of: water, pectin, citric acid, cornstarch, malic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural and artificial cherry flavor, sodium citrate, color added: carnauba wax, carmine color, Yellow #5 Lake, Red #40, Red #40, Blue #1 Lake

    Wow.  Time for some analysis:

    1. The first ingredient (meaning, the most prominent one) in this product is sugar.

    2. The “yogurty coating” contains more sugar and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) than actual yogurt!

    3. Even worse, the yogurt cultures have been heat-treated after culturing, rendering their probiotic qualities ineffective.  Remember, you always want to look for live and active cultures!

    4. Carmine color is made by crushing the shells of cochineal beetles.  While there is nothing inherently unhealthy about this, I always like to inform vegetarians and vegans about that factoid.

    5. There isn’t a shred of fruit in this product.  Simply fruit sugars and fruit flavors.

    6. Each pouch of these “bits” weighs 20 grams.  Thirteen of those grams (that’s 65% of the product) come from sugar.

    This product can legally advertise itself as a good source of calcium because it delivers ten percent of the mineral’s daily adequate intake value.  Note, though, that some of it is fortified (sprinkled on during processing) in the yogurt coating!

    For what it’s worth, that same amount of calcium can be intrinsically found in these healthier and less processed foods:

    • A third of a cup of milk (dairy or fortified non-dairy varieties)
    • Half an ounce of Swiss cheese
    • Three quarters of a mozzarella stick
    • A quarter cup of tofu
    • A third of a cup of coked collard greens
    • A third of a cup of almonds

    I would be a lot less displeased if these were described more realistically.  Perhaps something along the lines of “sugar & yogurt covered sugar puffs”?

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Pasta Sauce

    There you are on a weekday night, prepping what appears to be a very healthy — and quick — dinner: whole wheat fussili topped with half a cup of marinara sauce and a medley of steamed broccoli, spinach, and sauteed onions and peppers.

    Fiber? Check.

    Protein? Check.

    Lycopene? Check.

    Vitamin C? Check.

    Four teaspoons of sugar? Check.

    A third of a day’s maximum sodium recommendation? Check.

    (Insert sound of record coming to a screeching halt here).

    Tomato-based pasta sauces are, in theory, nutritionally superior to cream-based ones.

    Unfortunately, many popular brands provide as much sugar as half a can of Coke — and as much salt as four strips of bacon — in a mere half cup serving.

    Some of the worst offenders are listed below (remember, these values are for just a half cup)!

    Ragu Old World Style Marinara Sauce: 780 milligrams of sodium
    Ragu Old World Style Traditional sauce: 780 milligrams of sodium

    Prego “With meat” Sauce: 12 grams (1 tablespoon) of added sugar

    Ragu Chunky Garden Style sauce: 13 grams (1 tablespoon) of added sugar

    Prego Traditional Sauce: 15 grams (1.3 tablespoons) of added sugar

    Did I mention they all contain high fructose corn syrup?

    To make sure your healthy pasta dishes aren’t tainted by sauces, take a look at the label.

    Choose ones offering no more than 4 grams of sugar and 350 milligrams of sodium per half cup serving.

    Some recommendations? Colavita, Rao’s, and Muir Glen Organic.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Nana’s Cookies

    Who doesn’t love cookies? Particularly soft, chewy ones saturated with chocolate chips?

    I’m willing to bet you do.

    I also have a feeling, though, that you watch your cookie consumption, since you know they are empty calories.

    Delicious, sure, but nutritionally void.

    What if I told you I had a tasty, chocolate chip vegan cookie made with whole wheat flour and oats?

    Let me tell you more about it.

    It has no refined sugars, white flour, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils, or trans fats.

    Its first and second ingredients are whole wheat flour and rolled oats, respectively.

    Interested?

    If you took the bait — read carefully.

    Nana’s Vegan Cookies are available nationwide, and described by their creator as “extremely healthy”.

    I have tried them myself and can vouch for their flavor. They are absolutely delicious. Chewy, moist, flavorful, and better than most conventional cookies.

    When I truly want to indulge in a sweet treat, I pick one up.

    “Indulge? How bad can they be? They don’t have any of the ‘bad stuff’,” you may think.

    Well, a 3.5 ounce cookie (the only available size) delivers:

    • 410 calories
    • 320 milligrams of sodium
    • 22 grams (5 1/2 teaspoons) of sugar (in the form of fruit juices)
    • 3 grams of fiber

    From a caloric, that’s equal to 7 regular Oreo cookies!  In fact, that same amount of Oreo cookies only delivers 0.8 fewer grams of fiber than this cookie.

