Unhealthy Food Options are More Tempting When Sports Stars Endorse Them, Australian Study Claims



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

A study finds that boys are more susceptible to consuming junk food if sports stars are endorsing them

The Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer conducted a study hoping to figure out the effects food advertisements had on childhood obesity. According to their results, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, boys are becoming victims to misleading food advertisements. Boys were 96 percent more likely to choose junk foods over healthy choices if the junk foods claim to include nutrients, like high in calcium or protein. Additionally, the study claimed that if sports celebrities were endorsing these unhealthy options, the boys were 65 percent more likely to choose those.

The study surveyed 1,300 Australian 11 year old boys and girls, but only male sports stars were featured. While male stars had virtually no impact on the choices girls made, girls were still 66 percent more likely to choose unhealthy foods based on deceptive nutrient claims. Nonetheless, sports celebrity advertisements might lead boys to choose products high in calories and low in nutritional value.

These results have appeared to have taken many by surprise. The Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer’s lead author, Helen Dixon pushes for stricter measures being taken to limit these misleading content claims as well as sports star endorsements. With Australian childhood obesity as high as 25 percent, something must be done. “Many parents aren’t aware how unhealthy many of the products endorsed by sports stars are, ” Jane Martin of the coalition said. However, it will be hard to convince brands to stop false advertising. Timothy Gill tells MedicalXpress, “Naivety around the market is something that is still utilized by the industry to encourage product consumption.”


Why Men Like Porn

As it turns out, men are pretty much hard-wired to like watching -- or reading about -- other people having sex. Here's why they do it -- and why it's probably ok.

Most nights, after his wife, Kate, had gone to bed, Tom surfed the Internet for porn. Kate learned about this during their second session of couples therapy. Despite Tom's claims that his nocturnal habit had nothing to do with their love life, she worried he preferred porn to having sex with her.

That's a common reaction. "Often, one partner has a porn interest, and the other thinks that's a problem," says Russell Stambaugh, PhD, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based psychologist and sex therapist. "It rarely is. The best studies suggest that only about 5% of porn users have a problem that interferes with their daily life."

That's good news, because a lot of people look at porn. According to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 26% of male Internet users visited adult websites (only 3% of women went to these sites). In 2006, the porn industry raked in nearly 13 billion dollars.


Background

Celebrities frequently give medical advice and people often follow it. Whether motivated by good intentions or financial compensation, celebrity endorsements can generate large publicity for health campaigns by virtue of the spokespersons’ visibility, public interest and perceived newsworthiness. When journalist Katie Couric televised her colonoscopy on NBC’s Today Show in 2000, colorectal cancer screenings by 400 American endoscopists increased by 21% the next month [1]. Following actor-singer Kylie Minogue’s diagnosis with breast cancer, mammography bookings rose 40% in four Australian states [2]. Twice as many cervical cancer screenings were conducted in England during March 2009 as compared to the same month one year earlier, corresponding to reality TV’s Jade Goody passing from the disease [3].

Although few in number, empirical studies have also shown the considerable influence celebrities can have. A 2009 survey of 1,552 Americans found that 24% of parents place “some trust” in vaccine safety information given by celebrities [4]. Both parents and children are more likely to choose food products endorsed by celebrities, with one study finding that children who viewed a celebrity endorsement or even footage of the endorser in a different context subsequently consumed greater quantities of the endorsed item [5–7].

Celebrity health engagements are not new developments or transient fads. Rather, there is a long history of celebrities giving medical advice. In 1999, American politician Bob Dole collaborated with Pfizer to raise awareness about erectile dysfunction, and a year later actor Julie Andrews starred in a television advertisement for the osteoporosis drug Evista. More recently, singer Adam Levine worked with Shire to raise awareness for ADHD, and actor Sally Fields starred in advertisements for Boniva, an osteoporosis medication for postmenopausal women. The ubiquitous nature of modern media and the advent of new communication technologies mean that celebrity advice can spread far wider and more rapidly than ever before, making its influence increasingly pervasive and powerful.

Among today’s celebrity medical advisors, many have mobilized their influence for good. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has raised over $350 million USD for research seeking a cure for Parkinson’s disease [8]. Singer Sir Elton John is a highly dedicated AIDS advocate his foundation has raised more than $300 million USD to fight HIV/AIDS [9]. But the messages espoused by celebrities can also be at odds with those from health professionals, public health authorities and the best available research evidence. British television presenter Sir Michael Parkinson promoted an unsupported (and potentially harmful) self-diagnosis technique for prostate cancer: “The test is if you can pee against a wall from two feet, you haven't got it” [10]. Having breast cancer at age 36, actor Christina Applegate supported MRI screening for early detection yet advisory groups do not endorse MRIs for individuals at average breast cancer risk [11]. In May 2013, singer Katy Perry tweeted a photo of herself with three large bags of pills, one for each daily meal, with the caption, “I’m all about that supplement and vitamin LYFE!” What Perry withheld from her 63 million Twitter followers was that, based on numerous systematic reviews [12–16], a 2013 editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine definitively recommended against non-prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements for chronic disease prevention [17]. Actor Suzanne Somers advocates her own brand of medicine, including bioidentical hormones to reverse aging and proteolytic enzyme therapy for pancreatic cancer, despite a lack of supporting evidence [18, 19]. Likewise, Jenny McCarthy warns about a link between vaccinations and autism, a wholly discredited claim that is thought to be partially responsible for recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in North America and the United Kingdom [20–23].

Celebrities can thus act as powerful public health tools, agents who disseminate and encourage health behaviors of proven benefit. However, their influence becomes deeply troubling when their medical advice is uninformed and possibly dangerous. For example, following Parkinson’s prostate cancer test could discourage men from seeking proper medical diagnosis. Applegate’s favored breast MRIs cost over $1,000 USD, approximately ten times more than a mammography [11]. A randomized controlled trial comparing chemotherapy and Somers-endorsed proteolytic enzyme therapy for pancreatic cancer found the former offered significantly longer survival times and higher life quality [19].

This meta-narrative analysis takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine how celebrities become trusted medical advisors and why the public often follows their advice when making health decisions. We have updated and expanded upon previous systematic searches of the economics, marketing, psychology, and sociology literatures [24], added new insights from a systematic search of the neuroscience literature, and integrated insights from across the five disciplines with additional targeted searches to explore why celebrities have influence on people’s health-related behaviors.


Effectiveness of FOP labels

As discussed, existing research has studied a broad range of outcomes related to FOP labeling, including the attention consumers pay to the Nutrition Facts Panel, healthfulness and tastiness perceptions, product attitude, identification of healthier options, making healthy choices, purchase intentions of FOP labeled products, and, finally, actual consumption. Below, we shortly discuss this research and the unanswered questions we aim to address with this meta-analysis.

Attention to NFP and product perceptions

FOP labels are meant to complement the more complex, complete nutritional information presented on the NFP, though not at the same level of detail. As such, researchers have examined the possible impact of the presence of FOP labels on how much attention consumers pay to the NFP (e.g., Becker et al. 2015 Bix et al. 2015). As purchase decisions in the supermarket are typically made quickly, consumers will not have the time to study the two sources of nutrition information and, as a result, often ignore the lengthier NFP when a FOP label is present (Watson et al. 2014). Thus, we will study whether consumers will rely consumers will rely more on the information available on the front of the package, paying less attention to the NFP, when making purchase decisions and whether this effect differs between label types.

One aspect of FOP labels especially important to marketers is their impact on product perceptions. Do these labels indeed lead consumers to perceive a product as healthier, and if so, how do they affect the perceived tastiness? Though significant efforts have been made to understand these effects, the answers remain unclear especially in terms of the label types that have the largest impact. FOP labels are explicit cues about the product’s healthfulness. Summary indicator labels make it easier for a consumer to evaluate the product’s healthfulness and should therefore positively influence healthfulness perceptions. Conversely, reductive labels provide specific information about the nutritional content of the product without any interpretation of its healthfulness. However, consumers often assume that information about specific nutrients is related to other attributes this “health-halo” effect may result in a more favorable overall attitude toward the product (Burke et al. 1997 Kozup et al. 2003 Burton et al. 2014). Moreover, consumers often rely on an implicit “unhealthy = tasty” intuition (Mai and Hoffmann 2015 Raghunathan et al. 2006) when evaluating food products, suggesting that the perceptions of a product’s healthfulness and tastiness are negatively correlated in consumers’ minds. Thus, does the addition of FOP labeling also influence consumers’ expectations of a product’s tastiness (cf., Bialkova et al. 2016)? Research on the impact of FOP labeling on the perceptions of these different attributes has found contradicting results and, therefore, we aim to answer how FOP labeling influences the perceptions of a product’s healthfulness and tastiness and general product attitude, as well as to identify moderators that cab help explain the differing results of previous work.

Identifying, choosing, and consuming healthier options

By providing simpler information in a more salient format, FOP labels aim to help consumers identify the options that are better for their health and to avoid the alternatives that may cause problems when consumed in excess (Institute of Medicine 2010). Existing research shows that, in general, FOP labels are indeed able to help consumers with this identification, but whether certain labels are more helpful than others remains unclear as individual studies have only compared a limited number of labels at once. Overall, reductive labels still require consumers to understand the meaning of the different nutrients to identify healthier options. Therefore, we expect that interpretive labels, which offer an evaluation with regard to the level of healthfulness of the product, are more effective in helping consumers differentiate between more and less healthy alternatives (Cecchini and Warin 2016 Newman et al. 2018).

It is important to recognize, however, that being informed and aware of healthfulness does not always lead to better choices by consumers. The “unhealthy = tasty” intuition may lead consumers to avoid the healthy option and choose the unhealthy tasty option instead (Raghunathan et al. 2006). So far, there is no specific understanding of whether, and to which extent, the ability to identify healthier options translates to behaviors. Moreover, even if labels successfully nudge consumers toward healthier choices, a key driver of the increasing obesity rates around the world is the overconsumption of calories (World Health Organization 2015). Thus, a crucial factor when evaluating FOP labels is their impact not only on choice but also on actual consumption. Choosing healthier products is counterproductive if this gives consumers a way to justify larger portions and increased consumption (Suher et al. 2016). A recent meta-analysis on health claims (one specific type of FOP label) indicates that such claims lead consumers to make more healthy choices without reducing the number of calories consumed (Cecchini and Warin 2016). We further examine whether and how this finding generalizes across the full range of FOP labels.


Stay Clear Of Quest Bars (and Delicious Whole-Food Alternatives)

When I have choice, I prefer to snack on whole foods – fruit, veggies or nuts, or making my own nutritious superfood snacks (like these homemade protein energy balls ). But living the busy New York lifestyle, sometimes a nutrition bar is a perfect on-the-go fix.

Not all nutrition bars are equal. And not every label that said “natural” stands for what it claims. After noticing the Quest bar craze on Instagram in the fitspo community, and I decided to give it a try. After trying just one bar, I felt unusually heavy and bloated. Upon a little research, I was shocked by the ingredients:

Protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate), isomalto-oligosaccharides, almonds, water, natural flavors, sea salt, lo han guo, sucralose.

Fooducate brings up a few very interesting points about Quest bars, advertised as “low carb gluten free nutrition bars”:

  • The protein sources are not something you can make at home or buy from a farmer. Whey protein isolate milk protein isolates are a byproduct of cheese production. Bodybuilders buy them in powdered form to add to food and drink. In some cases, they may cause digestive problems such as bloating, cramps, and gas.
  • Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO), the source of fiber in the bar, is also known as fake fiber. It is a syrupy goop that tastes slightly sweet but is not considered a sugar because it is a long-chain molecule. Although it is found naturally in fermented foods, it is much cheaper to manufacture it in factories by applying enzymes to various starch sources. The problem with ingesting 18 grams of this IMO, is that it feeds only a small subset of our gut bacteria. A balanced diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will provide a much better fiber profile for your digestive system. Incidentally, Quest has been sued with the plaintiffs claiming that the actual fiber count is lower than stated in the package.
  • The bar claims to contain “no added sugars” but what it does have is Lo han guo and Sucralose.Lo han guo, also known as monkfruit, is the Chinese equivalent of stevia. Instead of a leaf, this is a fruit. Monk fruit extracts, called mogrosides, can be processed to manufacture a powdered sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Monkfruit tends to be considered a “clean” sweetener. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that may or may not cause cancer, bowel disease, and DNA alterations in mice. According to Bulletproof’s Dave Asprey , “Sucralose damages healthy gut bacteria, and when heated it converts into carcinogenic and genotoxic chloropropanols.” [edited]
  • Onto natural flavors. Added flavors are made in labs and serve to mask the lack of flavor of the other ingredients in the product. You can never truly know how they’re made, and this is where you almost blindly have to rely on each brand’s integrity.

