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Nutritionists Say Granola Bars Are Just Dressed Up Junk Food

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Nutritionists Say Granola Bars Are Just Dressed Up Junk Food

Granola bars, like many sweeties in disguise, are marketed as a health food or health snack on today’s market. And while there are certain nutrients to be gained from some ingredients in granola and other muesli bars and slices, these snacks are actually far less healthy than we are led to believe.

Why Is It Unhealthy?

Granola bars are a huge part of many people’s diets including children’s lunches. Because of the “healthy” ingredients within granola bars such as fruits, oats and even seeds and grains, we consume these bars under the assumption (or the self-denial) that these are healthy foods that are good for us.

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The truth is, in fact, that there are huge amounts of hidden fats and sugars within granola that, if we actually knew about, we might think twice about consuming granola – or at least about consuming as much as we do. Statistics state that nearly 55% of American households have granola bars or snacks within them. The annual sales for granola products are over $7 billion.

Granola Is Just Like Unhealthy Cookies

We are consuming enormous amounts of daily calories in just one bar – in fact what we believe is the perfect ‘on-the-go-snack’ is actually slowing us down and may even be cancelling out any good, healthy work we are doing.

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As medical director Yoni Freedhoff of Ottowa’s Bariatric Medical Institute says:”I think the public perception is that if there is the word granola in it that it’s healthy for you. There’s a lot of things that sound healthy but then tend to get stuck together with lots of sugar and lots of high-calorie fats.”

Granola in actual fact is much more similar to a cookie than to a health food. Granola bars tend to have an extremely high rate of high-fructose corn syrup, a dangerous ingredient in many candy bars and other unhealthy snacks. Corn syrup is linked to rising levels of weight gain, cholesterol levels and insulin resistance and is a dangerous hidden ingredient for those attempting to otherwise stave off unhealthy foods.

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Homemade and Healthy Granola Bars

Often granola bars are unhealthy because of the way they are processed, or cooked. If you can try your own homemade granola recipes you can control the amount of sugars and fats that go in the recipe and therefore into your body. Using natural ingredients like agave syrup rather than sugar, goji berries rather than chocolate chips, will ensure you are giving your body nutrients without overdosing on the bad stuff.

We could always try alternative health on-the-go snacks such as:

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  • Banana + Kale smoothie
  • Rice cakes with avocado
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Edamame
  • Whole grain protein bars

Some other great healthy options are these simple 5-ingredient health bar by Minimalist Baker or these Peanut Butter and Goji Berry granola bars by Love and Lemon.

Featured photo credit: What’s Gaby Cooking via whatsgabycooking.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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