    I find that people tend to automatically equate vegan, dairy free, fruit-juice sweetened, and whole grain with “healthy”, when that isn’t always the case.

    Remember that fruit juice is, essentially, sugar water, and our body metabolizes it very similarly to sucrose (table sugar).

    My rule of thumb? Cookies are not supposed to be health foods.

    Sure, a cookie without trans fats and composed of whole grains is a slight improvement, but it is still a cookie.

    Therefore, treat it as such. Enjoy it, savor it, but always consider its calories discretionary.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Fruit Cereals & Snacks

    Relying on conventional cereals and snacks to provide fruit to your diet? I’m afraid you might dealing with a case of mistaken identity.

    Consider Kellogg’s Berry Krispies — a fruity spin on traditional Rice Krispies.

    The packaging shows the three Rice Krispies cartoon characters juggling a variety of berries.

    A large strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry are also prominently featured on the front of the box.

    A glance at the ingredient list unveils a mystery, though — where is the fruit?

    “Rice, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, natural and artificial berry flavor, malt flavoring, red #40, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), iron, niacinamide, blue #1, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D.”

    So, in reality, you simply have artificially colored rice puffs with berry flavor sprinkled on them.

    No berries — or parts of them — are included in this product.

    Not surprisingly, a cup of Berry Krispies provides 0 grams of fiber.

    The letter “i” in Kix is dotted with three different berries, and the package boasts: “No Artificial Preservatives! No Artificial Flavors!”

    Be still, my heart.

    Let’s take a look at the ingredient list:

    “Whole grain corn, sugar, corn meal, whole grain oats, corn starch, modified corn starch, canola oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup”

    … along with food coloring, natural flavors, and a handful of vitamins and minerals.

    In total? A measly gram of fiber per serving.

    Combined with the feeble gram of protein and gram and a half of fat, this is one breakfast that barely satiates.

    Welch’s fruit snacks advertise their “100% of the Vitamin C Daily Value per Serving” status on the product’s packaging in all capital, colorful letters.

    A wavy green banner reads: “Excellent Source of Vitamins A & E” If that wasn’t enough, they are also “made with REAL FRUIT.”

    Who needs a banana or apple when you have these fruit snacks, right? Not quite.

    Per the ingredient list:

    “Juice from concentrates (grape, peach, pear, and pineapple), corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, fruit puree (grape, apple, strawberry, and raspberry), gelatin, citric acid, lactic acid, natural and artificial flavors, coconut oil, carnauba wax, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), [beta carotene (vitamin A), palmitate (vitamin A)], alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 and sodium citrate.”

    So, essentially, sugar with added vitamins. The high levels of Vitamins A, C, and E are not the result of healthy ingredients, but fortification.

    For all intents and purposes, you might as well chase your multivitamin with a tablespoon of sugar.

    Fruit flavorings, colorings, and extracts are not substitutes for the real thing.

    For the constant media hype I hear about the “difficulties of eating healthy,” incorporating fruit into your day is actually quite easy.

    Apples and bananas, for instance, are easily accessible, inexpensive, highly portable, and could not be further from the “acquired taste” category.

    You do not need to consume expensive, exotic fruits from a Mongolian monk’s Himalayan hut to be healthy. Simply try to include one piece of fruit (whichever one you want!) twice a day, every day.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Multigrain Tostitos

    Who doesn’t love to munch on chips every now and then?

    Unfortunately, most brands pack in quite a caloric punch, largely due to the oil they fry their chips in.

    Food companies are aware of this undesirable trait and always looking to market a not-so-nutritious item as one that will please the health-conscious snacker.

    Enter multigrain Tostitos.

    On paper, the concept is eye-catching — four whole grains in one chip!

    A look at the ingredient list identifies them: whole oat flour, whole buckwheat flour, whole wheat flour, and buckwheat fiber.

    So what’s the problem?

    These four whole grains are at the end of the list. In other words, there’s not that much of them.

    In fact, sugar is the third ingredient on the ingredient list, and each serving of multigran Tostitos only contains one gram of sugar.

    So you can bet that any ingredient that appears after sugar barely registers.

    Despite all these all-star grains, each serving musters up a mere two grams of fiber.

    Additionally, the second ingredient is corn oil.

    It’s not a surprise, given that just one ounce of these chips contains eight grams of fat — just as much as regular potato chips.

    In fact, you would need two servings (300 calories!) to add just four grams of fiber to your diet. A half cup of raspberries offers just as much fiber in a 32 calorie package!

    Do corn chips have a place in our diet? Of course — that’s what discretionary calories are for.

    However, think of them and potato chips as fraternal twins — not identical, but VERY similar.

