The Myth of Healthy Cereal Bars

It has recently come to the attention of the public that cereal bars are not the healthy snack they advertise themselves to be. All together now – duuhhhh.

Eating cereal bars as a snack or meal is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all they are high in sugar and saturated fat. Secondly their sweetness actually increases appetite which means you will eat more during the day. Finally, they are very compact and as such do not fill you up and satiate your hunger. The feeling of being full is brought about by expanding the stomach with food. One tiny cereal bar isn’t going to do much. If you look at the amount of calories in a cereal bar, it contains about as much as a foot-long bunch of celery – which is going to make you feel much fuller.

Although we knew that they were unhealthy, the findings by a recent study of a range of cereal bars are quite shocking. Some of them – such as those made by Nutri-Grain and Monster Puffs – contain more sugar than a small can of coca-cola. A lot of them contained as much as 30% sugar and 45% fat.

The sale of these types of cereal bars relies on two misconceptions, namely that anything with the word ‘cereal’ in it is healthy and that anything you eat whilst walking doesn’t count. Take an objective stance the next time you chew on a gelatinous cereal bar – doesn’t it taste suspiciously like a cake or a muffin? A particularly honey glazed fattening muffin? That’s because it is. Remember the old dictum that if it tastes good you shouldn’t eat it.

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