Bottom line?

Low carb protein bar doesn’t equal healthy. Neither does anything labeled “gluten-free” or “organic”. Quest bars are a highly processed food-like product that has nothing to do with wholesome nutrition.

So where do you find an actually wholesome, nutrient-dense nutrition bar that has superfoods instead of loads of sugar and soy?

I’ve tried dozens of bars, and here’s my list of top delicious nutrition bars made from real food ingredients.

*This list was updated on June 29, 2020.

1. Primal Kitchen Collagen Bar

What’s to love: This is currently my absolute go-to protein bar. It’s perfectly chewy, light, and I love that the protein comes from grass-fed collagen – one of the most complete and easily digestible proteins that also improves your digestion (I wrote more about benefits of collagen in this butter coffee with collagen post). Made with chewy almonds and dark chocolate, it has a satisfying caramel-like texture. Primal Kitchen protein bars is non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, soy and canola free and have only 3 grams (!) of sugar.

Buy Primal Kitchen bars.

Use code BREAKFASTCRIMINALS for 10% off.

Ingredients, Dark Chocolate Almond Bar: Almond Butter, Soluble Tapioca Fiber, Bovine Collagen Peptides, Roasted Almonds, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Egg Whites, Honey, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa (Pressed with Alkali), Water, Eggs, Cocoa Extract, Vanilla Extract, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Organic Monk Fruit Extract, Organic Rosemary Extract.

Nutrition: Cal. 200, Protein 15g, Sugars 2g, Carb. 14g.

2. Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar

Photo: @bulletproof on Instagram

What’s to love: Have you heard the expression “eat fat, get thin”? I’m all about the healthy fats to fuel digestion, sharp focus and brain health. I love Bulletproof coffee and bars because they are made with Brain Octane® oil (MCT) that keeps you full and focused. Just like in previous option, protein in this bar comes from grass-fed collagen, which is currently my favorite type of protein to use in smoothies , coffee and lattes because it’s the easiest to digest. This bar is gluten free and paleo-friendly.

Buy Bulletproof collagen bars.

Ingredients, Lemon Cookie Collagen Protein Bar: Organic cashew butter, grass-fed collagen protein, chicory root fiber, Bulletproof XCT® oil powder (caprylic and capric acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut and/or palm kernel oil, tapioca dextrin, tapioca), organic cashews, Bulletproof Brain Octane®oil (caprylic acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut oil), organic coconut oil, lab-tested vanilla beans, sea salt, organic lemon oil, stevia.

Nutrition: Cal. 210, Protein 12g, Sugars 2g, Carb 13g.

3. Over Easy Breakfast Bar

What’s to love: Over Easy breakfast bars have a simple list of ingredients with no artificial sweeteners or refined sugars, no dairy, no soy and no wheat. They’re made with gluten-free organic oats and protein rich egg whites. Just like the name suggests, they make a great breakfast replacement on-the-go. My fiancee summarized Over Easy bars perfectly: “they taste great and have a great mouth feel.” Our favorite flavor is Banana Nut.

Buy Over Easy breakfast bars.

Use code BREAKFASTCRIMINALS for 15% off.

Ingredients, Banana But Breakfast Bar: Organic Oats, Almonds, Honey, Almond Butter, Tapioca Fiber, Dried Bananas, Egg Whites, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt.

Nutrition: Cal. 220, Protein 9g, Sugars 9g, Carb. 25g.

4. GoMacro Organic Bar

What’s to love: This is hands down one of my favorite nutrition bars on the market. The combo of organic peanut butter and fair trade chocolate chips is dreamy. GoMacro bars are plant-based, gluten-free, USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, kosher, and soy free. The carbs re high, however they’re complex, slow-burning carbs that give you energy.

Buy GoMacro bars.

Ingredients,Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bar: organic brown rice syrup, organic peanut butter, organic protein blend (sprouted brown rice and pea protein), organic puffed brown rice, organic fair trade chocolate chips, organic peanuts.

Nutrition: Cal. 290, Protein 11g, Sugars 14g, Carb 37g.

5. RX Whole Food Protein Bar

What’s to love: RX bars have a short and clear list of ingredients, a satisfying chewy texture, and a great assortment of flavors – I have many favorites, with Chocolate Sea Salt at the top of my list. RX have no added sugar, gluten, soy, dairy or GMO. They’re also paleo and whole30 friendly.

Buy RX Whole Food Protein Bars.

Ingredients, Chocolate Sea Salt bar: Dates, egg whites, almonds, cashews, cacao, sea salt, natural chocolate flavor.

Nutrition: Cal. 200, Protein 12g, Sugars 12g, Carb. 22g.

7. Elemental Superfood Seedbar

What’s to love: Elemental Bars are my favorite bars right now! They are super clean, nutritious and double as a smoothie bowl topping when crumbled or chopped up. There simply isn’t a flavor of Elemental I haven’t loved, but at the very top of my list are Blueberry Cashew and Currant, Cacao and Hemp Seed .

Use code BREAKFASTCRIMINALS for 15% off Elemental Superfood bars .

Heads up: these bars have to be stored in the fridge.

Ingredients, Blueberry Cashew Elemental Bar: Organic Buckwheat, Organic Almonds, Organic Raw Honey, Organic Flaxseeds, Organic Coconut, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Organic Blueberries (sweetened with organic apple juice), Organic Sesame Seeds, Cacao Butter, Organic Lemon Zest, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Lemon Oil, Pink Himalayan Salt.

Nutrition: Cal. 225, Protein 6g, Sugars 8g, Carb. 16g.

8. Greens+ Chocolate Energy Bar

What’s to love: EcoCert® Certified Organic By Ecocertico, Non-GMO and Gluten-free, the Greens+ is made with living superfoods and high energy Herbal Extracts. You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a dark chocolate lover. If you can get top notch nutrients from your greens along with a dose of dark chocolate, why not? This bar is made with 72% dark chocolate and tastes heavenly.

Buy Greens+ Chocolate energy bars .

Ingredients, Nut Butter Buddha bar: (*Organic) medjool dates*, almond butter*, quinoa sprout powder*, non-gmo soy protein isolate, original GREENS+ powder (non-gmo soy lecithin, Hawaiian spirulina*, apple fiber*, barley grass powder, wheat grass powder, Japanese chlorella, hydroponic soy sprouts, brown rice bran*, sprouted barley malt, alfalfa grass powder, royal jelly, Montana bee pollen, acerola berry juice, natural vitamin E, licorice root, milk thistle seed extract, echinacea root extract, siberian eleutreho root extract, astragalus root extract, licorice root extract, red beet juice*, dunaliella salina algae. nova scotia dulse*, ginkgo biloba leaf extract*, Japanese green tea extract*, grape seed and skin extract, Swedish bilberry extract*), brown rice crisps*, honey*, natural mixed tocopherols.

Nutrition: Cal. 250, Protein 8g, Sugars 22g, Carb. 34g.

9. Rise Protein Bar

Photo: @risebar on Instagram

What’s to love: The combo of taste (lemon and coconut go so well together!) , texture (creamy and chewy) and nutrition is hits the spot. I love the fact that the ingredients are simple, real foods with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. The Rise lemon cashew bars are vegan, paleo, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free and kosher.

Buy Rise protein bars.

Ingredients, Lemon Cashew bar: cashews, coconut nectar, pea protein, lemon extract.

Nutrition: Cal. 260, Protein 15g, Sugars 12g, Carb. 23g.

Other snacks & nutrition bars we love:

10. SuperFat Nut Butter Keto Snacks

I discovered SuperFat through Tim Ferriss, whose meticulous approach to health and nutrition can be trusted. These nut butter snacks have no fillers, no palm oil and no added sugar. They’re non-GMO, kosher, keto certified and easy to travel with. I love the protein flavor for road trips and flights (the protein comes from nuts and sunflower seeds). They’ll quickly become your favorite nut butter to snack on! Buy SuperFat Protein Nut Butter Keto Snack directly from their site to support the maker or on Amazon .

p.s. the packaging is brilliant and allows you to not leave a single drop of the nut butter behind! And if there is a drop stuck in the cap – use a straw to get it out )

11. EPIC Chicken Sriracha, Low-Carb Protein Bar

If you’re into savory bars and love meat, EPIC is a great choice. Buy it here .

12. Health Warrior Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Protein Bar

This bar tastes shockingly good given its simplicity and pumpkin seed domination. Buy it here .

Learn how to make delicious, filling breakfast that will keep you full for hours in the Breakfast Criminals eBook (digital download):

READ NEXT:

Spicy Mayan Raw Cacao Energy Truffles Recipe

Plant Protein Acai Bowl Recipe With Oat Milk

Adaptogenic Coffee Recipe: Caramel Clarity Latte Postmodern Snacking (7 Healthy Ideas)

Related Posts

Pumpkin Chia Pudding Recipe

Activated Charcoal 101: Top Benefits And 5 Creative Recipes

How To Organize Your Fridge + Testing The LG SIGNATURE InstaView™ Refrigerator

9 Best Instagram Breakfasts This Week

Blender Review: Blendtec Designer Series

Aloha Vibe: Wild Berry Tahini Detox Smoothie

Heart Bowl Love: Holiday Cranberry Avocado Oats By Sasha Nelson

Upgrade Your Toast: Tasty Tahini, Almond Cacao Crunch & Avocado Turmeric

146 Responses

I will put a kur bar in my hot yoga bag..for emergency..

Are you out of your mind! Look how many net carbs are in these suggestions. And sucralose may or may not cause cancer in rats. Nothing is proven. I am very healthy and have been eating quest bars since I can remember.

Ooh la la : ) I would bring Kur with me during my holiday travels across the country. Always need a solid travel snack! :)

Wow, this was so helpful for me! I have found it so hard to find decent bars that tick all the boxes…i usually have two quest bars a day so this was very enlightening!. Thanks again :)

You’re so welcome! It’s mind blowing when you do a little research. Have you seen Food Matters? That’s the movie that really changed my life in and out of the kitchen. xo

Hi! What have your heard on organic food bars? I just came across a box of them at vitamin shoppe. The ingredients seem healthy?

I would stash these bars in the diaper bag tO have a healthy snack wherever the day takes me and my tHree kids. My Youngest has a few food allergies so i pack Snacks for her any tIme we leave the house.

Agree with everyhing you said… Whole food is the way to go- the last appeal of quest that i pErsonally feel attached to is the low sugar- thouGh natural, all whole food alternatives are high in sugar. Fruit sugar still hits high on glycemic index.

Also…. You have OBviously have never had a perfect bar :) ….

I’ll bring my Kur Bars on my many amtrak train rides!

I would take a bar with me while I run errands. That way when I get hungry, I have a healthy snack on hand and don’t have to settle for a lesser snack! Thanks!

Interesting article, indeed! i actually really enjoy quest bars for a multitude of reasons one of them being that they’re (err, aren’t?) low in carbs, sugar, etc….and another being that they actually fill me up! but this is pretty eye openeing. the kur bars look wonderful. i’d totally bring mine with me throughout my daily trials and tribulations as a college kid!

Thanks for the insight. Very helpful! Can’t wait to try a Kur bar.

I’ll definitely bring the bars to work to munch on during breaks. :)

wow…As yummy as they sound, I would bring my Kur EVERYWHERE

I’m always having a chocolate emergency! I will bring my kur with me to the movie theater for a guilt free sweet treat!

I would bring kUr with me to my family sunday get together. So i could Share The joy with my family!

P.s i So happy you shared the Information AboUt the quest bar. I Eat one everyday Befor my workout.

I would bring kUr with me to my family sunday get together. So i could Share The joy with my family!

P.s i So happy you shared the Information AboUt the quest bar. I Eat one everyday Befor my workout. Thank you

I’d keep them in my desk at work. A perfect pick-me-up!

i teach a kids yoga class every week and i’d take my kur with me to eat afterwards! thanks for this post- i thought i’d tried every bar out there!

I love kur bars! I would bring the Kur bars with me back home to Taiwan since there aren’t a lot of nutrition bars available There.

Thanks! I always am looking for options when it comes to nutrition bars. I also like the fruit and nut perfect bar. My other favorite is the spirulina raw revolution bar.

Thank you for all of the lEg work on this article. I would love to tale the Kur bars to family camp next month.

I would throw the kur bars in my backpack to get my through my 8 hr days in my dietetic internship! :)

I’d bring the kur bars with me while running errands or traveling. They sound awesome. i always try to have a healthy snack on hand so that i don’t have to worry about what to eat when i’m on the road

I work at a elementary school, and it can be hard to find time to eat. I would eat one of these lovely sounding Kur bars for an easy pick-me-up in the afternoon.

