Have you ever found yourself looking for a healthy cereal bar in a supermarket? If yes, you will know that there is a vast choice of cereal bars available and it can be difficult to choose the healthiest ones.
Eat Natural bars sound like a healthy snack but are they actually good for you?
They are high in fibre and contain nuts and dried fruits. They don’t contain artificial flavours, preservatives or colours. This is all good but what about the rest of the ingredients? In this article, we explore all of their ingredients in detail and look at their nutritional information to discover just how healthy Eat Natural bars are.
Eat Natural bars – Ingredients
Eat Natural bars come in different flavours and varieties. The most popular are the regular fruit and nut bars such as Almond & Apricot, Cashew & Blueberry and Dark Chocolate.
Then, there are Fruit and Nut Protein Packed bars such as Chocolate & Orange and Salted Caramel and Peanuts. These have added soya protein crispies which increase their protein content.
Eat Natural have also created Bars for Breakfast, Fruits & Fibre and some other types of cereal bars to give you even more choice for your snack or breakfast on the go.
All these cereal bars vary in ingredients and in the table below you will see a comparison of these ingredients side by side.
|Eat Natural cereal bar||Ingredients|
|Yoghurt flavour coating 30% (palm kernel oil, MILK whey, sugar, dried yoghurt (MILK), emulsifier: sunflower lecithin), dried apricots 17%, shredded coconut 14%, glucose syrup, crisped rice (rice, sugar), ALMONDS 10%, honey 5%.|
|Shredded coconut 21%, dark chocolate 20% (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: SOYA lecithin), sultanas 16%, glucose syrup, crisped rice (rice, sugar), dried cranberries 8% (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), honey, MACADAMIA NUTS 6%.|
|Yoghurt flavour coating 31% (vegetable fats (palm kernel, palm), MILK whey, sugar, dried yoghurt (MILK), emulsifier: sunflower lecithin), shredded coconut 12%, glucose syrup, crisped rice (rice, sugar), sultanas 8%, CASHEWS 6%, honey, ALMONDS 4%, dried cranberries 4% (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), dried blueberries 1% (blueberries, sugar, sunflower oil), dried apricots 0.9%.|
|Dates 22%, sultanas 15%, glucose syrup, crisped rice (rice, sugar), WALNUTS 11%, pumpkin seeds 9%, sunflower seeds 9%, honey, HAZELNUTS 3%.|
|PEANUTS 54%, glucose syrup, SOYA protein crispies 11% (SOYA protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt), dark chocolate 8% (cocoa mass, sugar, dextrose, emulsifier: SOYA lecithin), dried apricots 7%, honey, orange oil.|
|PEANUTS 51%, glucose syrup, SOYA protein crispies 10% (SOYA protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt), dates 9%, honey, ALMONDS 6%, salted caramel 3% (muscovado sugar, BUTTERMILK powder, natural flavourings, cream powder (MILK), rice flour, carob flour, salt).|
|Dried cranberries 14% (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), glucose syrup, shredded coconut 11%, Gluten free OATS 10%, sunflower seeds 8%, SOYA protein crispies 7% (SOYA protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt), honey, chicory root fibre 6%, dried skimmed MILK 5%, buckwheat 3%, rapeseed oil, cornflakes 2%, pumpkin seeds 2%, linseeds 2%, ALMONDS 1%, chia seeds 1%, raspberry 1%, quinoa 0.5%|
|Gluten free OATS 21%, glucose syrup, PEANUTS 12%, dried cranberries 12% (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), shredded coconut 8%, honey, rapeseed oil, dried skimmed MILK, crisped rice (rice, sugar), linseeds 2%, dried apricots 2% (apricots, rice flour).|
In all Eat Natural bars, you will find one or more types of nuts, glucose syrup and other types of sugar, dried fruits and vegetable oils.
Some Eat Natural bars also contain seeds, oats and soya protein.
While there are no artificial ingredients in these bars, there are a few ingredients that are concerning:
- Sugar – added sugar in foods is never a good thing as it adds extra calories but no nutritional value.
- Ingredients containing added sugar – sweetened ingredients such as crisped rice, dried cranberries and dark chocolate are added to some of the Eat Natural bars.
- Palm oil – this type of oil is high in saturated fat which raises cholesterol levels in the blood.
While Eat Natural bars contain lots of good-for-you ingredients, including nuts, seeds and oats, they also contain different types of sugars which increase their calorie count.
But how bad is the sugar content in these bars actually? Let’s look at their nutritional profile and see.
Eat Natural bars – Nutritional information
To find out whether Eat Natural bars are healthy or unhealthy, we also need to look at their nutritional values.
