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CLIF Blog

Sep. 19, 2005
Don’t Be Fooled—Seemly Healthy Foods Contain Crappy Ingredients
I just read this article in the September issue of Runner’s World about fueling up during your long runs on foods traditionally found in your cupboard. Studies have shown that raisins and honey work quite well and some people do prefer to just eat food like bagels and bananas out there. I will take a gel over a squished banana or sticky honey any day.
But I say, whatever works for you and is:


  1. Well tolerated by your digestive system

  2. Provides 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of activity lasting over an hour

  3. Enhances your performance to your expectations


The article, however, is misleading because the Harvard nutrition expert suggests there is an increase risk of consuming crappy ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial dyes in energy bars and gels. Not in CLIF products, thank you very much! We completely agree that you don’t need to be fueling up on processed ingredients, and we take it step farther, using as many organic ingredients as we can.

The Harvard dietitian appropriately suggests fueling up on whole foods (during the run) to avoid highly processed ingredients, BUT then went on to recommend a cesspool of foods containing them: Fig Newton’s, Lifesavers, graham crackers, granola.

See exhibit A & B



















A. Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE VITAMIN B1 , RIBOFLAVIN VITAMIN B2 , FOLIC ACID), FIGS PRESERVED WITH SULFUR DIOXIDE, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP , HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEY (FROM MILK), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, MALIC ACID, SALT, BAKING SODA, CALCIUM LACTATE, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), POTASSIUM SORBATE ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR
B. Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE VITAMIN B1 , RIBOFLAVIN VITAMIN B2 , FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, GRAHAM FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, HONEY, CALCIUM CARBONATE (SOURCE OF CALCIUM), LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SALT, EMULSIFIERS (VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN), VANILLIN-AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.
  Ingredients: Sugar , Corn Syrup , High Fructose Corn Syrup , Citric Acid , Artificial Color , Red 40 , Yellow 5 , Natural and Artificial Flavor , Dextrose



There are a few lessons here:

  • Not all foods of by the same name contain the same ingredients. Read your ingredient lists before make broad generalizations, especial when it comes to bars and gels!

  • Magazine articles don’t always get it right.

  • Expert opinions are just that, opinion. There is likely another qualified expert with an opposing quote, but nobody asked them.

Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Category:
Food Matters
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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