on the Nutritional Value of Nonuttin' Granola Bars
One of the ways we maintain integrity at Nonuttin’ Foods is to have independent reports completed for our products. You can trust that we have a respected professional, lab or institution backing up the information we give you.
The following is a report that was completed for us by a registered dietician and professor at the University of British Columbia. We have edited it for length, only removing what was more significant to us as manufacturers (such as an opinion on the packaging), not what would be significant to you, the consumer.
Strengths : Nonuttin’ Granola Bars meet the needs of individuals with severe allergies or sensitivities to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, wheat, sulfites and seeds. All the varieties contain no cholesterol and no trans fats.
Nonuttin’ Granola Bars contain 20 g carbohydrate which is similar to the carbohydrate content of a raw 138 g apple (with skin ~ 7 cm diameter) which contains 21 g carbohydrate*.
Consumers may be interested to know that the sugar content of the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars (9 g – raisin, 8.9 g – chocolate chip, 7.6 – apple cinnamon) falls below that of a raw 138 g apple which contains 14.34 g sugar** and a 115 g (medium) banana which contains 14.43 g sugar**.
By comparing the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars to common fruits is easy to see that these bars can be safely consumed by individuals with diabetes or hypoglycemia. Like the fruits and vegetables that are recommended the presence of protein and fiber in these bars will help slow the absorption of sugar into the body. Furthermore, the presence of the fat in these bars will help slow the absorption of sugar into one’s system even more. This may, in fact, be quite an advantage for some individuals who struggle to find the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in their snacks to slow down the absorption of sugar into their blood stream.
Nonuttin’ Granola Bars contain 1.7 g fiber which is similar to that of 1 medium banana or 1 medium carrot both of which contain ~1.9 g fiber*.
Strengths : All the varieties of the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars were visually very appealing. They all appeared to be moist and have a natural oat colour. The Apple Cinnamon variety had a slightly richer brown colour indicative of the presence of cinnamon. The large oats were highly visible as were the presence of the raisins, chocolate chips, and apple chunks in each of their respective varieties.
While it is not surprising that the Raisin and Chocolate Chip varieties were easy to distinguish, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to see the chunks of apple in the Apple Cinnamon variety.
Strengths : Freshness, health, allergies aside – the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars were delicious! The natural flavour of the oats was evident all the varieties.
Apple Cinnamon : The use of apple chunks allowed the apple flavour to really come through. It had a perfect balance with the cinnamon which was neither overwhelming nor understated.
Raisin : Products with raisins in them have a tendency to be too sweet due to the natural sweetness of raisins. However, the Nonuttin’ Raisin Granola Bar had the right intensity of sweetness – enough to satisfy a sweet tooth but not enough to overwhelm.
Chocolate Chip : The high quality of the chocolate chips used in the Nonuttin' Chocolate Chip Granola Bar clearly enhanced this product. It had a robust chocolate flavour but did not leave an oily residue in the mouth that would be present with the use of some cheaper brands of chocolate chips.
Strengths : All three varieties of Nonuttin’ Granola Bars were very moist and had a wonderful texture. They were chewy but not sticky.
Areas to Consider : Granola in general is considered a higher fat choice when compared to other cereals available. Thus, the development of a lower fat granola bar is always welcomed. Although Nonuttin Granola Bars are not considered low fat, their fat content is in keeping with other granola bars (4 -9 g)* -- noting, however, that these other products are not nut free.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, products (especially snacks) that contain some fat can play a role in increasing one’s satiety level for a longer period of time which (if used properly) may help in the reduction of one’s over indulgence and lead to better eating habits.
Nonuttin’ Granola Bars have a pleasing presentation both in and out of the package. Their flavour and texture will appeal to both young and mature taste buds! The fact that they are nut free makes them a fantastic choice for individuals with severe allergies. These individuals are often faced with limited snack choices, thus offering a tasty alternative can enhance an individual’s dietary experience.
The sugar and carbohydrate content of the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars are in keeping with other healthy recommended snack choices and should not be a barrier to individuals concerned with managing their blood sugars. Individuals following the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) food exchange symbols may use these bars as either: 1 starch and 1 fat choice OR 2 fruit and 1 fat choice. However, this information should not be placed on the packaging without proper channels through CDA and individuals should be advised to speak with a Registered Dietician about their specific meal plan.
The limited use of preservatives makes Nonuttin’ Granola Bars a healthy, tasty snack alternative for ALL individuals – with or without allergies! These granola bars have a broad appeal and can be part of a healthy well balanced diet. The nut free aspect of the Nonuttin’ Granola Bars fill a void in the market place and would be highly recommended.
Sources: * Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods, Health Canada Publication, 1999.
** USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 1