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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

They Get You By The Nuts

When I was a young girl, my parents would take me to the local ice cream parlor. My Dad loved hot fudge sundaes and every time he ordered one he would say, “They get you by the nuts.” What he meant was that there was always a surcharge for adding nuts to his sundae.

I think of my Dad every time I eat an energy bar. I think they get you by the nuts.

 

Remember the movie “Mean Girls?” The Lindsay Lohan character, Cady, suggests to Mean Girl Regina that she eat energy bars to lose weight. Regina takes Cady’s advice and then wonders why she’s gaining weight instead of losing. Cute boy, Aaron the athlete, tells her he eats energy bars to help build muscle. Regina freaks.

I’ve had a “Regina” moment.  I have been sampling assorted energy bars to consider for a story. And I’ve gained weight. I like energy bars but I’m also convinced they are basically candy bars with better ingredients.

Energy bars promise a healthier product but the reality is, depending on the number of ounces (average 1.4 – 2.4 ounces) and ingredients (nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, oats, etc), an individual bar can be anywhere from 180 to 250 calories.

A Snickers bar has 250 calories with 110 calories from fat, 33 grams total carbohydrates (carbs) and 27 grams of sugar. In comparison a Cliff Bar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bar is 260 calories with 60 calories from fat, 42 grams total carbs and 20 grams of sugar. A GoMacro Bar (Granola + Coconut) is 220 calories with 70 calories from fat, 35 grams total carbs and 12 grams sugar.  A Zing Bar (Dark Chocolate Hazelnut) is 220 calories with 100 calories from fat, 23 grams total carbs and 13 grams sugar. (I am reading this directly from the bars packaging in front of me).


I like energy bars. And the ones above are among my favorites. I just think you need to be careful consuming them. They are not a meal replacement or ideal for weight loss or maintenance. Eat half a bar not a whole. Crumble into your yogurt instead of granola. Or just eat one small handful of nuts with slices of an apple or a small square of dark chocolate.

Here’s an infographic from Daily Burn on what 200 calories of nuts looks like:

 

So, enjoy nuts. And enjoy energy bars. In moderation.

 

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