Beneficial Health Foods?

Nov 132003
Authors: Jamie Way

In today’s society, people are constantly on the go. Slowing

down for something even as small as breakfast might leave someone

one pace behind, so it may not be a secret why health bars are such

a craze.

“I think they are convenient ways to get a snack or meal for

someone on the move, but they’re not magic,” said Dawn Clifford, a

registered dietitian at Hartshorn Health Service. “It’s nothing

more than a granola bar that’s fortified with vitamins and


Health bar nutritional values vary greatly across brand names

and types.

“Generally, the not-so-great choices are low-carb bars,”

Clifford said. “Some good bars would be CLIF Bars.”

Clifford said people should be careful to supplement their diets

with health products, not replace a healthy diet with them.

“It’s a good compliment to a healthy diet, but it’s not meant to

replace that,” Clifford said.

While many people would like to eat healthy, time and

accessibility tend to limit their ability to do so. Clifford said

that one of her colleagues tried to no avail to find fruit in the

Lory Student Center.

“You can’t find a piece of fruit in the Lory Student Center,”

Clifford said.

Health drinks can provide some benefit to endurance athletes,

but for the average person, water should be the beverage of


“Water is definitely the best choice for hydration after

exercise,” Clifford said of students who work out at the Student

Recreation Center.

Some believe they are cutting their calories by replacing soda

with Gatorade or similar health drinks. While this is generally

true, Clifford says they are not doing themselves any favors.

“Gatorade isn’t as high in calories as soda, but it’s not that

much less,” Clifford said. “Gatorade is still high in


A 20-fluid ounce Pepsi contains 100 calories, and a 20-fluid

ounce Fruit Punch Gatorade contains 50 calories.

Jessica Fisher, a sophomore business major, had lots of

experience with health foods during her high school sports


“We were always encouraged to drink Gatorade before softball,

volleyball and track meets,” Fisher said. “During tournaments we

had water and Gatorade. The combo of both helped us get through


Fisher said that while she believes the bars are beneficial to

some people, they should not replace a healthy meal.

“Sometimes people think (bars) can be taken for meals, but

they’re for people in a rush,” Fisher said. “If you have time for a

balanced meal, you should have that.”

CLIF Bar claims that if someone eats their bars one to two hours

prior to a workout or race, he or she will avoid the sugar high and

crash associated with refined ingredients and sweeteners.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy a CLIF Bar, but with

the extra energy a CLIF Bar provides you may find it hard not to

be,” the CLIF Bar Web site said.

Garry Auld, associate professor in food science nutrition, said

that extra energy generally means sugar.

“These things can be beneficial for athletes, but they market

them towards the general public as if you’re a little bit active

you need these things,” Auld said. “When two-thirds of Americans

are overweight they don’t need extra calories.”





 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.