Chances are, if you have been to a grocery store in recent years, you have more than likely seen NutriGrain bars. While these bars may be delicious, they are not necessarily the best food for good health. Be sure to learn more about the carbohydrate, fiber, sugar and micronutrient content before choosing it for your family.
Carbohydrates are often referred to at "fuel for humans." This is because carbohydrates provide much of the energy that you need to make it through the day. Carbohydrates often get a bad rap as being as contributor to the development of obesity. However, in reality, this could not be further from the truth. Per gram, carbohydrates contain only four calories per gram, while fat contains as much as nine calories per gram. This means that gram per gram, foods that are high in fat are almost twice as calorically dense as those that contain high amounts of carbohydrate, such as NutriGrain bars.
One of the best parts of NutriGrain bars, at least from a nutritional standpoint, is their high fiber content. Fiber is very important for a number of reasons. First, fiber has been found to be effective for you if you are interested in weight loss due to the fact that it is relatively "bulky." This means that foods that contain high amounts of dietary fiber take up a lot of room in your stomach, thereby making you feel full for a long period of time.
In addition, fiber takes a long time to move from the stomach to the digestive tract. This also prevents overeating and potential weight gain. Finally, research has linked fiber intake to decreased rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer.
While NutriGrain bars are very high in carbohydrates and fiber, they are also, unfortunately, very high in sugar. While sugar in and of itself does not contain a whole lot of calories, it can wreck havoc on your blood sugar and other digestive processes. High sugar intake has been linked not only to the development of diabetes, but can also contribute to cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. Foods that contain high amounts of sugar, such as NutriGrain bars, should be eaten only in moderation, or avoided altogether. For best results, try to find NutriGrain bars that have low or reduced sugar.
Vitamins and Minerals
Finally, NutriGrain bars do contain significant amounts of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep your body functioning properly. As the filling of NutriGrain bars does contain some dehydrated fruit, the vitamins and minerals associated with those fruit will also therefore be present in the bars.
According to the US Surgeon General, you should "eat the rainbow" in order to have best health. This means that you should eat fruits and vegetables that vary in color. Only eat NutriGrain bars occasionally, and don't rely on them as a staple part of your diet.