    A sprinkling of whole wheat flour does not turn them into a health food that can be enjoyed in large quantities.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Snap Pea Crisps

    Recent public interest in nutrition and an increased demand for convenient snacks has led to an array of products looking to successfully combine both in a tasty package.

    Some, like Crispy Delites have pulled this off quite well by dehydrating vegetables and adding just a pinch of oil and salt.

    The result is a low-calorie snack that skimps on the fat but offers a fair amount of potassium and other naturally-occurring nutrients.

    Snapea Crisps, however, leave quite a bit to be desired.

    You wouldn’t be inclined to think badly of these crisps based on the advertising.

    “SnapeaCrisps deliver the pea’s natural nutrients in their entirety,” reads the product’s website.

    The company is named SnackSalad, purposefully associating in-between-meals munching with a food commonly perceived as healthy and nutritious.

    Additionally, the word “baked” is prominently featured on the package.

    The website even relies on food history to build up their product.

    “Peas have been an important part of the human diet for approximately 8,000 years,” they say.

    What they forget to mention is that peas have not been available in a bag and consumed in chip form for the past 7,985 years.

    A one-ounce serving of this snack contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.

    An ounce of Lay’s regular potato chips? 150 calories and 10 grams of fat.

    Am I missing something?

    If you’re looking for a salty snack truly packed with nutrition, boil some frozen edamame in a pot, sprinkle salt on top, and munch away. It’s certainly a quick, easy, no mess, low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber, high-protein treats!

    A half cup of it, by the way, delivers 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.

    If it’s a matter of chips or death, I suggest reaching for a tasty and satisfying 100-calorie bag of Kettle Bakes.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Bubble Tea

    Asian cuisine is often associated with an aura of health and balance. This doesn’t strike me as particularly weird, since traditional Asian diets are lower in saturated fat and less processed than those of Western countries.

    However, the Americanization of Asian food has resulted in sushi rolls dowsed in mayonnaise and covered in over-sized tempura shrimp as well as Chinese food that often surpasses McDonald’s worst offenders in the sodium and saturaed fat categories (If General Tso ate his chicken every day, he probably suffered a massive heart attack at 25).

    One “healthy” Asian drink that continues to increase in popularity is boba, affectionately known on these shores as bubble tea.

    Quite the rage in Los Angeles and New York, this drink consists of tea, milk, sugar or honey, and 30 or 40 tapioca balls. It is consumed via a thick, colorful straw that allows the sweet, gummy tapioca balls to fly into your mouth and deliver quite a unique sensation.

    Bubble tea can be comprised of black, green, or white tea, either plain or flavored in a variety of ways (ie: mango, sesame, coconut, etc.)

    Before I understood much about nutrition, I considered this a light, refreshing, exotic treat. In fact, I lived exactly half a block away from an amazing bubble tea “house”, which basically turned into my home away from the dorms.

    I might as well have visited McDonald’s.

    Consider a standard 12 ounce serving of bubble tea.

    Four ounces of whole milk provide 73 calories
    Eight ounces of black tea provide 2 calories

    One tablespoon of honey provides 64 calories

    Here comes the pearl-clutching shocker.

    Each tapioca ball packs in approximately 10 calories. Multiply that by 30 and you get… 300 calories of pure starch!

    A little addition brings the total to 439 calories, and approximately 50 grams of sugar — almost two soda cans’ worth!

    That’s calorically equal to two grande skim caramel macchiatos or two 10 ounce cups of Dunkin’ Donuts Hot Chocolate.

    Bubble tea is one of my favorite indulgences and I encourage everyone to try it at least once in their lifetime, but consider it a high-calorie, high-sugar treat and not your daily dose of tea antioxidants.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt

    Yogurt mixed with fruit. Can’t get more nutritious than that, can you?

    Well, depends on what your definition of “fruit” is.

    Unfortunately, the fruit contained in “fruit on the bottom” yogurt is pure jam. In other words, take fruit, remove fiber, and add 2 tablespoons of sugar.

    Consider the ingredient list for Dannon’s strawberry flavored fruit on the bottom yogurt:

    “Cultured Grade A Low Fat Milk, Strawberries, Sugar, Fructose Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup.”

    By the way – the only reason why those three sweeteners are listed separately? If they were lumped together as “sweeteners”, they would be the FIRST ingredient on the label!

    Keep in mind that added sugar (in the form of fruit jelly) means more calories.

    For example, a six ounce container of plain yogurt with a half cup of fresh strawberries adds up to 104 calories.

    A six ounce container of strawberry flavored fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt provides 50% more calories, zero grams of fiber, and 90% less vitamin C.