I’ll bring my kur bars on my honeymoon to new zealand so i can stay healthy while i travel!! It’s also a very long flight so i’ll needs lots of healthy snacks :)

Wow, thanks for the informative article! I figured Quest bars were too good to be true!
Thanks for the great giveaway! If I won, I would eat them at work. As a teacher, I am on my feet all day and these would be perfect!
xo

Thanks for the great recipes and site!

I must try those kur bars. a lot of the bars above i HAVEN’T heard of. I am so grateful for the new ideas!

I would bring them to work, where I have a terrible time eating healthy! I have never tried Kur bars and I am always looking for a good healthy snack that wont leave me hungry.

I would be sure to take a Kur Bar to Hospital everyday. It seems like the perfect snack to have when staying on my feet running between patients and lectures!

Hi Naadhira! Congrats. You’ve won a box of assorted kur Bars. Please email me your shipping address to [email protected] Yay!

Oh my goodness! thank you so much! i’ve sent you an email!

Thanks for this story—I buy bars for my teen all the time. I make them myself, but honestly it is more expensive and labor intensive to buy the ingredients…looking forward to finding KUR at my local stores!

I am going to KUR Washington dc and when that late night hunger strikes during those late nights i’m going to kur it with a kur bar!

I would bring my kur bar to my airplane ride. A person can only eat so many peanuts!

kur bar will be coming with me on all of my Upcoming 14 airplane Flights in the next 57 days.

I’d take them everywhere! Especially in my purse for those ’emergency snacks’ you sometimes need. :)

When I bike into town, I’d bring my Kur bar! We’d revel in our nutritional adventure, championing the people’s plight for good food and healthy exercise!

Illl take kur to my sisters wedding and hijack her quest bars to be replaced by kur!

Ill replace my sisters quest bars with kur at her wedding in 2 weeks!

I’m a huge fan of Luna Bars but I know they have way too much sugar in them. Maybe I’ll try switching over to some of these Bars… they look really good! :)

The fact that KSENIA AVDULOVA can actually tell you to put more sugar in your body is not only irresponsible, but utter crap… How many of the bars has she recommended were loaded with sugar. Sugar is PRECISELY THE reason for the decline of ill health in nutrition, that fact that she would slap her name on an article and write this stuff is stupidity. Be careful of all foods you eat, even fruits can make you spike in glucose, natural sugars are not good for you. what feeds cancer? is our glucose… find knowledge for yourself, study, and learn. people are inherently stupid and who writes articles? another dummy…

whole foods are always better, but just because foods are processed doesn’t mean they are bad, making food and bars is always a process. do not always believe the “local or organic” propaganda that other companies try to feed you…

Thanks for your opinion Sam! Hope you feel better after venting. :)

Can’t believe 18 rabbits bars aren’t on here! have you tried them? their granola is amazing too. and they just started selling it at target. their caramel apple granola with raw milk is an amazing dessert… they add no refined sugars to any of their products either.

I’ve been doing some research on IMO, and found your site. I can’t find a reference to IMO being known as “fakr Fiber” anywhere. Can you point me to somewhere that does? Thanks!

Hi Dave! You can find some interesting info here:

Here’s one of the opinions I found:
Quest Bars are something like 30% isomaltooligosaccharides, or IMOs. If you go the testing website of the lab that conducted the test and scroll down to their available dietary fiber assays, you’ll notice they have separate assays listed for products “that contain significant amounts of resistant oligosaccharides.”

Why is this important? The “conventional” testing methods don’t properly reproduce how the human body deals with things like IMOs it incubates them in a high-temperature cocktail of chemicals for 16 hours, which is much more time than they have to be processed in your small intestine. The very thing that makes IMOs and other things like them interesting is that they don’t get this kind of opportunity to be digested, which makes them behave like a dietary fiber instead of a straight-up carb source. It’d be like claiming the Empire State Building is perfectly dissolvable in water, proven by a mountain eroding over the course of a few million years. OK, maybe not that dramatic, but same idea.

The controversy around IMO, the lawsuit and the blood sugar issues is probably what made Quest Nutrition switch to using soluble corn fibre, which is a fancy name for corn syrup. The manufacturer even admits it: http://www.promitorfiber.com/promitor_dietary_fibers/pages/promitorsolublecornfiber70.aspx

Cookies&Cream was the last bar using isomalto-oligosaccharides. S’mores started using soluble corn fibre. It prolongs shelf life of the bar and doesn’t make them that hard. If you’ve had one S’Mores, you realize they crumble easier than other bars.

There’s also the issue of calories and fibre content which doesn’t add up when you do the math. Have a look at my post explaining this in detail: http://jonsupps.com/quest-bars-soluble-corn-fiber/

I completely agree with what you said about Quest bars.
However, shouldn’t sugars like brown rice syrup, evaporated cane, and agave nectar/syrup also be avoided at all costs? I general only eat raw bars because those types of added sugars contain a high degree of fructose.
http://authoritynutrition.com/6-healthy-sugars-that-can-kill-you/ gives a brief explanation of it, and even Dr. Oz has changed his opinion of agave.

If you’re looking for other raw bars, I highly recommend Larabar and Thunderbird––Both companies use only natural ingredients in their bars!

Wow, your alternatives are really bad choices! Low protein, high sugars, high carbs. The quest bars are much better for you, and much better choices.

A little bit of natural occurring sugar from dates and dried fruit, as well as natural carbs, are MUCH better than lab-created protein.

Hi Ksenia, it’s true what you said, I rather have natural than artificially created protein. However i still get where The Dude is coming. You can only go so far with lots of fruit and nuts. When I see a bar with very little protein (3-6g) and a bunch of carbs, most of them being sugar (15 or more), I cringe a little bit.

I don’t need (all the time at least) a full 20g of protein that you can see in most high protein bars (quest, and many others), but around 10g of protein is more or less my minimum-medium range for what I look for in a bar.

Fruits and nuts can be natural, but remember fruit has sugar and all those agave syrups, agave nectar, tapioca syrup etc aren’t necessarily a good thing.

Still, good article, I’ve been adding some of the bars you listed into my wishlist.

All great points, Jon!
These are all personal choices. Bottom line for me personally is that I’d rather snack on fresh fruit, veggies or nuts, but sometimes I go for a nutrition bar. And when I do, I want it to be as clean and additive-free as it’s possible.
Thanks for stopping by!

I was noticing that too… Are there not ANY BARS THAT HAVE NATURAL PROTEIN AND A LOW AMOUNT OF SUGAR AND CARBS?…

iF THIS IS THE CASE MAYBE MEAL PREPPING INTENTIONALLY WITH SNACK FOODS WOULD BE A BETTER OPTION THAN OPTING FOR A LAST-MINUTE BAR? (MEANING WHEN MEAL PREPPING ANTICIPATE THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE A COUPLE DAYS WHERE YOU’LL NEED A LAST MINUTE ON-THE-GO MEAL)? i DON’T KNOW… i’M KIND OF DISCOURAGED…

I agree. the recommended daily dose of sugar for women is 25g or 100 cal. some of these bars have 19-22.

i agree ur eating alot of sugar!

These bars have a ton of sugar!

I agree that not all bars are created equal. I would urge you to consider our bars. We strive to use as much organic ingredients as possible. Zero presevatives and a custom packaging thicker to keep fresh without preservatives. The ones you have on are good, but others are out there. sixpac.com

It’s someone’s personal opinion on Quora. I personally disagree that the taste is great (far from what REAL food tastes like!).

Lara bars have low protein and about 24 g of sugar. Good if you are famished from an all day hike or sports event but not too healthy otherwise. Most the bars are high glycemic dates.

Quest bars do not have sucrulose in them. You must be confusing sucrulose with stevia. Sucrulose is splenda, a chemically chlorinated sugar molecule. Stevia is a naturally made sweetener from stevia leaf, some brand names you may know is truvia. Quest bars have prebiotic fiber, use whey protein unlike most bars which use estrogen modifying soy protein, and have 3-5 grams net carbs. They also use almonds and nuts in some. No crap these arent as good as raw whole foods but for a protein bar they are great. Get your facts straight.

SOME Quest Bars DO have sucralose in them. Check the labels on each flavor. Some have Sucralose, some have Stevia.

All those other bars you recommend are higher in calories & sugar and much lower in protein. They aren’t really alternatives to quest bars, which are great for people who are active in sports and training. For non-active people just looking for a snack you could perhaps use those as alternatives but I think you should have included higher protein, low carb bars for alternatives if you have found any.

Sugar and carbs are the real killer. the body can’t handle more than 25g’s a day. Fructose and agave can make you sick too, check out thesir glycemic loads! MAybe being in ketosis and eating fat and meat and veggies and seeds can be better than all of this DIARRHEA that tastes good. Sugar addiction is a disgusting trend that has taken over the world…

I will be taking my ***kur bars*** with me to work, so I can share the love and health with all my coworkers! (we work in the food industry too, so maybe this will help curb the bad eating habits that so many of us servers and bartenders have!)

WHAT do think of the ingredient “chicory root fiber”?

I knew those quest bars were too good to be true with all that sugar and it is actually high carb!

so are you saying I shouldn’t have whey protein either to grow muscle?

wHEY PROTEIN IS USED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO HELP ACHIEVE YOUR PROTEIN GOALS. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT, BUT TRY AND GET AS MUCH PROTEIN AS YOU CAN FROM WHOLE LEAN FOODS (CHICKEN, TURKEY FISH, ETC…)

THE AVERAGE PERSON SHOULD CONSUME 1G OF PROTEIN PER LEAN BODY MASS TO MAINTAIN AND PREVENT MUSCLE BREAKDOWN. IF YOU ARE 150 POUNDS, YOU NEED TO BE EATING 150G WORTH OF PROTEIN.

IF YOU ARE TRYING TO ADD MASS, YOU NEED TO EAT IN AN EXCESS OF YOUR rmr (RESTING METABOLIC RATE) OTHERWISE YOU WILL NOT GROW MASS!

tHIS IS THE BIGGEST MISNOMER, ESPECIALLY WITH WOMEN. iF YOU DO NOT EAT OVER YOUR rmr YOU WILL NOT GAIN OR BULK!

Make Your Own….Quest Bars taste good…But they are 100% a product made with industrial functional food ingredients. to Me they are an emergency food when I cant find other low carb alternatives.

As for the claims….My Doctor doesnt buy into calorie counting or subtracting Fiber from the carb count….Who knows is what you are eating is representative of the food that was used to make the charts….Thats why he reccomends a low carb Paleo lifestyle for all his Type II diabetics….Grain free!! Gluten Free….Very Limited Fruits, and Starchy Squashes. About 50 grams a day of Total Carbs. Exercise most days of the week.

The alternative bars RECOMMENDED while wholesome, have way too little protein and too many carbs…..

FInd a recipe in a paleo Cookbook…..It can be done at home….dont expect to save money though….Nuts, Dried Fruits and Protein Isolates are not cheap….you will just know what when into them.

Most Energy Bars are just candy bars in DISGUISE and some of them have more calories then a Snickers or a Milky Way bar.

Great article. Over 4 years ago I created a raw food protein bar that uses all whole living plant based foods, has fairly low carbs and sugar, and also has 22g protein per bar. Some people have asked for something similar to my bars in this thread.

MariGold Bars are made with cold-processed whey isolate from grass-fed cows. NON GMO and hormone free. 20-23 grams of protein and only 4 grams (or less of sugar). All premium ingredients.
http://www.marigoldbars.com

(I’m not sure why this is being printed in all caps. – My caps lock is off…)

Everyone of these bars has loads of sugar, and I can’t have sugar. at least quest bars have a few flavors that don’t Have any sugar grams.

After reading this article, I have been convinced that I have made the right choice in choosing quest for my protein bars. You really don’t provide comparable bars. People choose quest bars for the high protein and fiber content. None of the “alternatives” you provide come anywhere close to the the protein and fiber content that quest provides. Quest is specifically a protein bar, and your bars are more along the lines of energy bars. So next time before writing an article like this please make sure to have a clear understanding of where Quest is coming from and who their target market is before writing your opinion on their products.

Although you are somewhat correct, I’d recommend doing some more research yourself.

You only looked at one flavor for Quest Bars (which happened to have the sucralose and stuff) and made your analysis from that alone.

