The 11 Best Breakfast Bars
A recent Label Lesson unwrapped the dark side of breakfast bars. This week we want you to take an oath:
I swear I will NEVER touch another Healthy Food Imposter breakfast bar again. I will ONLY eat breakfast foods that provide my body with whole grains and other natural, healthful ingredients - no matter how long it takes to prepare such a breakfast…
Just kidding! You don’t have to give up convenience to enjoy a great breakfast.
That’s right… you can be good to your body even if you don’t have time to prepare a full-blown morning meal. The food sleuths here at eBrandAid.com have tracked down a few good breakfast bars that have nutrients and convenience!
Case in point: LARABAR Raw Food Bar Chocolate Coconut Chew
Cals 220, 12g fat, 0 sodium, 18g sugar, 5g fiber, 5g protein
Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Unsweetened Coconut, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.
Friends, this bar contains the Holy Trinity of healthy eating: CONVENIENCE, NUTRITION and ENERGY!
Decoding the fine print
So why is this breakfast bar worth your time and money, you ask? If the ingredients don’t speak for themselves, our food sleuths are happy to speak for them. Take a look:
This bar (like all the LARABAR varieties) is crafted from fewer than six ingredients.
The unsweetened cocoa provides more antioxidants than green tea.
The dates, coconut, almonds and walnuts are all nutritional superstars!
The fiber, protein, good carbohydrates and healthy fats are derived exclusively from whole, raw foods.
This bar is a wholefood NATURAL source of 16 essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin E and folic acid. There’s no need for a red-flag label claim like “fortified with vitamins and minerals.”
Sugars and carbs come from fruit, not from processed, added junk sources.
And the best part, they come in 14 amazing flavors all of which are free of added sugars and sweeteners, preservatives, fillers, and artificial colorings.
There’s nothing not to love about this breakfast bar!
Variety is the spice of life – and important to any healthy eating plan – so we’re serving up more nutrition-on-the-go breakfast bars that meet our BestBrands standards:
The first few ingredients are made from wholefood sources like dates, nuts or whole grains such as rolled oats, wheat, barley or brown rice flour.
They have at least two grams of fiber per serving, and no more than 250 calories per bar.
And of course, they’re void of our least favorite junk ingredients like refined sugars, refined grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners and colors, and harmful preservatives.
Finally, they’re good and good for you! And by the way, these aren’t just for breakfast anymore – they make great in between meal snacks too!
Note: Remember, all varieties of the same brand are NOT created equal! Please make sure you are choosing the recommended variety within each brand. When in doubt, read the ingredients label!
Clif Nectar Organic Fruit and Nut Bar (all flavors)
Health Valley Granola Bars Lowfat Chocolate Chip
Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax
Kashi Honey Toasted 7-Grain
Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Trail Mix
LARABARS (All flavors)
Nature's Choice Multigrain Cereal Bars
Nature Valley Granola Bites Oats 'N Honey
Nature Valley Roasted Nut Bars Peanut Crunch
Odwalla Nourishing Food Bars Carrot Raisin
Simple Harvest All Natural Multigrain Chewy Granola Bars (all flavors)
Remember, when you're armed with a little eBrandAid know-how,
you're in control at the grocery store.
Kerry McLeod is eBrandAid.com's chief Brand Doctor and a regular blogger here at Diet.com. Kerry's mission in life is to teach food shoppers how to cut through the clutter at the grocery store in order to find the truly healthy brand-name foods. Go to www.eBrandAid.com for more information.
August 23, 2010
5 Foods A Woman Should NEVER Eat
In a world where the list is king, doesn’t it make sense to know what not to eat in addition to what you should eat?
That’s how I look at it and you know how much I love me a good list!
The foods you should never eat are deserving of their own list too, doncha think? But I’ve done one better on this particular list. While I’ve named the culprit in disturbing your peace (health and weight), I’ve also named the hero in restoring your well-being (begin applause now).
Let’s get right to business then and get rolling with this list. If you stick with me, you’ll know how to dodge these negative nutritional bullets and make better choices at the grocery store and when dining out.
Culprit #1: Deep-Fried Anything
Sorry, but if you order deep fried, make deep fried or even use the words deep fried, you might as well look for a cardiologist at the same time. Deep frying is positively the worst possible choice for having anything prepared. And don’t let the words, “lightly fried” fool you either, as in tempura! It’s all wickedness!
Hero #1: Sauteed for Flavor
This cooking technique uses minimal oil (preferably olive oil) and gives your food the flavor and complexity you’re looking for. I sauté my green beans after steaming them in olive oil (not virgin, that’s too fine an oil for heat), a lot of fresh garlic, a little sea salt and a liberal grinding of fresh pepper. Unbelievable taste with very little fat and no bad fat, either.
