Magazine article USA TODAY

Do Energy Bars Lower Insulin Levels?

Magazine article USA TODAY

Do Energy Bars Lower Insulin Levels?

Article excerpt

Energy bars with low or moderate levels of carbohydrates may not live up to weight loss expectations, reports an Ohio State University, Columbus, study. Proponents of several diet plans--such as Atkins and The Zone--say low or moderate carbohydrate foods produce less of an insulin spike in the blood after meals, which helps lead to people burning more fat and losing more weight. However, this study found that energy bars advertised as having low or moderate levels of carbohydrates don't actually reduce insulin levels in the blood as much as expected.

"None of the manufacturers of these low and moderate carbohydrate snack foods have the data to support the claim that their products do keep after-meal insulin levels low;" maintains Steven Hertzler, assistant professor of medical dietetics in the School of Allied Medical Professions. "Our study shows these energy bars lead to an insulin response closer to what we see with high carbohydrate bars."

The snack bars may not contribute to weight loss, at least not in the way that manufacturers claim they do, Hertzler indicates. The makers of these reduced carbohydrate bars add more protein and fat to the ingredients, but the overall energy content of such bars is similar to that of a higher carbohydrate energy bar. …

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