The Kind Bar Debate

IMG_4137

Kind Bars have been under fire after the company received a warning fromWilliam Correll, director of the Center of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition about their mis-leading advertisement. In his letter Correll claimed, ”Your products do not meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim 'healthy' on a food label.” Specifically, he mentioned the Almond & Apricot, Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants as bars that exceed the FDA’s saturated fat limits to be considered healthy.

The FDA requires products to have no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, while the bars mentioned above have anywhere between 2.5 and 5 grams of saturated fat. In addition, the FDA specifically mentions that the company’s false marketing claims like a "good source of fiber," "no trans fats," "low sodium," or "+ antioxidants," Bloomberg reports.

While I do not endorse false advertising, I do believe that the FDA’s strict regulation on saturated fat is somewhat ridiculous. Strict requirements like the 1 gram rule is what is causing our nation to get sick. Companies abide to these rigid requirements by replacing natural fats with more chemicals and more sugar.

Nuts naturally contain some saturated fat as do other healthy whole foods. Look at avocados, an average avocado contains 4.3 grams of saturated fat but also contains Vitamin K, folate, vitamin c, potassium, vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

The truth is, saturated fat from natural sources (i.e. nuts, avocados, seeds, coconut) is healthy for us in moderation. So how about the FDA focuses less on the saturated fat found in these nut-based Kind Bars and more on the elimination of other products found in Kind Bars like glucose or vegetable glycerin.

My advice? There are way worse things that you could eat than a kind bar, but I wouldn't look at them as a health food, specifically because of some of their high sugar contents. Aim to buy the bars that are lower in sugar (4 or 5 grams) and not dipped in chocolate or coating. Better yet, switch to my favorite to-go bar: Larabars, which contain only a few ingredients namely nuts, dried fruit, spices and occasionally some dairy-free chocolate chips.

Sources: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/kind-bars-aren-t-healthy-enough-for-healthy-label-fda-says http://www.buzzfeed.com/javiermoreno/the-fda-says-kind-bars-arent-healthy#.dh97JA49K http://www.youbeauty.com/health/kind-bars-arent-as-good-for-your-health-as-advertising-says-fda-finds