Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Protein Bar Madness

When looking at protein bars don’t get fooled. Read the nutritional label and pay attention to the sugar content of the bar. Now, this is where it gets tricky because some labels will say it has only 1 gram of sugar, but it has 19 grams of sugar alcohol (this is the actual content from an EAS "low carb" bar.) Well I hate to break it to you but sugar is still sugar, just like I said a small amount of junk food is still junk food!

Essentially it goes like this, regular sugar molecules are basically 7 calories per gram. Now, sugar alcohols are around 4 calories per gram, so although they won’t give your body the same insulin spike a regular candy bar will, it’s still sugar and it can still make you fat.

Great example, my beautiful wife and I were at the checkout line at Wal-Mart this past weekend. So while she was reading her tabloids (as usual!) I was looking at food (which is just as common.) And I saw a new powerbar protein bar that had 30 grams of protein. Well it also has 31 grams of sugar. Now, I looked at a normal size snickers candy bar and it only had 29 grams of sugar. True the higher content of the protein in the powerbar will slow absorption and not impact blood sugar levels so much, but like I said, it’s still sugar. Now I want everyone to say this with me, "it's still sugar and it will still make my favorite pants tight." Very good. So lesson for today, try to keep your sugars low when picking "healthy foods" because despite what most people think, eating organic Oreos is just as bad as eating a regular processed food.

Think of it this way, organic processed sugar will still kill you and cause cancer that will make you die a slow painful death (i.e. from the high sugar diets that most Americans eat).

How do you tell if something is low sugar, well I am glad you asked. The sugar content should account for less than 50% of the total carb content. For example, the powerbar I originally mentioned was basically 100% sugar. But let’s look at fiber one cereal as another example, it has 24 grams of carbs per serving but only 4 grams of sugar therefore it is only 20% sugar and considered low sugar. Fair enough?

Remember, it is all clever marketing and the food companies are as bad as prescription drug companies. Bottom line if you can’t find it growing (or running, flying, swimming, etc.) in the wild don’t eat it! And everyone’s New Year resolution should be, DON’T MAKE THEM!! If you hate something so badly or want to change something in your life do it TODAY don’t wait for some arbitrary day that is another excuse for people to get drunk and make copies of their ass on the office copier while puking in their briefcase. It’s just not dignified.
(I promise I won’t mention vomiting in the next newsletter, my wife is yelling at me, but it fit so well. Cheers)

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