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THE FAULT IN OUR FOODS

Follow Hazique Hibri as he shares three consumables that you should be wary of on
your next trip to the supermarket

There are many different types of consumables that have become popular amongst
young people for various different reasons. With so many new products sprouting on
the shelves of local supermarkets, many young people end up patronising these new
trends blindly. However, there are things that these products dont tell you upfront and
its easy to be fooled by the claims that they make. Granola bars, energy drinks and
fruit juices are some examples of these products. So before you decide to follow these
trends, you should think twice before buying them on your next trip to the
supermarket.

Granola Bars
Granola bars have become the centre of many discussions when it comes to healthy
snacks. Business student Zane Neo, 18, is an individual who includes granola bars in
his everyday diet because he thinks it is a healthy and convenient snack. He shared
that he has a few friends in school who do eat granola bars as well. However, is this
popular healthy snack really healthy after all?

To this, Fitness & Health Internationals senior nutritionist Jenny Goh answered, No,
simply because of the amount of sugars they pump into each bar. Quakers Smores
Granola Bars has an appalling eight grams of sugar in each bar. Thats equivalent to
two teaspoons of sugar in just one bar. Furthermore, there are other forms of added
sugar used in making these bars such as corn syrup and invert sugar. Corn syrup is a

form of food syrup that is made from the starch of maize and invert sugar is made up
of glucose and fructose. There are a lot of ingredients listed on the packaging that
many of us are not familiar with, Jenny added, explaining why people tend to
overlook the nutrition facts of food.

I usually eat them when I dont have time to sit down for a proper meal and to stop
me from feeling hungry while Im studying, remarked Zane, who eats about three
bars of Quakers Smores Granola Bars everyday. Jenny however, is against
substituting your meals for granola bars because they do not contain enough nutrition
to cover your daily needs. She also added, with only one gram of protein in each bar,
after a while you will probably feel hungry again.

An argument one may have is that Quakers Smores Granola Bars do contain a high
amount of whole grains for its size, with 8 grams in each bar. According to its
packaging, thats 1/3 of your daily whole grain needs in a serving (2 bars)!
Nevertheless, Jenny thinks that granola bars do not even deserve to be called healthy
snacks because of its lack of overall nutrition. You might as well get your whole
grains from your conventional whole grain foods like brown rice and wholemeal
bread said Jenny with a laugh.

Energy Drinks
Pass me another were the words of avid gamer Marcel Kempers, as he recounts the
night he drank about seven cans of Monster Energy Drinks while playing computer
games at his friends house. In my school, my friends always have one if theyre
falling asleep in class but I usually only drink them at night when I want to stay

awake to play games or when I have to study, he said. Whether you drink it during
the day or at night, energy drinks have always promised one thing a boost of energy
for the next hour or so. However, at what cost?

My heart was beating faster and faster especially when it was super tense in the late
game (period of time during the computer game Dota where the game is close to an
end) and the next morning I woke up with a headache, added Marcel, discussing how
he felt that night. A single can of Monster Energy Drink contains about 54 grams of
sugar and 154 milligrams of caffeine. That means Marcels body consumed a
whopping 1078 milligrams of caffeine from those 7 cans he had that one night. In an
article on Mayo Clinics website, some side effects of heavy caffeine intake are
nervousness, insomnia and faster heartbeats. In a primary survey done in January
2016, 4 in 5 youths aged 18 25 have experienced having a faster heart rate after
consuming energy drinks.

The maximum we can take is about 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine everyday and
this is why I always tell my students to stop whenever I see them drinking their
energy drinks, said dance instructor Chua Yi De, 23, who teaches urban dance to
students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. I used to take them (energy drinks) myself but I
stopped after learning about the dangers of overusing them, during a body nutrition
course I took, continued Yi De.

Apart from just caffeine and sugar, Monster Energy Drinks also contain a high level
of Vitamin B3 that goes way beyond what is recommended, with about 38 milligrams
of it in one can. According to the Health Promotion Board, the recommended vitamin

B3 intake per day is only 19.5 mg for males and 13.9 for females. Yi De mentioned
that, These energy drinks can make you feel like God for a while but when it wears
off and your body crashes, it is never really worth it in my opinion.

Fruit Juice
Juice fasts and juice cleanses have been the talk of many young people who have been
looking for a simple detox for their body. Fitness enthusiast Jurvis Tan, 18, has tried
juice cleanses before but said that he didnt want to spend money on the cold-pressed
fruit juices that people recommended because they cost a bomb and opted for fruit
juices you find in supermarkets.

It feels better and less sinful to drink fruit juices compared to soft drinks, he
mentioned. However, just 250 millilitres of Sunkists Orange Juice Drink contains
about 28 grams of sugar already. The same amount of Coca-Cola only has 26.5 grams
of sugar, which means that even fruit juices in the supermarket can have a higher
sugar content than soft drinks. No wonder so many kids love fruit juices but not fruits.

Taking a look at the no sugar added version of Sunkists Orange Juice Drink, it
contains about 18.3 grams of sugar that they claim comes naturally from the fruit
juice itself. Jenny explained, Some may claim to be sugar-free, others say theyre
freshly squeezed but the only way you can find out (the truth) is by looking at what is
stated on the packaging. She continued, At the end of the day, its still sugar and our
recommended daily intake for sugar is between 40 to 55 milligrams (per day).

On the flip side, Sunkists Orange Juice Drink is rich in Vitamins A, C and E. Most
fruit juices in the market are quite rich in vitamins but its up to you to look for the
ones with less sugar, Jenny elaborated. She also warned people to look out for words
like fructose in the ingredients list, which is essentially fruit sugar that may be added
in these drinks. In addition to that, a lot of the fruit juices you can find in
supermarkets are made from juice concentrate. According to the MailOnline, fruit
juice from concentrate loses a lot of its natural flavour and therefore natural or
artificial flavourings have to be added to recreate its taste.

Its a good habit to check the nutrition labels on products so you know exactly whats
being put into your bodies. So the next time youre at a supermarket, remember to
think twice before dropping products into your cart!

Word Count: 1234 words

Sidebar: Did you know that two teaspoons of sugar are squeezed into a single Quaker
Smores Granola Bar? Thats not all! Quaker Smore Granola Bars also lack in
protein, with only 1 gram in each bar. You can get the same amount of protein in just
three Oreo cookies!

Sidebar: Be careful when choosing pre-packed fruit juices from the supermarket.
Some of them have a very high sugar content some even higher than Coca Cola! So
watch what youre putting into your cart, these healthy juices may turn out to be
just as bad as other fizzy drinks.

Sidebar: Some energy drinks actually do contain ingredients that are good for your
body. Monster Energy Drink has ingredients like Taurine, Guarana, and Ginseng that
are all good for you. But remember, too much of a good thing will turn out to be bad!

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