Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Nature Valley Bars Bad For You?



Short answer

Nature Valley granola bars are bad for you. Best enjoyed once in a blue moon, these bars have numerous synthetic ingredients and provide very little nutritional value.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

In a fast pace society where everyone values good nutrition on the go, granola bars have become increasingly popular. General Mills catered to this concept with their introduction of the Nature Valley granola bar. Many years have passed since this popular breakfast and snack treat has come to market and up until a few years ago, they were marketed as “All Natural”, just as the name implies. However, in spite of the picturesque name, Nature Valley granola bars are not a true representation of a wholesome health food. Though the bulk of the bar itself is made of natural whole grain oats with honey, these good qualities are insignificant when compared to the harmful additives.

A serving size of two granola bars contains seven grams of fat and 11 grams of sugar. Consuming a single serving of Nature Valley granola bar is similar to eating a bowl of a popular children’s favorite cereal, such as Foot Loops. Since the daily allotted intake of sugar for adults should not exceed twenty-four grams for women and thirty-six grams for men, one serving of this particular granola bar bears close to half of the maximum recommended sugar intake. The effects of sugar on the human body have been thoroughly studied and is now well-known to cause or compound health problems, such as diabetes, inflammation, obesity, tooth decay, hyperactivity, fatigue, among various other harmful effects.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have become infamous as the genetic engineering practice that yields countless numbers of “natural grown” food products in the 21st century. Genetically modified crops can withstand potent herbicides and grow substantially larger than unmodified crops. Genetically modified crops yield exponentially more viable crops than their organically grown counterpart. This increase in the overall size of the crops combined with the surge in crops harvested greatly increases the overall profit of the farmers and the many individuals supporting, financing, or contributing to the GMO industry. GMOs can cause countless problems that reach deep into the human body. All plants are in some ways poisonousness to humans. Moreover, it is believed that the retro-engineering of the plant genes will leave the body vulnerable to increases in toxicity excreted by those plants. Furthermore, gene modification leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a decrease in nutritional value. We yet to know the full extent of the additional damage GMOs have on the body.

Before 2012, General Mills bragged that their Nature Valley granola bar was “all natural” when in fact they were sued based on that false premise. The makers of this famous granola bar failed to reveal that GMO crops were used in the creation of this product. In 2014, General Mills settled and was forced to remove the words “All Natural” from the label of thirty Nature Valley products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still contains a vague definition of what is considered “natural” for labeling products.

There was a time when the FDA forbade food companies to use any type of labeling ensuring that they were GMO-free. After public outrage and political outrage, the FDA changed the policy, though it certainly affected their agenda to increase the use of GMOs. Though many products are now boasting “GMO-free” or “The Non- GMO project” certification label, further investigation has revealed that it is not quite that simple. There are some loopholes in the non-GMO label and it cannot be a dependable source for those desiring a complete GMO-free diet. The best way to ensure that you are not consuming any products containing GMOs is to only purchase products that are labeled certified organic. These products are 100% GMO-free. However, in reality, there are always dirty practices going on that prevent us from truly knowing if something is indeed what it says it is.

Soy Lecithin one of the questionable additives inside Nature Valley's granola bars. The use of soy products has come under a microscope in recent years. As soy and soy derivatives have started popping up in countless foods, the attention has focused on the large amount of people who suffer from soy allergies. Many chronically ill people do not even know why they are sick, as they are unaware of their allergen to a food consumed daily across all meals in some form.  Soy is also associated with causing complications with hormones, affecting menstrual cycles and fertility. Additionally, many soy plants grown in the U.S. are GMOs, which contribute to the adverse health effects. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifying agent in food production, allowing oils and water to be mixed homogeneously. The process by which to make soy lecithin uses a petrochemical called hexane. This carcinogenic substance is toxic to the human body causing acute and chronic health problems, up to and including death. It can be especially dangerous in those who may have an unknown hexane allergy

Anyone that has allergies to peanuts, almonds, and/or pecans should avoid eating the Nature Valley granola bar. Allergies to nuts can exhibit mild symptoms such skin irritation and redness, but can also be fatal depending on the severity.

Possible short-term side effects

  • blood sugar spikes
  • dehydration
  • nut allergy
  • soy allergy
  • hexane allergy
  • menstrual abnormalities
  • hyperactivity

Possible long-term side effects

  • infertility
  • hypertension
  • diabetes ii
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • sugar dependency
  • tooth decay
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • organic, non-gmo granola bar
  • homemade granola

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Bobo's Oat Bars

  • Whole grain snack
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Convenient on-the-go
  • Made in USA
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-28-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-28-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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