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9 Worst Ingredients in Nutrition Bars ...

By Heather

The worst ingredients in nutrition bars aren’t always as obvious as they should be. It’s important to remember that just because a bar claims it's healthy doesn’t mean it's always a good choice. Many nutrition bars include ingredients you may not be able to recognize or even pronounce. This is likely a sign they don’t belong in your diet or your shopping carts. Be on the alert for the worst ingredients in nutrition bars so you can get the most out of your money and your calories with every single bite!

1 Evaporated Cane Juice

Evaporated Cane JuiceOne of the worst ingredients in nutrition bars is evaporated cane juice, which is best avoided. Evaporated cane juice sounds fancy, but is merely a simple sugar. Though it is less refined than white sugar, it is digested the same way, and isn't the best for your blood sugar or your weight.

2 Barley Malt

Barley MaltBarley malt is another simple sugar extracted from barley grain, just like sugar is extracted from sugar cane. Barley grain sounds innocent enough, but just like sugar, barley malt breaks down quickly in the bloodstream. This leads to a glycemic spike and may even cause weight gain over time.

3 Soy Protein Isolate

Soy Protein IsolateSoy protein isolate is a very processed form of soy, which is made from soybeans. It's also an almost guaranteed source of genetically modified soy. Soy protein isolate may sound reasonably safe, but it's very hard for your body to digest. It also causes severe allergic responses in individuals sensitive to soy.

4 Acesulfame Potassium

Acesulfame PotassiumAcesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener that's rarely used anymore due to its associated health risks. Sadly, it's still found in nutrition and protein bars because it lends a very sweet taste and is cheap to produce. It may also be listed as Acesulfame-K, so be on the lookout for both names. This artificial sweetener is known to be a carcinogen similar to chlorine in its compound form.

5 Agave Nectar

Agave NectarAgave is a form of sugar labeled as “natural,” but it's one you need to stay away from in all your foods for several reasons. It is touted as a low-glycemic sweetener because it has a 90% fructose content, but that's actually higher than high fructose corn syrup, which we all know is bad for us. If you choose a nutrition bar, the only natural sweetener should be 100% dried fruit or pure stevia, not agave nectar.

6 Sugar

SugarA nutrition bar can actually be overall low in sugar content and advertised as “low-carb," yet it may still have sugar in the ingredient list. Your safest bet for avoiding the toxic white stuff is to just read the ingredient list. If you see sugar on it, put it back on the shelf!

7 Natural Flavors

Natural Flavors"Natural flavors" is a term food companies are allowed to use as an umbrella of ingredients to help with labeling costs. The term can often indicate a product contains harmful ingredients like MSG, gluten, soy, refined wheat, yeast, or even many straight-up harmful chemicals. If you have allergies or want to avoid MSG, it’s best to avoid "natural flavors" altogether just to be safe.

8 Partially Hydrogenated Fats

Partially Hydrogenated FatsThis chemical form of trans fats causes health issues such as heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes, just to name a few. By FDA standards, a product can still be labeled trans-fat free and contain this ingredient if it's less than 0.5 gram per serving. Once again, read those labels!

9 Sucralose

SucraloseSucralose is the chemical name for the artificial sweetener sold under the brand name Splenda. Sucralose has been linked to possible liver damage, digestive disorders, and even excess sugar cravings. Say no to sucralose, ladies, and stick with stevia!

Try to be as ingredient savvy as you can when you purchase processed foods like nutrition bars. If you avoid the ingredients above, you'll be well on your way to finding a healthier bar in no time. What do you avoid or look for in the ingredient list when you purchase a nutrition bar?

Sources: naturalnews.com, naturalnews.com, webmd.com

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