If you were to check the ingredients label for the following flavors, you’d notice that some aren’t as bad as you think: Strawberry Cheesecake, Cinnamon Roll, Double Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana Nut Muffin, Lemon Cream Pie, etc.
And although your list of alternatives are organic and seem safer with their ingredients, you forgot one other main reason fitness people are so into protein bars-PROTEIN.
The protein in the bars you’ve recommended are almost non-existent.
Whey Protein Isolate (and concentrate) are indeed byproducts of cheese, but so what? Is cheese not natural? Is milk not? There is a reason why Whey Protein is so popular. People have done their own research and still decided to purchase those products. At the end of the day, no demand = no supply. But guess what, the protein business is prospering.

Has anyone ever tried Bio-Trust’s Protein Cookies? I prefer their Chewy Chocolate Chip flavor to their Frosted Oatmeal one. There are 12 grams of protein per cookie and contain milk protein concentrate that are Hormone & Anti-biotic free, have no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives, are free from wheat, soy, trans fat and gluten, contains non-GMO ingredients. There are 5 grams of fiber per cookie and they taste delicious (a little thick, but good).

I’ve looked at all the bars you have listed and still think Quest’s Cinnamon Roll flavored bar beats out all the ones you have listed 7gm fat (1gm sat), 23gm carbs (forget the nonsense net-carb argument), and 1gm sugar. Stevia does not raise glucose levels like regular sugar does nor does it bear anywhere near the caloric intake of sugar. All of the bars while they have some nice ingredients have high sugar levels, most from dried fruit which have higher levels of sugar than fresh fruits and should be avoided. I eat at least 1 quest bar daily and have managed to maintain between 5.2% to 7.0% with no issues. Hypoglycemic myself I’m very sensitive hitting the sugar wall and typically high sugar level foods only make the condition worse, I don’t have that issue at with Stevia or Quest bars so I would they are doing something right.

Agreed Kurt. Some people can’t celebrate the fact that Questbars are a far better option that provide excellent macro-elements of nutrition than most products on the shelves. Articles like this demanding strict adherence and zero tolerance connect with very few people and is even less practical to execute. There is a growing trend of negativity which is counter health productive when treating healthy alternatives like Questbars as if they were the equivalent of something coming out of a vending machine. From someone who promotes health, it’s an appaulling attack used by alarmist to gain attention to drive their own agenda.

Agreed, the macros on the suggested “alternatives” are completely different, so they’re not really good replacements at all. They have way too much sugar and almost no protein.

The first one sure looks tasty…too bad all listed bars have more sugar than proteins…

After I polish off these last 4 Quest bars no more for me.

There is an article on Fooducate that you have plagiarised several paragraphs from. Incredibly unprofessional behaviour. Their article was penned in December of 2013, this article was published on the 28th of October 2014 (I checked the page source data). Plagiarism is illegal and seriously jeopardises your credibility. At least cite that you got your information from their site, paraphrase even.

Caitlin, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment and even go as far as go to the page source data. I’m sorry you didn’t notice the siting of the Fooducate blog post, which is clearly sited and linked. I’m a trained journalist and would never plagiarize. Thanks for worrying about my credibility and reputation though. Very nice of you.

“Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that may or may not cause cancer, bowel disease, and DNA alterations in mice.”

This is a super slick way of trying to make sucralose seem dangerous when there are legions of tests and studies on it and none of them indicates at any actual danger. It’s a true sentence because you used the weasel words “may or may not”. That is so disingenuous, I’m ashamed that I came here to read facts and got that.

You know what? Water is a liquid that may or may not cause cancer, bowel disease, and DNA alterations in mice. Just as truthful as what you said.

The message I get from this is that some ingredients that are unfamiliar to the author are worrisome. Has the author cited studies to support this belief? So the article goes on to recommend many other products containing large quantities of sugar (carbohydrates). Sugar is a documented killer that has killed and crippled more people than all those ‘mysterious’ ingredients combined. It is responsible for the rampant obesity we see all around us. You might as well recommend Twinkies, Fritos and Pepsi.

Oh, but sugar is a ‘natural’ ingredient! Yes, and so is arsenic, lead, petroleum and asbestos. Are you recommending them too? Despite the powerful corporations who profit from sugar, carbs and ‘comfort foods’ we see frequent headlines around the world warning us of the dangers of carbohydrate consumption. Sugar starch and grains are a deadly addiction.

To every generality there is an exception. If you are an Olympic level athlete, you may need extra carbs to perform at your best. Otherwise avoid at all cost.

Hey all, personally I am pro-Quest bars, but there’s no point in arguing about this. The author basically has a view that natural sugars and ingredients are better than unnatural ones. You can argue the pros and cons but if you prefer all-natural because you think that it is better for the body, above all, those natural alternatives win. Personally I am happy with the unnatural, heavily processed stuff, so it depends on where you are coming from.

Nov06 󈧓
Good Evening All and Happy Friday! I stumbled upon this discussion quite by accident (researching on online organic grocer) and stayed to review all of the helpful commentary. Question: Has anyone tried (or know about) *Amazing Grass Green Superfood* Whole Food Nutrition Bar? I’m new to the whole *nutrition bar* as snack switch. I’ve tried *Kind* bars, but they seemed more like a *healthy* candy bar. Thank you (All) most graciously.

I’ve always been skeptical of the obscure ingredient list, so thanks for clarifying. Personally, Quest isn’t my favorite. I get them every once in a while for a treat, because I like the taste and the macro statistics are hard to resist.

What about Clif Kit’s Organic or Larabar? Those are my favorite clean bars.

Those greens bars are NOT gluten free as they contain barley malt. Most people with celiac know to avoid this but you may be misinforming those who claim to have gluten sensitivities.

sound like an ads for other companies

Hey I have to say both me and my wife been using Quest bars for a few months i have yet to get the bloating and stomach problems you mention here. I figure there is more to it than just the ingredients like at what time you eat the bar, do you eat it by itself or with what kind of liquid? what kind of health problems do you already have if any. Anyways i eat 5-6 times a day small foods as a healthy diet. I feel great and I eat 1 quest bar a day in between the bigger meals ex:lunch()dinner it works great. But biggest thing is i exercise daily and lift weight quest bar is a great meal replacement if you have a workout routine. That is why is called a protein bar not a wholesome bar. I agreed with you most people do not research enough, do not eat protein bars if you are not working out it will just make you fat. These bars are tasty but i do not think you should compare them to a quest protein bar is not the same thing.

Your alternatives are too low in protein, too high in sugar, and way too high in carbs. There’s no doubt the Quest bars are better for you. Just because something has “organic” or “vegan” in the title does not mean it’s better for you.

Hiya, really interesting article. Could you recommend any alternatives that are available in the UK? I currently eat Nakd bars but would like an alternative go to bar that is higher in protein. Thanks

I like Pulsin bars (http://www.pulsin.co.uk/) they have some protein in them, and have a yummy taste! Otherwise, I’ve not found many others that aren’t just pure sugar! Shoot me an email, and I can let you know if I learn of others, as I am always on the lookout in England!

More vegan hippy propaganda. These alternatives are awful. Taste is very subjective personally I love the pumpkin pie flavor as do most and “Quest Bars” have double if not triple the protien of the trash you recommend not to mention 1/10th of the carbs. No kidding they have some industrial ingredients they are mass produced they have to be other wise quest would probably have to charge 6-8 dollars a bar. There are what 6 or so ingredients in Quest bars some of your suggestions have 25 ingredients plus and even so still can’t fill the protien and fiber requirements of athletes. I hope no one takes your blog seriously because I had a good laugh at your sorry attempt to dethrone quest. The reason there is a “craze” surrounding quest is becuase people easily recognize the quality ingredients and the value of such. Realistically there are plenty of other bars that taste better ….detour, muscle milk bars etc but the ingredients are of poor quality and the protien is usually a concentrate with trans fats etc. Quest bars are a good trade off between healthy macros, taste and value. Yes it’s my opinion which obviously is echoed by many whom are intelligent enough to ignore rhetoric such as this…

The issue that I have with these bars that you suggested, and this is from a lifter’s point of view, is that they don’t have the macronutrients to propel/recover from training. Quest bars are ideal because they make up for a balanced equation of Carbs 50%, Fat 30% and Protein 20% to nourish your muscles with quality protein.
On the other hand, I would probably try one of the suggested bars as a little snack.
If we are talking about pre/post workout bar to give you energy or replenish your body, then I wouldn’t go for anything less than 10g of Protein.

To tell you the truth, I’ve never tried Quest bars before, but every bodybuilder I come across tell me it is one of the best bars for the reasons I mentioned above. That, and casein…

Himalayan Crystal Salt is the most beneficial, cleanest salt available on the planet. It was formed about 230 million years ago where the energy of sun has dried up the original, primal sea. This crystal salt is absolutely pristine and natural, identical in composition to the ancient primal ocean. Himalayan salt is most commonly found as coarse grains, fine grains, or large blocks in Pink Dark pink and in white colors. Himalayan Pink Salt is used by holistic chefs, spas, health professionals, and individuals for its range of nutritional and therapeutic properties. Pink salt may be used in the same manner as table salt for culinary dishes and baking, but it is purer and higher in mineral content. Mehran corporation exports all kind of salts

Notice all your suggested “healthy” bars are loaded with sugar too. Sugars that are not immediately turned into glucose as if eating fresh fruit on it’s own. The combination of processed or unsprouted nuts, dates, and raisins create highly inflammatory food, which is not as nutritious as whole food.

This article lacks any understanding of nutrition. Granted Quest bars may be over-processed, but the article recommends alternatives with up to 22 grams of sugar per bar. I’m sorry but that’s not good advice in my book, especially when the daily recommend amount of sugar by the World health organization is less than 40 grams per day.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, just a shame people don’t know what they are talking about.

By the way the Quest ingredients label posted above shows they contain Stevia not Sucralose.

Quest Bars are low-carb, PROTEIN bars…and that is all, which they do quite nicely (they are not “nutrition” bars…whatever that even means). They offer +20g of protein and sub-5g of sugar. I don’t need a recommendation for a low-carb “protein” bar that has 8g of protein and 34g of carbs. It’s like offering recommendations for a good burger joint after being asked to provide recommendations for Mexican food. Thanks, but the point was kind of missed here. Processed or not, Quest kicks butt when quick and tasty low-carb protein is what you are looking for. And did you mention that eating nothing but all-natural foods is better for you than processed foods? Groundbreaking. While we’re at it, let’s turn the health world upside down with this bombshell…exercise is good for you! I don’t need to “Stay Clear” of Quest Bars when consumption of low-carb, protein is my goal. This article was articulate with good grammar and punctuation. I’ll give it that.

The bars you recommend are full of sugar and low on protein. I’m pretty astonished by that! You seem very concerned about ingredients and yet recommend things full of sugar, the biggest inflammation-producer of all!

Thanks for the heads up on quest bars. I used to buy them often in the morning before work but they gave a sort of laxative effect on me. I’m assuming it’s a result of consuming more than 50% of a day’s worth of fiber at once. However, I’ve found it difficult to find a protein bar that is natural that provides minimal carbs/sugar without the product having a bunch of weird stuff in it. Any recommendations would be appreciated, otherwise, I find that whey protein powder taken along with me in a baggy can be easily added to a h2o bottle for quick protein. Thanks for the article!

I don’t eat anything man-made I don’t care what it is

I bet you’re mistaken. Nearly all modern fruits, vegetables, meats and animal products are derived from thousands of years of selective breeding to increase size and fat/sugar content. An organic, non-GMO apple, peach, or chicken breast is about as “natural” as a show poodle.

In order to avoid eating anything “man-made”, you’d need to eat 100% wild foods. The set of people whose diet is like that (hunter-gatherers) is almost mutually exclusive with the set of people who have an internet connection.

The only one on this list I would eat, would be Kur, which I can’t find up here, because of the lack of sweetner (I can only handle fruit or stevia). It is non-GMO and organic. Quest bars are garbage. I was pretty angry when a body building store recommended them, and I found they contained sucralose. Then I realized they weren’t even non GMO. They have a dead taste to them. Thanks for posting. I will try to find the kur bar.

Hi Anne! Thanks for your comment. I’ve also been into RX bars lately! So good: http://amzn.to/2atenX2

You have to meet your audience at least halfway. You can criticize Quest bars for a lot of things (I came here after the GI issues I experienced) but suggesting high carb, low protein replacements isn’t going to convert anyone that doesn’t already agree with you. Might I suggest Strong & Kind bars? I’m loving the Hickory Smoked Almond Protein Bar more than any of the Quest bars I’ve tried. They’re Non GMO, whole food based with 10g protein (Half a Quest Bar), 15g carbs, with only 6g of sugars (mostly from honey).

