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Are Your Granola Bars Healthy?

At Optimal Health Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center, we strive to provide our clients and community with accurate information concerning their health and nutrition. That’s why we’ve decided to post a couple articles on pre-made food products to break down the good, the bad and the ugly. This week, we chose Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar. At first glance, the packaging reveals that it has only 100 calories, is made with real chocolate chips, has 100% whole grains and is not made with any high fructose corn syrup! Sounds great…doesn’t it?

Well, we took a little closer look at the list of ingredients and label. We were not shocked to find that it contains 17g of carbohydrates and only 1g of fiber. Simple carbohydrates metabolize in the body in the form of SUGAR which is then deposited as FAT. Sounds delicious!

Here is the full list of ingredients.


You can probably tell by now that many of the ingredients are some form of sugar.  We decided the highlight the most alarming ingredients in this article.

Soy lecithin: This is an emulsifier added to many pre-made food products. It has been linked to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea and stomach pains.

Caramel color:the artificial brown coloring is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.

Non-fat drymilk: powdered or dry milk are heated to the point of oxidation which has been linked to inflammation, digestive issues and allergic reactions.

Corn syrup: Refined sweetener made from the by-product of corn sugars. Often used in the forms of GMO corn.

Invert sugar: This is sucrose, which has been broken down into glucose and fructose. High fructose corn syrup uses the same process.

Sorbitol: Artificial sweetener that has been shown to cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, weakness and dizziness.

BHT: Is a lab-made chemical that is added to food products as a preservative.  it is primarily used to prevent fats in foods from becoming rancid – but it is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products, electrical transformer oil, and embalming fluid.  It has been known to cause nausea, vomiting, digestive dysfunction, abdominal pain and confusion.

Looking for an alternative? Try a bowl of whole grain gluten free oats with fresh berries, nuts and unsweetened coconut flakes!

3 Join the Conversation

  1. Joy says
    Oct 20, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    What about making your own energy balls. Oats , peanut butter, chai seed, coconut oil, almonds. Delicious 😋

    • says
      Oct 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      Sounds delicious Joy! Although peanuts can cause inflammatory responses in the digestive track for some people. If you're finding some digestive disturbances from this recipe, just swap out the peanut butter for organic almond butter!

  2. Jenny says
    Jan 18, 2022 at 8:45 PM

    I find that if I eat more than one brand name chewy granola bar I get stomach cramps. i think I'm sensitive to the sorbitol, but I'm more concerned about children eating these.

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