The "Not Sure" Valley Cereal Bar: Throwing Money Down the Toilet #2

This is the second post of the Throwing Money Down the Toilet Series, for more, click here: HERE!

Often they will appear embezzled and fortified by the words: No Sugar Added; Zero Fat; Only a 100 Calories; Zero Trans Fats; or 100% Natural. Note however, that besides being loaded with spoonfuls of sugar and its variants, they are also made with all types of processed ingredients. Claiming they are natural, does not justify much, after all, consider that Lead for example is also a natural substance and still it kills if consumed orally.

Cereal bars are sold openly as healthy treats that we should use to replace food cravings like chocolate, when in fact, very often, they are still low nutritional value choices.

Although they may be a better alternative than eating junkie every day; nutritionally and financially, they do not replace the benefits of eating fruit, nuts or whole grain cereals (nor the good old fashioned Brazilian style reice and beans).

Real cereal bars may be made with oats, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and honey, but in order to lower the cost of production, generate more profits, improve taste, stimulate consumers to eat more of the same produc, it is usually being made with an average of 25 different ingredients, as shown by the Oats, Banana & Honey Flavored Bar below (though the highest concentration ingredient is glucose syrup and only 3% of each bar stands for real honey):

Glucose syrup, cereal (42%) (rice flakes, corn, iron and folic acid enriched wheat, barley and oats), sugar, malt extract, polydextrose, salt, calcium carbonate INS170I and disodium phosphate INS339II, honey (3%), brown sugar, palm fat, inverted sugar, banana pulp, corn oil, soy lecithin INS322, caramel coloring INS150D and beta carotene coloring INS160AI, and flavoring.

Note also that oats do not stand for for the main ceral being used in each bar, but rice flakes, which in comparison to the former, have lower nutritional value and lower cost, but still leave the consumers under the impression that they are eating a portion which size is appropriate for the price they pay for every bar.

From all these ingredients, check the possible side effects of constantly ingesting them though processed food:

1) Maltodextrin: allergies, bloating, flatulence, weight gain, insulin resistance and risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
2) Folic Acid: abdominal pain, diarrhea, insomnia, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, nausea, stomach pain, behavioral changes, skin reactions, seizures, gas.
3) Calcium Carbonate: skin irritation, itching, facial swelling, including in the region of the lips and tongue, mouth sores, difficulty in concentrating, headaches, irritability.
4) Disodium Phosphate: calcification of organs in people suffering from renal dysfunction.
5) Soy Lecithin: rhinitis, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, colic and gas.
6) Artificial dyes: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, difficulty in concentrating, and Cancer.

SOLUTION: Make your own granola bar and stop visiting the "Not Sure" Valley:

Ingredients: 1 cup and a half of dried dates, dried figs, or chopped dried bananas, or dried apricots, half a cup of oats, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, or any oil of your preference.

Optional: honey, nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter.

Preparation: Process your choice of dried fruit in a food processor or blender, until it becomes a smooth paste (let the fruits soak in warm water for 15 minutes before, if they are very hard). In a bowl, mix the paste with oats and the ingredients of your choice. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients. Put the mixture into a greased and plan cooking form, make it spread so that it creates a thin and uniform cereal bar plaque, cut it without removing the pieces from the cooking form. Once it is done, you can either take the recipe to the oven on low heat so that the cereal bars become brown and crispy, or take the previously cut cereal bars out of the cooking form, store them as you wish, and then keep them in the freezer (where they can stay for months) or refrigerator, where they will turn out to be soft and moist. That's it.

The Industry only cares about profits. Make your life also more profitable and realize that we actually live in a large supermarket where the owners do whatever they can to keep us in the main aisles and well away from fruits, vegetables, and even the butcher sections.

They win, we lose. The only thing we get in exchange by accepting it is a continuous and unconscious debt to ourselves, while getting more dependent of these fake friends in Health and Fitness, and to make it even worse, we gain some extra kilos by these low in nutrients and high in unnecessary calories food choices.

Keep Strong. And The Wallet Away From the Toilet.

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