I’d love it if they could reduce the sugar a little more, but they have to hold them together somehow.

There is nothing to love about agave syrup, it’s just a hyped up version of HFCS. In fact, some research says it’s WORSE for you than HFCS or even table sugar: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/sugar-wars/372220/
I like the cute little pictorial in there :.P
Yes, the body processes fructose, but not in amounts that ridiculous. I’m not sure what the bottom line of that article is: the dangers/hype of agave OR Dr. Oz lolz. IMO, they both pose a danger to the herd of gullible sheep known as the general public…probably Dr. Oz edges out, yeah I’d say Dr. Oz is the bigger danger…

I may be mistaken, but I DO remember “once upon a time” when Quest bars were ACTUALLY GOOD. It used only Lo Han Guo, nuts, whey, not much else. And they tasted great. Just the thing to round out the cappuccinos I now realize I SO took for granted back then. Being able to get a REAL cappuccino THESE days for me now is like Christmas :.(

There was a time I stepped away from quest bars going to trade school for a career change (translation: a long gap of unpaid time). It seemed by the time I rediscovered them, I wasn’t sure if my memory was playing tricks with me or if it was THE BAR. It tasted…different…OFF somehow. I immediately reached for the ingredient list and sure enough, it WAS the bar. Corn fiber? Splenda? Et tu, Quest? Brand loyalty really counts for shit these days, especially if they are going to pull that crap on the public. Funny how there is a correlation between its popularity and the quality of its ingredients. The higher one got, the lower the other one got. Cutting corners so more money can be spent reaching the greater masses. Quest done got corrupted. I knew for certain it ventured past the point of return when I saw it featured en masse at Wal Mart. Yes, yes, I know! I LOATHE Wal Mart! But it is virtually the ONLY “grocery” store where I am actually allowed to park. I wish I had an alternative, but… ?

P.S. Oh hey, here is a mind blower, it was for me anyway…most people assume corn syrup is an evil creation of mega corp food manufacturers, but did you know corn syrup actually came from the Native Americans?? http://www.indians.org/articles/corn.html
So was maple syrup (not so surprising). Both were intended to be used in sparingly. But, like much of modern American culture, it has been abused and exploited way out of proportion. I mean, corn syrup in PICKLES? MUSTARD? Really now ?

Oh yeah, weighing in on the list above, the only bar I recognize and recommend is the greens bar with dark chocolate. VERY GOOOD, grab as many as you can, I remember it being a race to find ANY at the Trader Joes ? (…But just the chocolate one. The one without chocolate tastes like swampy lawn clippings).

And enjoying a chilled greens w/dark chocolate bar, chasing it with simple ice cold water, oooh, heaven ?

I like the taste of the Quest Bars, but they are not good for my digestive system. I dont know what exactly causes it, but I find myself with allot of gas.

I only use these bars as a ‘Im hungry right now, last resort’ type of snack.

Click Bait,, just cause your ass doesn’t like Quest Bars, doesn’t mean you should write a bogus blogs about it… that’s bullshit.. Quest Bars are much more yummier than the shit you make!

I am sure you mean well but this is terrible advice. Just looking through the first three bars you advise, they are loaded with lectins. Gluten is a lectin and most people dont handle lectins any better than they handle gluten. Pea protein, which is used because its so cheap, is especially loaded with it. Lectins are likely responsible for a lot of autoimmune issues and are linked to dementia. Please check this out. Good place to start is watch or read about Dr. Gundrys evolution or matrix diets, self hacked.com or just google search lectins. Also, brown rice syrup is straight sugar, that is not good for anyone and is the second ingredient on some of these! The last thing anyone needs is more insulin spiking. There are problems with a lot of the proteins in these bars as well and I could go on but that is enough. The Quest bars beat all the other bars out, healthwise, mostly by a long shot. And I do not work for quest.

BTW quest bars use alcohol sugars as sweetener that upset some people tummy if they eat too much or have not eaten much and their tummy is not used to it.

That Kur bar is too freakin small.

Your going to okay all these other hippie ass bars and bad mouth quest bars. Sorry there are not “fair trade” monk fruits used to make them. Don’t bad mouth a brand because it’s not organic enough for you. I’m a nutritionist with a degree and these are a great way to get your Marco nutrients. It’s high in protein, low in sugar, and low carbs.

I don’t eat sugar or chocolate, so finding Quest bars — an ideal supplement when going for a long hike or taking an exercise class — has been a life saver. All the other bars you recommend are high in sugar and lower in protein than Quest bars. I suppose making our own is the best alternative, but I haven’t been able to “invent” one that isn’t quite high in calories for its nutritional value.
ejh

Your article is very bias.

Not ALL whey protein is a cheese by-product. You can find whey in your yoghurt (it’s the watery part).
Many companies these days get their whey directly from splitting the milk. It’s not very hard, you just use a filter, like a cheese cloth to get it.

Organic whey protein is even better.
You should check out the Australian company Divinita.
They are making certified organic whey protein now. Not sure if they make bars yet.

Recently tried the Smores Quest bar. Awful taste, dry, bland, chalky. The only redeeming factor was I only bought one. My opinion, but I have eaten dozens of different protein bars over many decades and this has to be the worst tasting

Check out https://www.uraaw.ca they are to die for! And you can design your own bar. Having a ton of allergies I know I can eat what is in these bars. Plus it is a family business which makes them even more amazing!

After one bar you felt heavy and bloated. Hmmm, I thought that was the point of these bars. To crush cravings. I ate lunch today. Grilled chicken salad. Got hungry again 1 1/2 hours later. Ate a Quest. Felt full. At 190 calories and 6 net carbs, this is the perfect usage of such bars. Should one do this everyday? Of course not. But occasionally, when other choices aren’t handy (hard-boiled egg, nuts, etc), then go for it.

It looks so tempting to eat that bars. I would prefer dried fruits and nuts for my diet. And most of my ingredients that i bought is from online store. I recommend this online store that all their best products are mostly dried fruits and nuts and really best seller. If you have time, you can check this out:
https://gourmetnutsanddriedfruit.com/

You don’t seem to think that “hmm, low carb bars… maybe people on LOW CARB diets are eating these things!”. I can’t eat a bunch of fruit and nuts. They are high in carbs. To get my fix I eat these bars and they do wonders for me. None of your alternatives even list all of the nutrition information which is important to someone on say, a keto diet. We go by net carbs which are total carbohydrates minus the amount of fiber. So your article is completely useless to people these bars were designed for.

“Don’t eat Quest bars! They’re made with pre-biotic fiber, natural flavor, and monk fruit extract!”

:…eat this other bar (which I’ve obviously been paid to endorse) that contains pre-biotic fiber, natural flavor, and monk fruit extract!”

hey there – i thought that the in Primal Bars, the Pre-Biotic Fiber (From Cassava Root) is actually Isomalto-oligosaccharides… https://www.primalkitchen.com/products/almond-dark-chocolate-bars/

I just tried a Quest Bar protein bar labelled S’mores. I cannot examine anyone tasting this and being reminded of s’mores. Cardbard. maybe.

So… the website was updated in March of 2017 but you didn’t bother to notice that IMO’s are no longer used in Quest Bars since 2 years ago…

I see you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic, you
can earn extra bucks every month because you’ve got high quality content.
If you want to know how to make extra $$, search for: best adsense alternative Wrastain’s tools

I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every
month because you’ve got high quality content. If you want to know how to make extra
$$, search for: Mrdalekjd methods for $$

LOL, lots of people in these comments take food brands personally, it seems. They’re probably overweight and under-exercised and have a lot of pent up stress. How dare you tell them that their guiltless near-pleasure is actually kind of guilty Quest bars (and the knock-off store-brands) taste anywhere from “almost good” all the way to “kind of good, for a semi-digestible block of extracts and lab chemicals”. Next, try telling people that Halo Top is garbage I forsee a lot of readers clawing out their eyes while screaming “NO! NO! NOOOOOOOO! “and hurling themselves through windows.

Also, somebody deserves a hangin’ for classifying that malto-ingredient as “fiber” when it’s just as digestible as most alcohol sugars.

Hah. Interesting how you don’t post the fat grams for any of the bars. What a load.

If I wanted candy, I’d eat a Snickers. I love Quest bars, and though I can see why somebody might have reservations about them, none of the recommendations OP suggests rise above the healthiness of a Snickers bar.

I used to be a huge fan of quest bars until I ate the quest hero bar. I would have posted 3 months ago but was trying to communicate with Quest to see if they would do the right thing (ex: warn consumers or recall the product). I was driving to work, the only thing I ate was the quest hero bar (mind you I have NO FOOD Allergies). I started itching everywhere, then my skin started burning uncontrollably, major rashes all over my body, inflammation, and my breathing started to get constrained. Luckily I was just a few miles from the nearest ER. They immediately accepted me and I was there Morning til night. I gave Quest all of this information the very next day plus the address of the GNC off of Santa Monica in LA where I purchased the bar. I even sent them all of my ER records, whatever proof I had I gave them. First they acted sincere, then they had their insurance company take over… and now nobody responds. I begged them to recall the bars from that GNC as I did research and found ingredients to not be completely FDA approved plus they even said there’s a chance that batch could be contaminated. Since nobody has complained to them and even though I allowed them to have FedEx pickup the bar from my home, they claimed they never got the second bar I purchased and just dismissed me. They didn’t need my bar since if Quest was concerned for their consumers’ health, they would have immediately at least recalled the batch from the GNC where I purchased everything. Before FedEx picked up the bar, I sent them pics of the bar and barcode which would allow them to identify the batch it came from. I will never buy any product from Quest again and I used to buy everything from them. According to my ER doctor, I could have died if I didn’t get there on time. Quest nutrition is a horrible company. Please be aware!!

None of these are good, nutritionally, for a bariatric patient who needs at least 10 grams of protein for every 100 calories. At least, my QuestBars are nutritional and taste good. And the NET carbs are great!!

Just a note: Sucralose and aspartame are not the same thing. This article makes it seem as if they are, since immediately following talking about Sucralose, you post the quote from Dave Asprey about aspartame. They are entirely different sweeteners.


This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensible Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More

I recently listened to a very interesting conversation on the Doctor's Farmacy podcast with Dr. Uma Naidoo about nutritional psychiatry. I actually found this discussion interesting enough to buy Dr. Naidoo's new book, This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More. Unfortunately, after reading the book, I now wish I hadn't wasted my time or money.

When I was about an hundred pages into the book, I decided I'd only finish the book to write a review to share on Amazon. At that point, an hundred pages in, I was going to give the book 3 stars. But the more I read of the book, the fewer stars I decided to give it.

I actually broadly agree with many of the points that Dr. Naidoo argues for in the book including that one's diet directly affects one's mental health, there's a connection between gut health and brain health, and modern Western or standard American diets aren't healthy. Though, we don't fully agree on what makes a Western diet unhealthy. Psychiatry today also tends to look at and try to ameliorate symptoms, rather than find and address underlying causes. So, I actually commend Dr. Naidoo for exploring diet and its impact on the gut, brain and mental health as an underlying factor affecting mental health. Poor diets, sleep disorders, malocclusions, interrupted circadian rhythms, environmental toxins, trauma, etc all impact one's brain, gut health and hormones. Sadly, many of these factors aren't fully explored before psychiatrists prescribe pills in our drug happy system of medicine.

Unfortunately too, whatever broad general agreement I had with Dr. Naidoo is severely undermined by her reliance on very weak confounded epidemiological and rodent studies as well as her repeated inconsistent nutritional advice including her inconsistent saturated fat phobia, her misrepresentation of Mediterranean diets, and a few other cringe worthy things that I'll quickly touched on below. Plus on top of that, some of the misrepresentation and or lack of critical analysis of the research cited was downright disturbing. Why? She either didn't understand what she read or was dishonest about what she read to further her dietary biases.

Let's start with epidemiological studies, where she hyped low relative risk numbers enough times to make me wonder whether or not she knows the difference between relative and absolute risk. Stating that there's a 20 percent (relative risk) increase between the subject and control groups in a study doesn't mean much of anything without knowing the absolute risk. Such small R/R's typically are so confounded as to not really demonstrate anything. Small R/R's also often have absolute risks that are very small in the less than one or two percent range. I think she's spent too much time at Harvard where fear mongering with very weak and confounded R/R's seems to be the modus operandi. Correlations and associations do NOT necessarily equal causation.

