We’ve written in the past about NutriGrain, a brand owned by Kellogg’s, and did not have good things to say about these bars’ nutrition profile (see here and here). So we were really hoping to see some improvement in a new product NutriGrain Fruit Crunch Bar, Strawberry Parfait. From Kellogg’s:
Introducing Kellogg’s® Nutri·Grain Fruit Crunch™Strawberry Parfait. With 20 grams of whole grain and real fruit, it’s the new crunchy way to start your day.
We are also assured the following:
Made with Real Fruit, Whole Grains and Fiber
Lastly, Kellogg’s wants us to know that they
Take Care of You TM
What you need to know:
Longtime Fooducate readers know our advice by now – never trust marketing claims. Your only source of objective information is the ingredient list and nutrition label.
So let’s see what Nutrigrain is made of:
WHOLE GRAIN OATS, SUGAR, VEGETABLE OIL (PALM, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL AND PALM OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), SWEETENED DRIED CRANBERRIES (CRANBERRIES, SUGAR, GLYCERINE, SUNFLOWER OIL), HONEY, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CALCIUM CARBONATE, NONFAT YOGURT POWDER (CULTURED NONFAT MILK [HEAT-TREATED AFTER CULTURING]), SALT, NONFAT MILK, STRAWBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, SOY LECITHIN, WHEY, BAKING SODA, PEANUT FLOUR.
Let’s start with the good news. This product is made with 100% whole grains. Whole grains provide essential nutrients and fiber. And indeed this bar has 3 grams of fiber, which is good (we need about 25 grams total every day).
Now for the bad news:
1. Too much sugar. We’ve conveniently highlighted in BOLD all the sugar ingredients in the bar. Starting with ingredient #2, and continuing on to the cranberries. Don’t be fooled by “strawberry puree concentrate”. That’s just a fancy name for sugar. All told, there are 4 teaspoons of sugar here.
2. Not a lot of fruit. Although the product boasts that it is made with “real fruit”, the actual amount is tiny (Kellogg’s does not mention the percentage of fruit, it’s probably embarrassing). Almost no vitamin C in this bar, despite the strawberries. By the way, if this bar is a strawberry parfait, why are cranberries the main fruit here?
3. Trans fat. Ingredient #3 is a vegetable oil mix that includes partially hydrogenated oils. These are trans-fats, and they don’t play nicely with your arteries. “But the nutrition label reads 0 trans fats!” you say. Unfortunately, a loophole in FDA regulations allow manufacturers to denote small quantities of trans-fats as ZERO, even if that’s not the truth.
4. TBHQ. So not only is the oil full of trans-fat, in order to keep the product shelf stable, it is preserved with TBHQ. ingestion of large doses (a thirtieth of an ounce) can cause nausea, delirium, and ringing of the ears. (Anyone remember what Jack Nicholson had for lunch in “The Shining”?) TBHQ cannot exceed 0.02% of the oil and fat content in a food.
5. Natural and Artificial flavors. When you make a strawberry parfait at home, do you add artificial flavors?
To sum it up – Nutrigrain made one small positive step with whole grains, but still has a way to go before it can be considered even close to a healthy bar.
Oh wait, we forgot to mention the calories. Is that even relevant now that you know what you do? 180 calories per bar.
CLICK HERE to see this bar’s rating on Fooducate.