Not that there was much added sugar to begin with, mind you. Our Almond Fudge Brownie had 1 measly gram of added sugar (in the 69% dark chocolate chips) and the Chocolate Chip Walnut had 2 grams (also from the chocolate chips).
But we here at WellBean have aimed from the start to make an entirely WHOLE food wellness bar, and now, with the switch to 100% cacao chips, we have achieved that goal!
What’s the big deal about added sugar?
I’m so glad you asked! To answer that I must back up a bit to. . . .
Why do we eat food in the first place?
Duh! Everybody knows we eat food because we need energy (calories) to maintain bodily functions and conduct work (like pursuing mates and raising offspring).
But did you know that, in the process of breaking food down so your cells can use it as fuel, waste products are formed?
Indeed, waste products like free radicals and advanced glycation end products (AGEs)—yikes!—are natural byproducts of cellular metabolism.
Enter Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
Free radical production is a healthy and natural part of cellular metabolism. It's when those free radicals get out of control, causing oxidative stress, that they become a problem. The accumulation of free radicals--aka, oxidative stress--is believed to be the cause of much disease and disability.
The antidote to out-of-control free radical production?
Where do you find antioxidants?
Antioxidants are to be found in whole, unrefined plant foods (e.g., fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains).
(Sorry, antioxidant supplements don't work.)
Where don't you find antioxidants?
You won't find antioxidants in refined foods that have been stripped of their goodness--like protein powders, syrups, nectars, animal foods, white flour, processed vegan products, etc.
What does all this mean in terms of what we eat?
Well, when you eat a plate of steamed kale or a bowl of black beans, those foods come prepackaged with the antioxidants necessary to stem the overproduction of free radicals.
On the other hand, when you eat an empty-calorie food—say a nutrition bar made from protein powder and coconut nectar (both processed, nutrient-poor foods)--those waste products don’t get cleaned up, and free radical damage begins to accumulate.
Back to added sugars. . .
Added sugars are sugars that have been stripped from their original source (like beet sugar
from whole beets, agave nectar from blue agave plants, coconut nectar from coconuts, high fructose corn syrup from corn, or brown rice syrup from rice, etc.) and then added to a food product. These sugars have virtually no antioxidant value remaining--they are "empty calorie" foods.
And empty-calorie foods--as we discovered above--lead to free radical accumulation (which leads to aging, disease, and premature death).
My dear reader, we invented WellBean to provide its eaters a source of nutrient-rich sustenance in which each and every calorie contributes its fair share of anti-aging, disease-fighting goodness. There are no empty calories in a WellBean--not 1 measly gram.
Wellbean. . . .because life is better with beans. :-)