Dr. Naiboo also repeatedly cites rodent studies to typically berate high saturated fat diets. But she doesn't seem to be aware that the high fat rodent chow diets usually consist of soybean or corn oil and sugar. These diets aren't natural diets for rodents to consume. Plus such rodent chow diets are quite a bit different than the healthy fats (including saturated fats) eaten in the context of LCHF, keto, paleo, or similar diets. So holding out rodent studies- without breaking down what the rodents actually ate- to prove high saturated fat diets are bad is either naive or dishonest. For example in chapter six, on dementia and brain fog, in back to back studies she cites rodent studies as examples of harmful high saturated fat diets in footnotes 16 (Menay et al 2010) and 17 (Wu et al 2014). In Menay et al 2010, the rodent chow for the high fat diet is specifically noted. This rodent chow #D12266B consists mainly of sugar and corn oil (over 75% corn oil with the remaining fat from butter, a saturated fat). The author falsely describes this rodent chow as primarily a "high saturated fat diet". In Wu et al 2014, the specific chow isn't noted. However the high fat diet is specifically described as being high in both saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fat made from lard and corn oil. Lard from factory pigs is a mix of approximately 40% SFA, 50% MUFA (oleic acid) and 10% poly-unsaturated fat (PUFA). Corn oil is nearly 60% linoleic acid (an Omega 6 PUFA) and 28% oleic acid (MUFA). So is the oxidative stress and other maladies, that Dr. Naidoo attributes solely to the "bad" saturated fat, caused by the SFA or the other "healthy" fats (and sugars) in the rodent chow in this study? Due to how the study was designed including what the rodents were fed, there's no definitive answer to this question because of the confounders. despite Dr. Naidoo's claims to the contrary.

In general, with saturated fats, Dr. Naidoo is kind of silly. To her, saturated fats are "bad fats". However, she recommends avocados, avocado oil, and coconut oil as "healthy fats". The most common avocado is the Haas avocado, which consist of 25 to 30% palmitic fatty acid (a saturated fat) and around 30 to 35% total saturated fatty acids. (Some other kinds of less common avocados, like Pinkertons, have less saturated fat- around 20% SFA's). Coconut oil is largely lauric, capric and palmitic SFA's. So coconut oil is over 80% SFA's. But similar fatty acid compositions in red meats per her repeated assertions are "bad unhealthy fat". She doesn't seem to understand that most sources of fat consist of different ratios of saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. I've seen pastured lard as high as 60% oleic fatty acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid (olive oil is around 70 to 75% oleic fatty acid). Pastured tallow is also primarily monounsaturated/poly-unsaturated fatty acids with guess what saturated fatty acid? Yep, you betcha. palmitic fatty acid. Guess she didn't take any lipidology courses when she got her nutritional degree.

But that's not the only inconsistency regarding red meat. She also notes not to eat grain finished red meat because of its high Omega 6 to 3 ratios (around 15 to 1) yet writes to eat "healthy fat" from almonds as well as eat almonds in general. Hmmm. all beef (whether grain or grass finished) has fairly low amounts of omega 6's and 3's, so it's not a good or bad source for either. But almonds, on the other hand, are really high in Omega 6's and their ratio of 6's to 3's is around 2000 to 1. Many nuts and seeds are high in Omega 6's and very low in 3's including Brazil nuts (1000 to 1), and pumpkin seeds (175 to 1).

Funny too she advises against eating wheat bran because it's high in phytates (phytic acid) that will block mineral absorption. She makes this recommendation almost immediately after suggesting to eat other foods like pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts. that are guess what? Yep you betcha again, very high in phytates that block mineral absorption including zinc, selenium and iron. Brazil nuts are one of the highest nut sources of phytic acid. (Vegans are routinely deficient in zinc and iron. It's not from not eating enough pumpkin seeds. The zinc, and iron in nuts, seeds and many plants just aren't very bio-available since phytates - as well as oxalates- are chelators that bind minerals).

But the many inconsistencies don't end there. She advises people not to eat foods that easily oxidize, but suggests people should eat canola oil instead of soybean oil due to the Omega 6 to 3 ratios. Well guess what? When canola oil is expeller pressed and hexane extracted, it's oxidized so much during production that it has to be deodorized to mask the rancidity (see video below). Some of her recipes also use canola for cooking. When polyunsaturated fats are heated during the extraction of the oil or during cooking, the bonds break and the oils form plant sterol oxidation product [POPS]. These POPS effect membrane function and cause inflammation, thus they have been connected to arteriosclerosis (Vanmierlo et al, 2012). Furthermore with canola oil, she also mentions a "Norway Diet" that uses canola oil instead of olive oil. Canola oil wasn't even created until the 1970's so there never was any Norwegian diet that ever relied on canola oil as its primary fat source. There also was no single Mediterranean Diet. Whether you're in Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, etc, there are multiple Mediterranean diets many of which include a lot of cured meats (salumi, charcuterie) , fermented dairy (cheese, yogurt), pork, lamb and fish. These are not "plant based" diets. France eats a ton of butter as well yet somehow doesn't have high heart disease or more mental health disorders than other European countries. As it turns out, the make believe Mediterranean Diet that the author espouses, that no one actually eats in this region, is a fabrication of Walter Willett, who concocted this fantasy in 1993 at a conference sponsored by the olive oil industry.

Too often many of the claims she made regarding the benefits or detriments of different foods based on "this study" or that study were a bit incredulous. So, frequently I found I had to refer to the footnotes to find the studies she was using to support her claims and then review those studies for myself. After reading through many of these studies, it was very apparent that she was frequently overstating what was demonstrated by the actual studies. This occurred enough times that I had to pretty much question the veracity of any and every claim she made. For example, in chapter 10 on libido in footnote 13 (Tremellen 2016) , she makes a statement, cites a theory (hypothesis) noting the theory "purports" that the diet caused dysbiosis (leaky gut) which, in turn, caused the sexual dysfunction. Dr. Naidoo then concludes that this hypothesis demonstrates a causal connection of gut health to sexual health. The study clearly notes it's a hypothesis based on epidemiological studies that can't show causation. So even though there may indeed be a connection between gut health and sexual function, the specific study cited doesn't provide anything more that a hypothesis based upon circumstantial evidence.

Moreover one really has to question her analytical abilities when she reads a study. Why? Since with any study one reads, one needs to understand the methodologies and review the raw data in order to critically assess the conclusions rather than just cherry pick whatever language supports the author or researcher's biases. For instance in "another study" (St-Onge et al 2016) in chapter eight on insomnia and fatigue, Dr. Naidoo notes high saturated fat, high sugar and low fiber diets provide less restorative sleep. This study had only 27 participants (14 men and 13 women), who were very rigorously screened so as to not have any sleep disorders or other anomalies that would adversely impact their sleep. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups for restricted and habitual sleep. They were tested in a crossover design for these two different sleep patterns for six days each. During the first four days of each pattern they were given specific meals at specific times. During the last two days of each pattern, they could eat whatever they wanted to at any time. This was their ad libitum diet. They were sleep tested on the third and fifth day of each sleep pattern based on the different diets. An analysis of diets for the ad libitum diet showed that on average there was a very slight increase of saturated fat intake from 7.5% to 10% , a slight decrease in protein and a slight increase of carbs, though less fiber. Per the sleep studies, these slightly altered ad libitum diets resulted in less slow wave sleep [SWS] and longer sleep onset latency [SOL]. No data is given as to when meals were consumed during night 5 and 6. So basically all of these associations are confounded not only by what was consumed , but when whatever ad libitum was consumed. Was it the fat, protein, fiber, a micro-nutrient or the time a meal was consumed that resulted in the lower SWS and longer SOL? Don't really know and can't really tell from how the study was set-up. Why did the researchers not control meal times or provide pre-determined diets with fewer variables on nights 5 and 6? Don't know, but the results end up being confounded and the associations are thus very weak. Furthermore without looking at the raw data, it's hard to determine whether or not an outlier or two skewed the numbers in such a small sample group.

Anyway, I could go on about a number of other items in the book like not differentiating between vitamins A1 and A2 or giving bogus plant sources of B12 or not realizing that Glycemic Indexes [GI] are averages where different people have very different glycemic responses to the same foods in large part due to their different microbiomes (Zeevi et al 2015). I'm sort of surprise she didn't realize this GI issue since the book is supposedly about the brain-gut connection. Like our brain, ketones can also be used as an alternative source for the gut. So she also doesn't seem to understand that the gut lining can also get isobutyrate via protein fermentation or via ketones from a blood pathway instead of butyrate from the fermentation of microbe accessible carbohydrates (MACS a.k.a. fiber). Thus eating dietary fiber isn't the only way to feed the gut lining short chained fatty acids . Humans evolved in places with wet and dry seasons as well in places with winters where plant foods weren't readily or seasonally available. Thus we're metabolically flexible. Not adhering to seasonable dietary patterns may have actually SIMPLIFIED modern human gut microbiomes.

So, in short, I agree that modern Western diets are bad for mental health. but probably more so for easily oxidized industrial plant oils and excessive amounts of sugar rather than anything to do with the saturated fats in red meat. Red meat, which Dr. Naidoo routinely labels as "bad", has been part of the diets of the homo genus for over two and a half million years. So red meat isn't unique or new to "western diets". Though industrial plant oils like canola, corn and soybean oil are and have only been consumed for the past one hundred or so years in modern diets. Additionally, deep frying in these oils generates hydroxynonenal. These lipid peroxidation products may play a role in Alzheimer's and other lifestyle diseases (Yamashima et al 2020). Mutagenic forms of wheat, high fructose corn syrup and glyphosate are other novel new foods, ingredients or residues new to our species's diet that are omnipresent in modern Western or standard American diets. These items, like easily oxidized highly processed industrial plant oils, all adversely affect gut and brain health.

In many of Dr. Naidoo's case studies from her own practice, her patients go from eating junk food from fast food restaurants full of these deleterious items listed just above to eating whole and better prepared food. So is it really any wonder that her patient's mental health improves? Take Letitia in chapter four on trauma for example. Letitia's diet consisted of Chik-fil-A deep fried chicken sandwiches, french fries and soda. What's used in deep fryers? It's not beef tallow. In quick serve (and most) restaurants the fryer oil used is almost universally soybean oil. (Chik-fil-A uses a pressure fryer). This soybean oil is heated and reheated numerous times plus filtered to extend its life. This is highly oxidized (rancid) polyunsaturated fats full of free radicals and other toxic end products. The sandwich and fries usually are also consumed with condiments- like ketchup- full of high fructose corn syrup. Soda is full of HFCS and other food colors. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are also bad. Yet somehow per Dr. Naidoo's repeated analysis, red meat is the repeated villain in her analysis with its "bad saturated fat".

Her anti-red meat attitudes make me wonder whether or not the author is Hindu? Or maybe she's just spent too much time around Walter Willett and thus thinks "adjusted" epidemiology proves causation. I wonder because her incessant haranguing of red meat and her reliance on weak confounded epi-studies borders more on religious belief than scientific method. Sadly, association and correlation are probably Dr. Naidoo's most frequently used words in the book. The reality is that epidemiological studies are intended to derive hypothesis for further more controlled research. Unfortunately, in nutritional science, that controlled research is very difficult and expensive to do. So, that research often doesn't get done. Plus it's worth noting that when epidemiological research is followed-up by more controlled clinical research, 80% of the time the hypothesis derived from the epidemiological study is demonstrated to be false (Stanley & Karr, 2011).

The Doctor's Farmacy podcast discussion with the author was very good. So, I'm pretty bummed that this book is such a mess. Obviously simply eating better, including not eating junk food fried in industrial plant oils, will have a beneficial impact on one's gut and brain. So to a degree the book provides some value, especially to people who know less about nutrition than the author (including her patients). Though as demonstrated above with just a few examples, there's a poor understanding of and over reliance on very weak confounded science. So many of the conclusions made are not as definitive as the author asserts. Hopefully, the author was simply unaware of her poor understanding of this science rather than being purposely dishonest. To that end, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Though the book only gets one out of five stars.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

From the United States

I recently listened to a very interesting conversation on the Doctor's Farmacy podcast with Dr. Uma Naidoo about nutritional psychiatry. I actually found this discussion interesting enough to buy Dr. Naidoo's new book, This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More. Unfortunately, after reading the book, I now wish I hadn't wasted my time or money.

When I was about an hundred pages into the book, I decided I'd only finish the book to write a review to share on Amazon. At that point, an hundred pages in, I was going to give the book 3 stars. But the more I read of the book, the fewer stars I decided to give it.

