Reading in Between the Lines of the Nutrition Facts Label

KIND bars are making headlines for their not so healthy health claims. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires foods to have less than 3g of Total Fat, less than 1g of Saturated Fat, and 0g Trans Fat in order for the product to be labeled “healthy”. Just like the FDA, Registered Dietitians have their own healthy guidelines, which you will find as you read along. There are a few things to consider when purchasing a breakfast/snack bar. Here’s the check list

1. The Ingredients.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I allergic to any of the foods listed in the ingredients?
  • Can I read the ingredients listed?

It’s important to be able to read the ingredient list and eat foods that agree with your body. If you have an allergy or intolerance to certain foods it’s not a good idea to eat products containing those foods just because a label claims to be healthy. Many people choose breakfast/snack bars because of their quick and convenient grab-and-go accessibility.  Although they can help you get to work or school on time, they are processed products that may contain ingredients that you wouldn’t normally consume.

2. The Nutrition Facts. Do they follow the guidelines below:

Nutrient Amount Per Serving
Total Calories 200 calories or less
Total Fat Less than 5 grams
Saturated Fat Less than 3 grams
Trans Fat 0 grams
Sodium Less than 140 milligrams
Carbohydrates Less than 30 grams
Fiber 5 grams or more
Protein 7 grams or more

We have learned from this recent news that just because a food claims it is healthy, that doesn’t mean it is. My job is to educate you so you know what to look for and your job is to look! Bring this article with you when you go shopping at the grocery store for your grab-and-go breakfast snack.

Although some flavors of the KIND bars are not in compliance with the FDA, they can still fit into a person’s meal plan depending on their health goals. Keep in mind that a healthy diet is a reflection of your overall intake; one food choice cannot predict the healthfulness of your diet. The best way to stay healthy is to eat a variety of whole foods including, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts/seeds, low fat dairy and lean meats and to practice portion control!

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