    Undoubtedly, you are better off buying regular yogurt (preferably low or non-fat and without much added sugar) and adding your own fresh fruit.

    If that’s inconvenient, add whole grain cereals like Grapenuts, Kashi, or Total to your yogurt to boost its fiber, vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Veggie Chips

    NOTE: Although this post discusses Robert’s American Gourmet veggie chips, it can be applied to any other brand with a similar ingredient list.

    The packaging boasts “potato, spinach and carrot,” as well as “natural,” but a closer look finds that there is nothing healthy about this rather new snack food.

    Contrary to popular belief, the inclusion of vegetables (usually in powdered form) to otherwise nutrient-void choices does not make them healthier.

    Take a look at these ingredients: Potato Flour, Potato Starch, Spinach, Carrot, Beet Root Powders, Rice and/or Sunflower Oil and Salt.

    True, there nothing is inherently unhealthy (i.e.: high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils). There is also nothing inherently nutritious.

    A baked potato, consumed with its skin, offers fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and some B vitamins, all of which are non-existent in potato flour.

    Keep in mind that a nutrition label lists ingredients by order of prominence by weight. In this product, potato flour and starch are the big players.

    Yes, spinach and carrot are there, but a look at the nutrient values makes it clear they aren’t the featured stars of these chips.

    A one and a half ounce serving contains:

    180 calories

    6 grams fat

    375 mg sodium

    1.5 grams fiber

    And as far as vitamins and minerals go, all we find is:

    2% of the iron daily value

    Remember, the more processed a food, the higher the sodium amount (and the lower the potassium). Granted, we do not know how much potassium is in this product, but keep in mind that whole fruits and vegetables contain virtually no sodium.

    So, those 375 milligrams indicate this is not just a whole carrot being roasted and turned into a crispy chip.

    Another clue this is basically just a potato chip with some spinach dust sprinkled on top? The low fiber amount. Vegetables are some of the best sources of fiber (a medium baked potato provides 4.5 grams, a cup of peas packs in 8, and a cup of brussel sprouts delivers 6.4!). These chips, though, deliver a weak 1.5 grams.

    These veggie chips are by no means the equivalent of a larger order of McDonald’s fries. However, they are not a good choice if you are looking for a nutritious snack, despite what the packaging may have you believe.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Little Bites

    With the Supersize backlash, many people are aiming for smaller portions and serving sizes.

    “Little Bites” baked goods — an assortment of muffins and brownies in small pouches — might sound like a smart choice. The package even exclaims the typical self-control phrase, “I just want a little bite!”

    Unfortunately, these treats raise some BIG nutritional red flags.

    Consider that a standard pouch of these apparently inoffensive sweets packs:

    — 270 calories

    — 2 tablespoons of added sugar

    To put it into perspective, we’re talking the same amount of calories, total fat and sugar as a half cup of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

    If you’re in the mood for a little bit of processed junk, I suggest a 100-calorie pack of Oreo or Chips Ahoy crisps. You get 170 fewer calories, zero grams of saturated fat, and 4 fewer teaspoons of added sugar.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Granola

    Granola was once synonymous with health and fitness. Although it is by no means on the same level as Doritos or Twinkies, commercial granola comes loaded with unnecessary – and unwanted – extras.

    First, consider that the standard serving listed on a food label for ready-to-eat granola is a quarter of a cup, which is ridiculously small. If you are having granola for breakfast you are very likely pouring in three times that amount into your bowl.

    A quarter cup provides 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar. That means that 3/4 of a cup adds up to 450 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 15 grams (almost 4 teaspoons) of sugar.

    Granola bars aren’t much better. They might sound healthy, what with being “oat and honey” flavored or “made with real berries”. The ingredient list always tells the tale.

    Consider the ingredients in Nature Valley’s Oats & Honey granola bars:

    Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Crisp Rice (Rice Flour, Sugar, Malt, Salt), Soy Protein, Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Almond Flour, Peanut Flour.

    Kudos for having whole grain oats, but jeers for having sugar as the second ingredient (and then having it appear four more times, once as the dreaded high fructose corn syrup).

    At the end of the day, one serving (two small bars) provides 11 grams of sugar (almost an entire tablespoon) but only 2 grams of fiber.

    Quaker’s low-fat chocolate chip granola bars only offer a longer list ingredients.

    Even more troubling, at only 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber, they lack enough of these nutrients to make us feel full.

    This is often a problem with low-fat processed food — it does not help our body feel full, so 45 minutes later we’re snacking on something else and consuming more calories.

