Kind bars market themselves as a healthy snack, which is why they can be found at gyms and fashion events where other snack bars are absent. But according to a warning letter issued by the FDA, those claims might help your conscience, but they aren’t helping your body.
The FDA found “significant violations” when it reviewed the ingredients of the Almond & Apricot, Almond & Coconut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants bars. “None of your products listed above meet the requirements for use of the nutrient content claim ‘healthy,'” the letter says.
One of the issues is that Kind bars have too much saturated fat to be considered healthy, reports Bloomberg. The FDA standard is less than one gram; three of the four bars investigated contain 3.5 grams or more. The Almond & Coconut packs 5 grams of saturated fat per serving, which is more than a third of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake, according to Gawker.
Not only are the bars misbranded as being low fat, they also don’t satisfy the claims that they’re high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. The FDA also criticized manipulative marketing jargon on labels and the Kind website. For instance, one of the bars lists “non GMO glucose” in the ingredients instead of just saying glucose syrup. It’s really quite a clever technique: They managed to make glucose sound healthier by referencing something worse.
A Kind bar might be healthier than, say, a candy bar, but being more than isn’t the same as being opposite to. As James McWilliams has pointed out in The Atlantic, free-range agriculture might be more natural than factory or cage farming, but the life of a free-range farm animal bears little resemblance to its natural life in the wild. Calling Kind bars healthy is like saying free-range farming is natural. It begs the question: compared to what?