Nutri-Grain newest advertisement, below, claims we’ll “feel great” after eating one of their breakfast bars (great enough to quit our jobs, get married, and punch each other in the stomachs, apparently). But just like we suspect that most Americans are over Jerry Maguire jokes, we also hope they’re over the idea that Nutri-Grain bars can really make you feel good at all: Despite their updated flavors and packaging claiming antioxidant power and healthy dose of fiber, the brand is just selling glorified cookies for breakfast. Last time we checked, that didn’t make us feel too great.
They’re full of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colorings, and preservatives; after reading the ingredients list for Kelloggs® Nutri-Grain® Fruit Fusion™ with Antioxidants Flavored Cereal Bars Cherry Pomegranate (below), we’re so confused about what they’re actually made of, that even Snickers sound like a wholesome breakfast by comparison:
CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, WHEAT BRAN, CALCIUM CARBONATE, DEXTROSE, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, CORNSTARCH, NONFAT MILK, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID). FILLING: INVERT SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, WATER, GLYCERIN, CHERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, POMEGRANATE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM ALGINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MALIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CARAMEL COLOR, RED #40.
If the ingredients don’t scare you off, take a look at the nutrition: One bar has 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 2 grams of protein. For an adult, that’s a paltry breakfast. The bars are low in calories and protein, and while they do contain a smidge of fiber, it’s not enough to make us forget about the 13 grams of sugar. Compare the nutrition facts to a Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Santa Cruz Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, and Nutri-Grain Bars don’t look quite so good. Here’s a side-by-side comparison, so you can check the math:
The cookies contain slightly more fat, and one gram less of dietary fiber, but they have the same amount of sugar and calories. If we ate an oatmeal cookie for breafast, we’d probably get a short surge in energy (also known as a sugar high), and come crashing down within minutes, in dire need of real calories and a better balance of protein and carbs. We’re not saying every breakfast has to be perfect, but Nutri-Grain really misses the mark. And we don’t think that commercial is really very funny, either.