Not So Healthy Health Bar

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This past week Ashlynne and I made a trip to Costco to stock up on some groceries.  Ashlynne had never been to Costco.  Since we are considered the free spenders of the family I remember thinking, this could be a dangerous combination.

We might have reached the second or third isle when Ashlynne ran across an organic snack bar for kids that looked good.  She needs quality snacks that are quick and easy.  I saw the label which said it was certified organic, whole grain, good fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals. I quickly glanced at the ingredients label and saw they were organic so I told her she could get them.


After we got home Shana, my diligent and detailed wife, carefully inspected the ingredients.  This is what she found:

  • Tapioca syrup
  • Dried cane syrup
  • Cane syrup
  • Lots of soy products
  • Natural flavors

Because I didn’t carefully read all the ingredients I was deceived into thinking this was a good snack for Ashlynne. She could do worse, but I definitely don’t want my kids thinking this is health food.

Shana had three main issues with this “health bar” for kids:

  1. The syrup ingredients are just another way of saying SUGAR!
  2. All those soy products can have the same effect of estrogen on the body, which is not ideal especially for teenage girls.
  3. Another red flag is natural flavors.  What are natural flavors?  It’s a mystery.

In summary, the snack bars are better than many other bars because of the organic ingredients, but organic does not always equal healthy.  Almost one-third of the bar consists of sugar!  The moral of the story is read the labels and ingredients with diligence.

If you aren’t sure what to look for on a label, the EWG’s Food Score search is a great place to start.

Casey Bresnahan
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