I actually broadly agree with many of the points that Dr. Naidoo argues for in the book including that one's diet directly affects one's mental health, there's a connection between gut health and brain health, and modern Western or standard American diets aren't healthy. Though, we don't fully agree on what makes a Western diet unhealthy. Psychiatry today also tends to look at and try to ameliorate symptoms, rather than find and address underlying causes. So, I actually commend Dr. Naidoo for exploring diet and its impact on the gut, brain and mental health as an underlying factor affecting mental health. Poor diets, sleep disorders, malocclusions, interrupted circadian rhythms, environmental toxins, trauma, etc all impact one's brain, gut health and hormones. Sadly, many of these factors aren't fully explored before psychiatrists prescribe pills in our drug happy system of medicine.

Unfortunately too, whatever broad general agreement I had with Dr. Naidoo is severely undermined by her reliance on very weak confounded epidemiological and rodent studies as well as her repeated inconsistent nutritional advice including her inconsistent saturated fat phobia, her misrepresentation of Mediterranean diets, and a few other cringe worthy things that I'll quickly touched on below. Plus on top of that, some of the misrepresentation and or lack of critical analysis of the research cited was downright disturbing. Why? She either didn't understand what she read or was dishonest about what she read to further her dietary biases.

Let's start with epidemiological studies, where she hyped low relative risk numbers enough times to make me wonder whether or not she knows the difference between relative and absolute risk. Stating that there's a 20 percent (relative risk) increase between the subject and control groups in a study doesn't mean much of anything without knowing the absolute risk. Such small R/R's typically are so confounded as to not really demonstrate anything. Small R/R's also often have absolute risks that are very small in the less than one or two percent range. I think she's spent too much time at Harvard where fear mongering with very weak and confounded R/R's seems to be the modus operandi. Correlations and associations do NOT necessarily equal causation.

Dr. Naiboo also repeatedly cites rodent studies to typically berate high saturated fat diets. But she doesn't seem to be aware that the high fat rodent chow diets usually consist of soybean or corn oil and sugar. These diets aren't natural diets for rodents to consume. Plus such rodent chow diets are quite a bit different than the healthy fats (including saturated fats) eaten in the context of LCHF, keto, paleo, or similar diets. So holding out rodent studies- without breaking down what the rodents actually ate- to prove high saturated fat diets are bad is either naive or dishonest. For example in chapter six, on dementia and brain fog, in back to back studies she cites rodent studies as examples of harmful high saturated fat diets in footnotes 16 (Menay et al 2010) and 17 (Wu et al 2014). In Menay et al 2010, the rodent chow for the high fat diet is specifically noted. This rodent chow #D12266B consists mainly of sugar and corn oil (over 75% corn oil with the remaining fat from butter, a saturated fat). The author falsely describes this rodent chow as primarily a "high saturated fat diet". In Wu et al 2014, the specific chow isn't noted. However the high fat diet is specifically described as being high in both saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fat made from lard and corn oil. Lard from factory pigs is a mix of approximately 40% SFA, 50% MUFA (oleic acid) and 10% poly-unsaturated fat (PUFA). Corn oil is nearly 60% linoleic acid (an Omega 6 PUFA) and 28% oleic acid (MUFA). So is the oxidative stress and other maladies, that Dr. Naidoo attributes solely to the "bad" saturated fat, caused by the SFA or the other "healthy" fats (and sugars) in the rodent chow in this study? Due to how the study was designed including what the rodents were fed, there's no definitive answer to this question because of the confounders. despite Dr. Naidoo's claims to the contrary.

In general, with saturated fats, Dr. Naidoo is kind of silly. To her, saturated fats are "bad fats". However, she recommends avocados, avocado oil, and coconut oil as "healthy fats". The most common avocado is the Haas avocado, which consist of 25 to 30% palmitic fatty acid (a saturated fat) and around 30 to 35% total saturated fatty acids. (Some other kinds of less common avocados, like Pinkertons, have less saturated fat- around 20% SFA's). Coconut oil is largely lauric, capric and palmitic SFA's. So coconut oil is over 80% SFA's. But similar fatty acid compositions in red meats per her repeated assertions are "bad unhealthy fat". She doesn't seem to understand that most sources of fat consist of different ratios of saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. I've seen pastured lard as high as 60% oleic fatty acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid (olive oil is around 70 to 75% oleic fatty acid). Pastured tallow is also primarily monounsaturated/poly-unsaturated fatty acids with guess what saturated fatty acid? Yep, you betcha. palmitic fatty acid. Guess she didn't take any lipidology courses when she got her nutritional degree.

But that's not the only inconsistency regarding red meat. She also notes not to eat grain finished red meat because of its high Omega 6 to 3 ratios (around 15 to 1) yet writes to eat "healthy fat" from almonds as well as eat almonds in general. Hmmm. all beef (whether grain or grass finished) has fairly low amounts of omega 6's and 3's, so it's not a good or bad source for either. But almonds, on the other hand, are really high in Omega 6's and their ratio of 6's to 3's is around 2000 to 1. Many nuts and seeds are high in Omega 6's and very low in 3's including Brazil nuts (1000 to 1), and pumpkin seeds (175 to 1).

Funny too she advises against eating wheat bran because it's high in phytates (phytic acid) that will block mineral absorption. She makes this recommendation almost immediately after suggesting to eat other foods like pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts. that are guess what? Yep you betcha again, very high in phytates that block mineral absorption including zinc, selenium and iron. Brazil nuts are one of the highest nut sources of phytic acid. (Vegans are routinely deficient in zinc and iron. It's not from not eating enough pumpkin seeds. The zinc, and iron in nuts, seeds and many plants just aren't very bio-available since phytates - as well as oxalates- are chelators that bind minerals).

But the many inconsistencies don't end there. She advises people not to eat foods that easily oxidize, but suggests people should eat canola oil instead of soybean oil due to the Omega 6 to 3 ratios. Well guess what? When canola oil is expeller pressed and hexane extracted, it's oxidized so much during production that it has to be deodorized to mask the rancidity (see video below). Some of her recipes also use canola for cooking. When polyunsaturated fats are heated during the extraction of the oil or during cooking, the bonds break and the oils form plant sterol oxidation product [POPS]. These POPS effect membrane function and cause inflammation, thus they have been connected to arteriosclerosis (Vanmierlo et al, 2012). Furthermore with canola oil, she also mentions a "Norway Diet" that uses canola oil instead of olive oil. Canola oil wasn't even created until the 1970's so there never was any Norwegian diet that ever relied on canola oil as its primary fat source. There also was no single Mediterranean Diet. Whether you're in Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, etc, there are multiple Mediterranean diets many of which include a lot of cured meats (salumi, charcuterie) , fermented dairy (cheese, yogurt), pork, lamb and fish. These are not "plant based" diets. France eats a ton of butter as well yet somehow doesn't have high heart disease or more mental health disorders than other European countries. As it turns out, the make believe Mediterranean Diet that the author espouses, that no one actually eats in this region, is a fabrication of Walter Willett, who concocted this fantasy in 1993 at a conference sponsored by the olive oil industry.

Too often many of the claims she made regarding the benefits or detriments of different foods based on "this study" or that study were a bit incredulous. So, frequently I found I had to refer to the footnotes to find the studies she was using to support her claims and then review those studies for myself. After reading through many of these studies, it was very apparent that she was frequently overstating what was demonstrated by the actual studies. This occurred enough times that I had to pretty much question the veracity of any and every claim she made. For example, in chapter 10 on libido in footnote 13 (Tremellen 2016) , she makes a statement, cites a theory (hypothesis) noting the theory "purports" that the diet caused dysbiosis (leaky gut) which, in turn, caused the sexual dysfunction. Dr. Naidoo then concludes that this hypothesis demonstrates a causal connection of gut health to sexual health. The study clearly notes it's a hypothesis based on epidemiological studies that can't show causation. So even though there may indeed be a connection between gut health and sexual function, the specific study cited doesn't provide anything more that a hypothesis based upon circumstantial evidence.

Moreover one really has to question her analytical abilities when she reads a study. Why? Since with any study one reads, one needs to understand the methodologies and review the raw data in order to critically assess the conclusions rather than just cherry pick whatever language supports the author or researcher's biases. For instance in "another study" (St-Onge et al 2016) in chapter eight on insomnia and fatigue, Dr. Naidoo notes high saturated fat, high sugar and low fiber diets provide less restorative sleep. This study had only 27 participants (14 men and 13 women), who were very rigorously screened so as to not have any sleep disorders or other anomalies that would adversely impact their sleep. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups for restricted and habitual sleep. They were tested in a crossover design for these two different sleep patterns for six days each. During the first four days of each pattern they were given specific meals at specific times. During the last two days of each pattern, they could eat whatever they wanted to at any time. This was their ad libitum diet. They were sleep tested on the third and fifth day of each sleep pattern based on the different diets. An analysis of diets for the ad libitum diet showed that on average there was a very slight increase of saturated fat intake from 7.5% to 10% , a slight decrease in protein and a slight increase of carbs, though less fiber. Per the sleep studies, these slightly altered ad libitum diets resulted in less slow wave sleep [SWS] and longer sleep onset latency [SOL]. No data is given as to when meals were consumed during night 5 and 6. So basically all of these associations are confounded not only by what was consumed , but when whatever ad libitum was consumed. Was it the fat, protein, fiber, a micro-nutrient or the time a meal was consumed that resulted in the lower SWS and longer SOL? Don't really know and can't really tell from how the study was set-up. Why did the researchers not control meal times or provide pre-determined diets with fewer variables on nights 5 and 6? Don't know, but the results end up being confounded and the associations are thus very weak. Furthermore without looking at the raw data, it's hard to determine whether or not an outlier or two skewed the numbers in such a small sample group.

Anyway, I could go on about a number of other items in the book like not differentiating between vitamins A1 and A2 or giving bogus plant sources of B12 or not realizing that Glycemic Indexes [GI] are averages where different people have very different glycemic responses to the same foods in large part due to their different microbiomes (Zeevi et al 2015). I'm sort of surprise she didn't realize this GI issue since the book is supposedly about the brain-gut connection. Like our brain, ketones can also be used as an alternative source for the gut. So she also doesn't seem to understand that the gut lining can also get isobutyrate via protein fermentation or via ketones from a blood pathway instead of butyrate from the fermentation of microbe accessible carbohydrates (MACS a.k.a. fiber). Thus eating dietary fiber isn't the only way to feed the gut lining short chained fatty acids . Humans evolved in places with wet and dry seasons as well in places with winters where plant foods weren't readily or seasonally available. Thus we're metabolically flexible. Not adhering to seasonable dietary patterns may have actually SIMPLIFIED modern human gut microbiomes.

So, in short, I agree that modern Western diets are bad for mental health. but probably more so for easily oxidized industrial plant oils and excessive amounts of sugar rather than anything to do with the saturated fats in red meat. Red meat, which Dr. Naidoo routinely labels as "bad", has been part of the diets of the homo genus for over two and a half million years. So red meat isn't unique or new to "western diets". Though industrial plant oils like canola, corn and soybean oil are and have only been consumed for the past one hundred or so years in modern diets. Additionally, deep frying in these oils generates hydroxynonenal. These lipid peroxidation products may play a role in Alzheimer's and other lifestyle diseases (Yamashima et al 2020). Mutagenic forms of wheat, high fructose corn syrup and glyphosate are other novel new foods, ingredients or residues new to our species's diet that are omnipresent in modern Western or standard American diets. These items, like easily oxidized highly processed industrial plant oils, all adversely affect gut and brain health.

In many of Dr. Naidoo's case studies from her own practice, her patients go from eating junk food from fast food restaurants full of these deleterious items listed just above to eating whole and better prepared food. So is it really any wonder that her patient's mental health improves? Take Letitia in chapter four on trauma for example. Letitia's diet consisted of Chik-fil-A deep fried chicken sandwiches, french fries and soda. What's used in deep fryers? It's not beef tallow. In quick serve (and most) restaurants the fryer oil used is almost universally soybean oil. (Chik-fil-A uses a pressure fryer). This soybean oil is heated and reheated numerous times plus filtered to extend its life. This is highly oxidized (rancid) polyunsaturated fats full of free radicals and other toxic end products. The sandwich and fries usually are also consumed with condiments- like ketchup- full of high fructose corn syrup. Soda is full of HFCS and other food colors. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are also bad. Yet somehow per Dr. Naidoo's repeated analysis, red meat is the repeated villain in her analysis with its "bad saturated fat".

Her anti-red meat attitudes make me wonder whether or not the author is Hindu? Or maybe she's just spent too much time around Walter Willett and thus thinks "adjusted" epidemiology proves causation. I wonder because her incessant haranguing of red meat and her reliance on weak confounded epi-studies borders more on religious belief than scientific method. Sadly, association and correlation are probably Dr. Naidoo's most frequently used words in the book. The reality is that epidemiological studies are intended to derive hypothesis for further more controlled research. Unfortunately, in nutritional science, that controlled research is very difficult and expensive to do. So, that research often doesn't get done. Plus it's worth noting that when epidemiological research is followed-up by more controlled clinical research, 80% of the time the hypothesis derived from the epidemiological study is demonstrated to be false (Stanley & Karr, 2011).

