Thursday, February 21, 2013


Several weeks ago when my other half was at Woolworths doing the grocery shopping he was handed (at the checkout) a sample bag of goodies.  There was shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, fabric softener etc.  You name it and it was there.  There were also two little bars, one of which was intended for lunch boxes and seemed reasonably healthy, but the other one was a NEW 23g bar made by a very well known breakfast cereal manufacturer.  MOH and I decided we'd eat half each which meant we both had 9.2gms carbs and 3.4gms of sugar.  The complete bar itself of course had 18.4gms of carbs and 6.7gms of sugar.   Perhaps OK for a 'tween meals snack if you are not overweight or diabetic so if you like really sweet things then go for it.

I carefully checked the ingredients list as we are advised to do and which we do on a regular basis.  First of all I checked on fats and noticed they were mainly vegetable fats (no idea which vegetable this was obtained from) and PALM OIL which we've been warned against using.  Just for the fun of it here is the ingredients list:

CORNFLAKES 48% = SUGAR, salt, MALT EXTRACT, vitamins C and E, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, iron, zinc oxide.  (Yes, the vitamins and minerals are good for us but salt as well as sugar?).

CHOCOLATE COMPOUND 15% (there is a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of this bar) = SUGAR, vegetable fat, MILK SOLIDS, cocoa power, emulsifiers, SOY LECITHIN 476.492, flavour, salt, GLUCOSE, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, vegetable oils, hydrogenated soybean oil, antioxidant 320, hydrogenated PALM oil, sorbitol, glycerol, MALT EXTRACT, flavour and soy lecithin.

I know the whole bar only weighed 23g so you don't get much of any one item in any quantity but there is just so much sugar of different types and if it is already that sweet why does it also need sorbitol and glycerol?

I must admit MOH and I both enjoyed the couple of mouthfuls we each had of this bar but we definitely won't be buying it.  Too much sugar altogether and that is something we can do without on a daily basis.  It seems harmless enough but then so do so many foodstuffs today.  The more they update the ingredients list the better it will be for everyone.  It did strike me as strange that 48% + 15% only adds up to 63% so I wonder what the other 37% consists of??

Incidentally this tiny bar had 63mg of salt and nearly 100 calories.  Enough said.


  1. Have you noticed how many "health foods" these days are having chocolate added?
    Woolworths samples bags have more interesting items than the Coles ones. Ours are mostly given away with the purchase of a magazine and contain those dry, tasteless corn thins, tiny packets of Biozet laundry powder and coupons for things nobody would want.

  2. Yes, I've noticed that too River. I think folk hear that a couple of squares of 80% dark chocolate a day are good for you and think "Ah! chocolate. I'll have some of that for my health's sake."
    I've not had a Coles sample bag (have to be honest and say we don't usually shop at Coles except for their cooked chooks occasionally as Woolies' cooked chooks aren't very good) but I must admit the 'stuff' in the sample bag we got from Woolies was useful.

  3. Well I sure haven't seen any 'sample' bags in our grocery stores. Bummer. It is horrifying how many calories and how much salt is in 'snack' food, then, you read the label and find out how small an actual 'portion' is. Gives you the chills when you realize how many 'portions' you have eaten during one snack 'event' lol.

    1. It horrified me when I read the ingredients list on this tiny snack bar. It looks small so must be OK!! Not.
      It's not until your health is under attack (in our case from diabetes and years ago MOH's cholesterol) that you truly check the lists on packets/tins etc.

  4. Erk, sounds hideous - so far away from natural food it's scary.

    1. It did taste quite good though but far TOOO sweet. 2 small mouthfuls was sufficient for me.
      As diabetics we are told not to eat Cornflakes anyway and definitely to keep away from simple carbs and certain fats too. You become more sensitive to what you are putting in your mouth.

  5. Since I made my big lifestyle change, all of those things are being eliminated in this home, even for the children. So many 'healthy' options are laden with sugar.

    The closest my boys get to bought bars is now the baked fruit bars (so for example, Apple and Cinnamon oven baked bar). But I have started making my own versions of muesli bars and shockingly- they like them.

  6. How wonderful Melissa that you have discovered a receipe for muesli bars the boys like. Well done and so much healthier.
    We don't use much sugar but the one we have is low GI. I have 20 grains of sugar in my cup of tea and none at all in coffee. I am fortunate in that I've never enjoyed cool drinks (sodas) but so any people get hooked on Cola drinks with so much sugar.
    So glad you popped in....I have few visitors to my blog so always great to see you.

  7. I am more than a little uncomfortable about how many prepared foods there are on the market now - and how seductive they can be. Growing up, virtually everything we were served was 'made from scratch'. Cheaper and better for us. Even our sweet treats, and they were few and far between were made from raw ingredients. And I do try and do the same, that is, cook from scratch and limit my sweet treats. Sadly, I will do a lot to tempt the skinny portion to eat - and he does love his treats. (Mind you, there is no justice - he has always been thin.)

  8. I couldn't agree more with all you have said EC. Many years ago when I got lots and lots of exercise (didn't have a car) I would make sweets but from scratch...none of that packet stuff. We didn't even use frozen vegies and would stew apples etc. instead of using much tinned fruit. These days we don't have desserts at all but cheat occasionally with a chocolate eclair or similar for afternoon tea. We consider we deserve a treat for being good 'most' of the time.
    Of course you have to tempt the skinny portion but there are times you look at people that are perpetually thin and think "why them and NOT me?" It's obviously in the genes!!