The table below shows some of the most popular Eat Natural bars and their nutritional values per 100g.
|Eat Natural cereal bar||Calories||Fat||Saturated Fat||Carbohydrates||Sugar||Fibre||Protein|
|Almond & Apricot with a Yoghurt Coating||476||26.7g||18.8g||49.7g||31.2g||5.0g||6.6g|
|Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Macadamia||477||26.1g||17.7g||52.4g||35.4g||7.6g||4.3g|
|Cashew & Blueberry with a Yoghurt Coating||485||26.3g||18.6g||53.6g||35.8g||4.0g||6.4g|
|Date & Walnut with Pumpkin Seeds||425||18.2g||2.1g||54.8g||34.2g||3.7g||8.7g|
|Protein Packed with Chocolate and Orange||498||28.5g||6.3g||31.1g||18.4g||6.0g||26.1g|
|Protein Packed with Salted Caramel and Peanuts||496||28.4g||5.0g||31.3g||19.7g||5.4g||26.0g|
|Bars for Breakfast Berries and Wholegrain Oats||419||17.6g||7.6g||46.6g||23.2g||10.4g||13.5g|
|Fruits & Fibre with Cranberries, Peanuts and Oats||447||20.4g||6.6g||53.3g||23.9g||6.7g||9.3g|
All Eat Natural bars contain over 400 calories per 100 g and the ones containing the most calories are those containing extra protein such as Protein Packed with Chocolate and Orange, and Protein Packed with Salted Caramel and Peanuts.
There are 224 calories in a 45 g Chocolate & Orange protein bar and 223 calories in Salted Caramel & Peanuts protein bar. This is quite a lot for a small protein bar (the standard size of a protein bar is normally 50g or 60g and it comes at just over 200 calories).
Eat Natural bars with the least calories are Berries & Wholegrains (189 kcal per 100 g) and Date & Walnut with Pumpkin Seeds (191 kcal).
Sugar content in Eat Natural bars
Per 100 g, Cashew & Blueberry with a Yoghurt Coating and Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Macadamia have the most sugar – more than 35g which means that more than one-third of a bar is sugar.
If you eat a whole Cashew & Blueberry bar (45 g), then you consume 16.1 g of sugar. That’s a whopping 4 teaspoons! Not all of this sugar is added sugar since this bar also contains dried fruits (natural sugars) but still, that’s a lot of sugar in one cereal bar.
A bar of Dark Chocolate with Cranberries & Macadamia bar (45g) also contains an excessive amount of sugar (15.9 g or almost 4 teaspoons).
Protein Packed with Chocolate and Orange bar has the least sugar per 100 g (18.4g). Eating one bar (45g) will give you 8.3g of sugar or slightly more than 2 teaspoons.
According to NHS, any product that contains more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is considered to be high in sugar. Many of the Eat Natural bars fall under this category and therefore are not considered to be healthy.
Fibre in Eat Natural bars
Eat Natural bars contain between around 4 g and 10 g of fibre per 100 g depending on the type of the bar.
The highest fibre content has “Bars for Breakfast Berries and Wholegrain Oats” containing 10.4 g per 100 g. This means one cereal bar (45 g) has 4.7 g of fibre which is quite significant considering that we should all have at least 30 g of fibre a day.
Protein content in Eat Natural bars
Eat Natural bars are full of nuts and in some cases seeds which make a good part of the protein content in these bars.
However, they are not that high in protein if you eat a standard Eat Natural bar. They have as little as 2 g of protein up to around 6 g. This will not contribute much to the recommended daily protein intake of 45-55 g.
Extra protein (in a form of soya) is added to the “protein-packed” Eat Natural bars. These contain the most protein out of all Eat Natural bars which comes at over 11 g per 45 g bar.
Are Eat Natural bars fattening?
Eat Natural bars are high in calories considering their size. That’s because they are packed full of sugar (added and natural).
If you are trying to lose weight, eating a few of these a day will certainly not help, quite the opposite actually. You can easily gain weight if you eat them regularly as they add extra calories to your diet without many benefits.
Conclusion: Are Eat Natural bars healthy or unhealthy?
Eat Natural bars sound like a healthy snack but when you look at their nutritional values, they are not as healthy as you think.
They contain lots of sugar which adds extra calories but no benefits.
If you are active, these bars will not be a bad choice for you as they are a great source of energy and they also contain some protein.
But if you are just trying to find some healthy snacks to eat during the day and you don’t exercise much, Eat Natural bars are not a good choice.
However, some are healthier than others and you may want to try “Bars for Breakfast Berries and Wholegrain Oats” since these have the least calories and the highest fibre content. Eating these once in a while won’t make you gain weight.