At Fooducate we’ve long claimed that most nutrition bars are closer to candy bar than food. But that has not stopped the multi-billion bar market from continually offering consumers with more options.
Abbott Labs is no exception. It is expanding its Zone Perfect line with 2 sweet and salty additions:
ZonePerfect Sweet & Salty bars work hard for the body and the taste buds – they’re an excellent source of protein (10 grams), a good source of 19 vitamins and minerals, and are rich in antioxidants (Vitamins C & E, and Selenium). read more…
We took a closer look at the new Cashew Pretzel Bar to see what all the fuss was about.
What you need to know:
The bar is 200 calories, 3.5 teaspoons of sugar, 10 grams of protein, barely any fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals. Despite being a “salty” snack, there are only 300mg of sodium.
Here is the ingredient list:
Soy Protein Nuggets (Soy Protein Isolate, Tapioca Starch, Salt), Roasted Cashews (Cashews, Peanut Oil, Salt), Yogurt Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Nonfat Milk, Nonfat Yogurt Powder [Cultured Nonfat Milk], Soy Lecithin, Lactic Acid Powder [Modified Corn Starch, Lactic Acid], Natural Flavor), Pretzels (Wheat Flour, Salt, Corn Syrup, Yeast), Corn Syrup, Fructose Syrup, Caramel (Corn Syrup, Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerine, Milk Protein Concentrate, Cream, Natural Flavor, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate), Soy Protein Isolate, Brown Rice Syrup, Peanut Flour, Peanut Butter, Fructose.
Less than 2% of the Following: Glycerine, High Oleic Safflower Oil and/or High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Xanthan Gum.
Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Oxide, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Ferrous Fumarate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Sodium Molybdate, and Cyanocobalamin.
The wonderful source of protein is overly processed soy. The yogurt chips contain more sugar and fractionated oil (which is very high in saturated fat) than they do milk. You are welcome to count the number of instances of sugar, conveniently highlighted above. The vitamins and minerals are all added on to the product and not inherent in the actual ingredients.
In all, a lot of hard work to put together sugar, salt, and fats with some cashews and vitamins.
By the way, Abbott is a pharmaceutical company, not a food manufacturer.
What to do at the supermarket:
If you want a treat, by all means buy a snack bar. But don’t think of it as a nutritious replacement to a meal, or as a weight loss tool. Always read nutrition labels and ingredient lists. And when you see a list as long as Zone Perfect’s, stay away.
And if you’re itching for a sweet and salty snacks - how about some raisins and roasted cashews?