Weight Loss NHS
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Hey guys.

Something that came up from one of my clients who was feeling hungry in work and wanted to grab a go ahead bar for a snack as it was a low fat option. When I looked it up I realised what a sleazy deal that is being done by these so called diet bars, So before I dive in, I recommended she got some rice cakes and a small portion of Peanut butter to take away her craving or some yoghurt with a tiny portion of almonds mixed in.

So here was the deal, that bar was ONLY 3.4% fat. But when I worked out the numbers this was absolute rubbish. So this is how it panned out. Look at the information from these Go Ahead bars which claim to contain just 3.4g fat per bar, which is a play on peoples understanding of percentages of fat, most of us looking quickly would think that this product contained only 3.4%.

Let’s look at the figures for the percentage of fat the bars are per 100g and per bar. So they are calculating that 3.4 expressed as a percentage of 100g.

The correct way to calculate the % is as follows.

per 100g per bar

Energy 391kcals 117kcals

Protein 6.8g 2.0g

Carbohydrates 65.2g 19.6g

of which sugars 23.7g 7.1g

Fat 11.4g 3.4g

of which saturates 2.2g 0.7g

Don’t forget per gram of fat there are 9 kcals, carbohydrates and proteins have 4

kcals per gram

Based on Per bar: -

Multiply the grams of fat by 9 (9 kcal per gram) to get the amount in calories:

3.4 x 9 = 30.6 calories

Divide this by the number of calories per bar

30.6 divided by 117 = 0.261

Multiply this number by 100 to get the percentage = 26.1 %

The actual fat % of this product is over a quarter of its content

Yes that really is super low fat eh?

Check out your store cupboard and grab a calculator you will be amazed at the lies and advertising BS we are being fed.

Keith

7 Replies

Sorry it put all the numbers in one line the line per bar should read:

per bar

Energy 117kcals

Protein 2.0g

Carbohydrates 19.6g

of which sugars 7.1g

Fat 3.4g

of which saturates 0.7g

It really pays to check the numbers on everything 😕 I will now have a salad sandwich (2x25g slices of wholemeal bread) or an omelette for around the same calories as my 'healthy' flapjack or similar ☺

I learned to make flapjack when i was younger - it's really awful when you know what's in it. the recipe is 1/3 sugar and over 1/4 butter. I never understood where the myth came from that flapjack was healthy...

Good point!

I just looked on the nhs website and it said any food with 3g or less fat per 100g can be labelled as "low fat" and this could easily be 20% of total calories but will of course vary depending on the other ingredients.

Yeah, I've been growing increasingly peeved at the way the diet industry plays on us. Go ahead breakfast bars really bugged me - they've reduced the sugar now, but originally, your healthy breakfast was 56% of your sugar GDA. And they recommended you eat it with a glass of OJ (33% of your sugar GDA).

People have a big thing against nuts for being fatty, but I've gradually decided it's better to eat nuts than cereal bars...

I do like a bit of peanut butter on an oatcake - you can get thin oatcakes with 33calories each.

i never understand why people eat these things anyway.

I wonder why someone describes a bar containing 3.4g of fat as there being 3.4% of fat in a bar when the bar isn't 100g in weight. It seems pretty clear to me that the percentage of the weight of the bar (using the figures you yourself give) is 11.4%.

Are you seriously saying that the packaging says 3.4% of fat?

You seem to be choosing to look at the fat's contribution to the calorie content. If you want to look at things that way, fine, but I shall continue to look at the weight of components and accept that food with a lower water content will have a higher percentage of fat that something less dry.

Cereal bars do not themselves have a high water content and therefore weight for weight they will have more fat, sugar, fibre and protein.