Energy Bars – Health or Hype?

We all know that candy bars are not good for us. Loaded with sugar, they give us a quick lift without providing any real nourishment…that lift soon crashes and we feel hungrier than before. They also contain dangerous hydrogenated oils and A LOT of artificial ingredients.

OK, so the food giants gave us an alternative -- energy bars to the rescue! They look and taste like candy bars, have the shelf life of candy bars, contain protein and fiber, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals!! Whoo-hoo! They are convenient and they taste great! And, thanks to an incredible amount of advertising hype, they can be consumed without the guilt of a candy bar....


Here’s the real truth: most energy bars are based on so-called natural sweeteners -- usually high fructose corn syrup and sometimes juice concentrates --along with dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, and sometimes even chocolate -- a combination that results in higher percentages of carbohydrates and sugar than the typical candy bar!

But, they’re high in protein, you say...I say, there is nothing natural about the protein used in energy bars.

Soy and whey proteins used in most energy bars are waste products of the soy and cheese industry. Soy protein must be processed at very high temperatures -- a process that denatures many of the proteins in soy, especially lysine, making them unavailable to the body. Also, toxins are formed during this high-temperature chemical processing, including nitrates, lysinalanine and MSG.

Besides, most (if not all) soy in this country is genetically modified and has the nutritional equivalent of plastic. Yep. That's right. In fact, according to the late, great Henry Ford, soybean oil makes a superior enamel for painting automobiles and it's a great plastic alternative.


Whey protein is inherently fragile and must be processed at low temperatures or its qualities as a protein are destroyed. Whey protein is formed by drying skim milk and whey at high temperatures and putting the powders into energy drinks, body building powders and high-protein bars. Bad news.

Other major ingredients of these “health” bars include high fructose corn syrup (or concentrated fruit juices, which are high in fructose), an ingredient that has been shown to be worse for test animals than sugar. "Natural flavors" and loads of synthetic vitamins are thrown in so the bars can be called "complete."

In reality, energy bars are simply glorified candy bars and have similar effects on the body. Instead of relying on them for a pre-workout energy boost, try something truly natural, like REAL FOOD. Raw nuts, organic raw goat cheese slices, fresh fruit, or a green smoothie (fruit, water, leafy greens). Real food, the way Nature intended.

Take a listen to some of my radio archives to learn more. I did an entire program about energy bars call "Bar Exam", also about High Fructose Corn Syrup, "It's so Corny". Enjoy and Be Well!

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