Culprit #2: White Bread
Thud. Did you hear that? That’s the sound of white bread landing in your gullet. It’s squishy, gooey and gluey and it’s adhering to the sides of your intestines, do you feel it? Blech. Considering the negative nutrition associated with denatured flour, why would anyone make that choice in this enlightened century? Lose the white bread already!
Hero #2: Sprouted Wheat Bread
Okay, check this out. When you sprout grain, then make it into bread, not only is a lot easier on your digestion, it’s packed full of nutrients traditional bread doesn’t have! Consider this nugget: your body looks at sprouted grain as veggies, not starch! That’s good news if your thighs sprout inches just by eating a sandwich with two pieces of bread!
Culprit #3: Shortening and/or Margarine
Solidified fats get that way through a process called hydrogenation, which in turn, makes a multitude of sins called trans fats. Yes, we’ve all heard how bad trans fats are, right? Well, not only does margarine lower your HDL (good cholesterol) it also raises the bad (LDL). Ixnay all the way on margarine (and it’s evil twin shortening…which is essentially unflavored margarine).
Hero #3: Butter
Hallelujah and pass the butter already! Butter, though a definite saturated fat, will raise your good cholesterol unlike margarine. Just use it very moderately. Try Better Butter: half unsalted butter and half extra virgin olive oil whipped together and kept in the fridge in a covered dish. Just like soft spread margarine only 300 times better!
Culprit #4: White Rice
Oh. My. Gosh. Are you really still eating white rice? This depiction of a grain is full of nothingness. The fiber is missing, the B vitamins are virtually unheard of and the glycemic load will take you one step closer to Type 2 Diabetes, if that’s your go-to carb! Dismiss this!
Hero #4: Brown Rice
With three times the amount of fiber, more B vitamins as well as other nutrients, the carb load on brown rice is much easier on your body and a smaller amount will satiate, too. What’s not to love about that, especially if you’re trying to lose a few pounds?
Culprit #5: White Sugar
To quote Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” I bet you knew sugar would be on the list, didn’t you? How can it not. Did you know that consuming white sugar will actually stun your white blood cells from doing their important health preserving work? Yes, sugar impacts your immune system! It doesn’t just eat your teeth and add to your belly fat, it disrupts immune function. Repent from your sugar eating ways and return to the healthy fold!
Hero #5: Dark Chocolate and Fruit
You thought I was going to list alternative or artificial sweeteners, didn’t you? Studies have shown that people who consume diet drinks tend to gain weight doing so. Why is this? The hypothesis is you can’t fool your body like you think — if it tastes sweet, your body may still react to it and gain weight.
Stinks, doesn’t it? But we need to LOSE our sweet teeth, people! That’s the problem, not finding the golden panacea that tastes just like sugar. If you want something sweet, have some fruit and an ounce of very dark chocolate (FULL of phytonutrients, yay!) Once you get over your addiction to sugar, this decadent treat (a bowl of fresh raspberries with melted dark chocolate drizzled over the top) will knock you flat. You’ll happily say NO to donuts!
That’s it for now, y’all! Stay tuned… there is always more to come!
December 7, 2009
20 Ways To Better Health & Happiness
Health is more than just eating well. It's about enjoying, or learning how to Savor Your Life.
Here are 20 surefire ways to improve your health and happiness. And the good news is... they're FREE!
1. Give generously of yourself and your resources.
2. View everything and everyone you meet with gratitude.
3. Live each day happily without focusing on your problems.
4. Hum or sing a happy song every day (people will wonder what you're up to).
5. Foster a sense of humor.
6. Treat yourself to regular daily quiet time—study, pray, meditate (my favorite); recharge yourself.
7. Include exercise as part of your daily life. Experiment with an exercise style that works for you. Try yoga, Pilates, martial arts, walking, running, bicycling, rollerblading, swimming, dancing, weight lifting, or competitive sports.
8. To increase your circulation, scrub your entire body with a hot damp washcloth morning and/or night.
9. Avoid wearing synthetic or woolen clothing directly on the skin. As much as possible, wear 100% cotton clothing, especially for undergarments.
10. Avoid excessive jewelry on your fingers, wrists and neck; fewer rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and piercings allow your natural energy flow to circulate more freely.
11. Avoid chemically perfumed cosmetics. For care of the teeth, use natural toothpastes.
12. Keep your home in good order, including kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living rooms. You are your home.
13. If possible, include large green plants in every room of your home and office to freshen and enrich the oxygen content of the air.
14. Minimize television watching, or at least keep a good distance away from the television.
15. Avoid cooking with electricity, especially microwave ovens. Convert to gas when practical.
16. Avoid water with chlorine and fluoride. Use spring water or a good quality water filter.
17. Chew your food well, 30 seconds per mouthful or more, until it becomes liquid.
18. Offer thanks before and after meals.
19. Do your best to be on good terms with people, especially your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers. Communicate with them regularly, either in person or via telephone or email.
20. Most of all, create a positive attitude and wonderful environment around you and enjoy the process of becoming healthier and happier every step of the way!
November 30, 2009