The Doctor's Farmacy podcast discussion with the author was very good. So, I'm pretty bummed that this book is such a mess. Obviously simply eating better, including not eating junk food fried in industrial plant oils, will have a beneficial impact on one's gut and brain. So to a degree the book provides some value, especially to people who know less about nutrition than the author (including her patients). Though as demonstrated above with just a few examples, there's a poor understanding of and over reliance on very weak confounded science. So many of the conclusions made are not as definitive as the author asserts. Hopefully, the author was simply unaware of her poor understanding of this science rather than being purposely dishonest. To that end, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Though the book only gets one out of five stars.


What are the most healthful foods?

This article lists the 15 foods that sources and studies across the United States and Western Europe deem the most healthful.

It is vital to have awareness of the most healthful foods to ensure a wide a range of nutrients in the diet.

A balanced diet is the secret to healthful eating. This article will cover the 15 most healthful foods and their benefits.

Share on Pinterest A healthful diet can help ensure that the body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Nuts, pulses, and grains are all highly nutritious. The following are some of the most healthful:

1. Almonds

Almonds provide plenty of nutrients, including :

One 2019 meta-analysis found that consuming almonds significantly reduced total cholesterol levels.

2. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are some of the most healthful nuts available.

They are an excellent source of both protein and carbohydrates, and they also provide good amounts of vitamin B-1, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.

Brazil nuts also contain more selenium than many other foods. Selenium is a vital mineral for maintaining thyroid function , and it is a great antioxidant for the human body.

These nuts come in a hard shell and are usually available ready to eat, making them a quick, nutritious snack.

3. Lentils

A lentil is a pulse that features prominently in many food cultures around the world, including those of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.

Lentils provide good amounts of fiber, magnesium, and potassium.

They tend to require a long cooking time. However, manufacturers can sprout the seeds, making them a delicious, healthful, ready-to-eat snack.

Adding a container of sprouted lentils to a lunchbox or picnic basket, perhaps with some chili powder or pepper for flavoring, makes for a delicious and healthful snack.

4. Oatmeal

Interest in oatmeal has increased considerably during the past 20 years because of its health benefits.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed that foods with high levels of rolled oats or oat bran could include data on the label about their cardiovascular health benefits as part of a low fat diet. This led to a surge in oatmeal’s popularity.

Research has found that the cereal’s soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

Oats contain complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber. These slow down digestion and help stabilize levels of blood glucose. Oatmeal is also a good source of folate and potassium.

People can make oatmeal from rolled or ground oats. Coarse or steel-cut oats contain more fiber than instant varieties.

5. Wheat germ

Wheat germ is the part of wheat that grows into a plant. It is essentially the embryo of a seed. Germ, along with bran, is a byproduct of milling. Refining cereals often removes the germ and bran content.

Whole grain products, however, still contain the germ and bran. This makes them a more healthful choice.

Wheat germ is high in several vital nutrients, including:

  • fiber
  • vitamin E
  • thiamin
  • zinc
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • fatty alcohols
  • essential fatty acids

Fruits, vegetables, and berries are easy to incorporate into the diet. The following are some of the most healthful:

6. Broccoli

Broccoli provides good amounts of fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Broccoli also provides essential antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. In fact, a single half-cup serving of broccoli can provide around 85% of a person’s daily vitamin C value.

Another compound in broccoli, called sulforaphane, may have anticancer and anti-inflammatory qualities, according to one 2019 study .

However, overcooking broccoli can destroy many of its key nutrients. For this reason, it is best to eat it raw or lightly steamed.

7. Apples

Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Free radicals are damaging substances that the body generates. They cause undesirable changes in the body and may contribute to chronic conditions, as well as the aging process.

However, some studies have suggested that an antioxidant in apples might extend a person’s life span and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

8. Kale

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that offers a wide range of different nutrients. For example, this powerfully nutritious plant is an excellent source of vitamins C and K.

People can cook or steam kale. They can also blend it into smoothies or juices for a nutritional kick.

9. Blueberries

Blueberries provide substantial amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Unlike minerals and vitamins, phytonutrients are not essential for survival. However, they may help prevent disease and maintain vital bodily functions.

In a 2019 review of 16 studies, the authors suggest that consuming blueberries may help protect against cognitive decline, which may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They also found that blueberries might help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Another 2019 study , this time in mice, found that blueberry polyphenols reduced obesity and certain metabolic risk factors. They also improved the composition of gut bacteria.

According to a 2015 clinical trial , eating 22 grams of freeze dried blueberries every day for 8 weeks led to a significant decrease in blood pressure among women with stage 1 hypertension.

10. Avocados

Some people avoid consuming avocados due to their high fat content. However, avocados provide healthful fats , as well as B vitamins, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Avocados are also a good source of fiber.

In one 2018 review of studies, avocados increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol. This type of cholesterol removes more harmful cholesterol from the bloodstream.

Avocados might also have anticancer properties. A 2019 test tube study of avocados showed that colored avocado seed extract reduced the viability of breast, colon, and prostate cancer cells. However, the study did not indicate whether or not the effects would be the same in humans.

Avocados may also have associations with improved nutrient absorption, better overall diet, and fewer metabolic risk factors, according to one 2013 study.

11. Leafy green vegetables

One 2019 study in rats showed that consuming leafy greens for 6 weeks led to a significant reduction in cardiovascular risk factors.

Spinach is an example of a leafy green with antioxidant content, especially when it is raw, steamed, or very lightly boiled. It is a good source of the following nutrients :

  • vitamins A, B-6, C, E, and K
  • selenium
  • niacin
  • zinc
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • manganese
  • betaine
  • iron

Learn about the many benefits of spinach here.

12. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes provide dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and potassium.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes with that of several other vegetables.

Sweet potatoes ranked number one for their vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, and complex carbohydrate content.

When it comes to fish, meat, and eggs, many healthful options are available. For example:

13. Oily fish

Some examples of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies. These types of fish have oil in their tissues and around their gut.

Their lean fillets contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids . These oils may provide benefits for the heart and nervous system, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).

The ODS also suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. They are also plentiful in vitamins A and D.

One 2014 study suggested that fatty acids can significantly reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

14. Chicken

Chicken is a cost effective and healthful meat. Free-range chicken serves as an excellent source of protein.

However, it is important to remember that preparation and cooking methods affect how healthful chicken is. This means that people should limit their intake of deep-fried chicken and always remove the skin before consumption. Chicken skin has high levels of saturated fat.

15. Eggs

Eggs are another source of protein that people can easily incorporate into a balanced diet, as they are highly versatile.

Eggs contain vitamins including B-2 and B-12, both of which are important for preserving energy and generating red blood cells. Eggs are also a good source of the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Eggs also provide a good amount of choline, which is important for cell membranes.

The yolk contains most of the egg’s vitamins and minerals, as well as the fat and cholesterol. However, one 2017 review found that eating up to seven eggs per week does not increase the risk of heart disease. That said, the authors mention that people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes should seek medical consultation about including eggs in the diet.

Indeed, one study found higher rates of cardiovascular disease in people who consumed more cholesterol from eggs.

Consuming fat in moderate amounts is healthful as part of a balanced, nutritious diet.


‘Woke’ Values Boomerang on Coca-Cola

A driver delivers Coca-Cola products to stores in Boston, Mass., in 2008. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)

The world’s largest beverage company has come down from the virtue-signaling sugar high it got by becoming “Woke Coke.”

Consumers and distributors have forced it to sound a partial retreat from its role as a combatant in such left-wing culture wars as the battle against election-integrity laws.

An expose of Coca-Cola’s “diversity” training revealed it was using highly provocative slide presentations focused on the race of its employees. The company’s high-profile support for “social justice” causes has people wondering why it lobbied to weaken a bill banning U.S. firms from relying on Chinese forced labor. Now, consumer groups are holding the soft-drink …


Unhealthy Food Options are More Tempting When Sports Stars Endorse Them, Australian Study Claims - Recipes

Thank
You!
THANKS FOR
YOUR SUPPORT!

Our Goal for
MAY 6 - JUN 5:
$2500

Raye Allan Smith
P.O. Box 95
Ashtabula, OH 44005

Page Views This
Month as of 8 a.m.:
5,964,466

Dewitt Jones' Video
"Celebrate What's Right
With The World"

Listen at YouTube Get the mp3 Here. The Theme for The Obergon Chronicles

Listen at YouTube Get the mp3 Here and Support RMN too
Link to mp3


Mind the doughnut: emotional eating is a habit that can start in childhood

Food can be an extremely effective tool for calming young children. If they are bored on a long car journey, or fed up with being in the pushchair, many parents use snack foods to distract them for a little longer. Or if children are upset because they have hurt themselves or want something they cannot have, the offer of something sweet is often used to “make them feel better”.

But what are the effects of using food as a tool to deal with emotions like boredom or sadness? Does it turn children into adults who cannot cope with being bored or upset without a sweet snack? Probably not. There certainly isn’t any evidence to suggest that occasionally resorting to the biscuit tin will affect children in this way. But what if we do it on a regular basis? What happens when sweets and biscuits become the tool for rewarding children for good behaviour and doing well? Or if food is consistently withheld as a punishment?

There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that using food as a tool or as a reward regularly with children may be associated with a greater risk of emotional eating. In a recent study we explored whether children as young as three preferred to play with toys or eat snack foods if they were feeling stressed.

All the children had just eaten lunch so were not hungry, and were then observed to see what they did in a four minute period – eat or play with toys – whilst waiting for someone to look for a missing final piece of a jigsaw. Children aged three to five did not tend to eat much more in comparison to a control group. However, in a similar experiment when the children were two years older, we found many of the children would eat foods when they were not hungry (emotional overeating), rather than play.

It appears that somewhere between the ages of four and six, the tendency to emotionally overeat may increase in many children. And parents who told us they frequently used food as a reward (or its withdrawal as a punishment) when their children were younger, were more likely to have children who emotionally overate when they were aged five to seven. This suggests that frequent use of food as a reward or punishment in that younger period may predict a greater chance of children using food as an emotional tool later in life.

Of course you may be thinking that your own exposure to “reward” foods hasn’t had any lasting impact on your current eating behaviour. But it is worth considering how society has changed in the last few decades to market and promote high calorie foods to children. Many people believe we live in an “obesogenic society”, where our environment has evolved to promote obesity rather than support healthy eating. The fact that around a third of English school children are overweight or obese is testament to this. With grab-bag sized bags of chocolates being promoted to children, supersized portions in fast-food outlets and even clothes shops selling sweets at children’s eye level in queues, it is clear our children need to adapt to cope with constantly being marketed large portions of high calorie foods.

So how can we navigate this complex environment, juggling the balance of making food enjoyable and sociable, whilst helping children to achieve a healthy and balanced diet? Sweet foods are a fun part of life and not necessarily something we want to remove. Even if we eliminated all links between food, emotion and reward in the home, the reality is that society is full of situations where children will experience being given calorie dense foods as a reward or as part of celebrations. It would be a pity to take away the joy that children find in party bags, birthday cakes, Easter eggs and other celebration foods. Perhaps thinking about not just what foods we give children, but also how and why we give certain foods to children at particular times is a good way to start.

Teaching children how to manage their appetites, to eat if they are hungry and to stop if they are full, is an important lesson which is often overlooked.

Eating patterns can usually be tracked across life, so children who learn to use food as a tool to deal with emotional distress early on are much more likely to follow a similar pattern of eating later in adult life. Around three quarters of children who are obese will continue to be obese as adults. Emotional overeating is one factor that has been linked not only with overeating and obesity, but also with the development of eating disorders. To combat this, the way we feed children, and the lessons we provide about how to use food, may be just as important as what we feed them.

Claire Farrow is Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Aston University.

Emma Haycraft is Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Loughborough University.

Jackie Blissett is a Reader in Childhood Eating Behaviour, University of Birmingham.

This article first appeared on The Conversation. Read the original here.


Watch the video: ΤΡΩΜΕ ΦΑΓΗΤΑ ΜΕ ΜΟΝΟ ΕΝΑ ΧΡΩΜΑ ΓΙΑ 24 ΩΡΕΣ! Δεν θα πιστέψετε τι έγινε


Previous Article

Salmon with potato salad

Next Article

Australian Man Swims Into Ocean to Escape Restaurant Bill