Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tip: Read Those Labels!

My local grocery store was having a sale on energy bars last week, so I took the opportunity to stock up on them. A lot of energy bars sell for more than $1 each, so when I see them on sale for $1 apiece, or 2-for-1, I take advantage of it. Most grocery store chains seem to put at least one brand of energy bar on sale each week, so if you are a value shopper, you should take advantage of these sales.

I grabbed a handful of bars that I'd eaten in the past. ZonePerfect bars are almost a perfect 40-30-30 blend, and Balance Bars also stick to the 40-30-30 ratio. A couple weeks ago I bought a Balance Bare Bar, and enjoyed it, so I decided to sample another flavor this week. Silly me, I didn't look at the label, because I thought I knew what it would say. Nor did I look at the label of the Pria 100-calorie bars, because I thought I'd safely eaten those in the past.

Surprise, surprise, I reached in to grab the Balance Bare bar yesterday, and realized it isn't 40-30-30 at all! The bar has 42% carbs, 38% fat and only 25% protein. That's a bit more fat and too little protein for my tastes. The Pria bars fare even worse. So I'll be returning these.

Most bars have about about 100 or 200 calories. Here's a little cheat sheet showing the ideal nutritional breakdown that you're looking for (in bars or any other food):

100 calories: 10g carbs, 7-8g protein, 3-4g fat
200 calories: 20g carbs, 15g protein, 6-7g fat
300 calories: 30g carbs, 22-23g protein, 10g fat

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