    For such a small granola bar, it sure manages to fit in a slew of ingredients:

    Granola [Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Rice Flour, Whole Grained Rolled Wheat, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oils With TBHQ And Acid Added To Preserve Freshness And/Or Sunflower Oil With Natural Tocopherol Added To Preserve Freshness, Whole Wheat Flour, Molasses, Soy Lecithin, Caramel Color, Barley, Malt, Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk), Corn Syrup, Crisp Rice (Rice, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt), Semisweet Chocolate Chunks [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin , Vanillin ([An Artificial Flavor]), Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, Glycerin, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Cottenseed Oil, Sorbitol, Calcium Carbonate, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Salt, Molasses, Water, Soy Lechitin, BHT 9A Preservative), Citric Acid.

    Number of times sugar appears on the label: 11!  As if that weren’t enough, there are also cloyingly sweet sugar alcohols added on (in the form of sorbitol).

    Even worse, partially hydrogenated oils show up TWICE on the food label. Remember, partially hydrogenated oils indicate the presence of trans fats. Additionally, food manufacturers can get away with saying there are 0 grams of trans fat in their product if there are less than .5 grams per serving.

    Half a gram might seem like nothing, but we really shouldn’t be getting ANY trans fat in our diet.

    What to do when you are on the road and craving granola? Opt for the much healthier Kashi TLC granola bars. I love the crunchy roasted almond and crunchy pumpkin spice flax varieties!

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Zone Bars

    “Energy bars,” “health bars,” “protein bars.” No matter what you call them, 90 percent of these are just extra calories and sugar under the guise of health foods.

    I recently received a handful of e-mails specifically asking me about Zone bars. I am not a fan; in fact, I consider them worthy of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” label.

    Let’s take the chocolate-peanut butter flavor.

    Yes, it contributes high amounts of a number of vitamins (big deal, the large majority of us do not need them if we eat a balanced diet) but that comes with 210 calories, 360 milligrams of sodium (15% of the maximum allotted amount), 0 grams of fiber, and 13 grams (a little more than 1 tablespoon) of added sugar.

    Scan the ingredient list and you’ll find that the “peanut butter fudge” is a chemical concoction composed of corn syrup, sugar, AND high fructose corn syrup.

    Interestingly enough, many people refer to these bars as a snack they eat when they are “good” and keeping an eye on their weight. Time to go back to the drawing board, I’m afraid.

    Those 210 calories would be much better spent on food that is less artificial and offers more nutrients.

    For instance, dipping slices of a medium-sized Granny Smith apple into 1 tablespoon of a natural nut butter provides 177 calories, 4.5 grams of fiber, and absolutely no added sugar.

    Plus, both of these foods contain naturally occurring antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant compounds), which offer health benefits that pale in comparison to a bar’s added vitamins.

    Similarly, if you are in a munchy mood, you can enjoy FIVE cups of air-popped popcorn. You’ll only take in 150 calories, but enjoy the benefits of six grams of fiber!

    If you are on the run and a Zone bar is the only thing you can get your hands on, it is definitely preferable to a pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups or a bag of Lay’s potato chips. However, there is no need to make this a daily staple in your quest to eat better.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Nutrigrain Yogurt Bars

    The first day of May kicks off a brand new section of the Small Bites blog where the truth is revealed about products marketers want us to associate with optimal nutrition.

    Nutrigrain Yogurt Bars don’t need too much advertising. After all, many people immediately see the words “nutrigrain” and “yogurt” and associate it with “minimally processed” and “healthy.”

    Think again.

    One bar packs 140 calories, slightly over a tablespoon of added sugar, a measly gram of fiber and just one gram of protein.

    If you could squint your eyes just right to read the ridiculously small font on the ingredients list, you would find that the main ingredient in the bars is the high fructose corn syrup in the filling.  The filling, by the way, also contains added sugar in the form of fructose.

    The bar’s shell contains a few oats, but is mainly refined wheat flour (stripped of its fiber and antioxidants) mixed with with added sugars.

    Oh, yes, as for the yogurt… well, it’s really yogurt powder, which which lacks the live cultures that make real yogurt such an immunity-boosting, gastrointestinal wonder.

    Those 140 calories would be better spent as part of a breakfast higher in fiber and protein but lower in sugar.

    A more natural version of this snack — a standard 6 oz. container of non-fat plain yogurt mixed with a cup of fresh strawberries — comes out to 133 calories, 3.5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and no added sugars. You could even add an entire teaspoon of sugar and still have 2 1/2 less than you would in a NutriGrain yogurt bar.

    Tack on a slice of whole grain toast topped with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter and you have an all-star breakfast that will keep you going all morning long, free of hype and buzz.

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