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How does Quest Nutrition keep Net Carbs so low?
The protein bar industry has a long checkered past of hiding the true carbohydrate content of its bars. One of the most common ways currently being used to disguise carbs are Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (also called IMO). At one time IMO was thought to be up to 90% fiber but after some scrutiny, it turned out that might not be the case. Other bars use chicory root fiber or inulin which can start out as fibers when manufactured but can begin degrading to fructose depending on manufacturing and shipping processes. Earlier versions of Quest Bars have used both IMO and chicory root fiber but we moved away from both of them and created our own proprietary fibers.
Because using real fiber and having very accurate net carb counts is very important to Quest, we make sure our fibers are validated by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) via their 2009.01 and 2011.25 testing standards. These tests are accepted as a gold standard methods of determining true fiber counts in foods by the Food and Drug Administration.
So What’s In My Protein Bar?
Many ingredients labeled as fiber sources in protein bars actually aren’t fibers and are instead absorbed as sugar or other digestible carbohydrates. They are absorbed in your small intestine and metabolized in the blood stream. True fibers will not be absorbed in the small intestine at all. Some soluble fibers may be fermented by your gut bacteria into short chain fats that are absorbed and these calories need to be taken into account on the nutrition labels. Quest Nutrition does this, but does everyone else?
The FDA has very specific rules on how fibers must be listed in ingredient lists and many companies do not follow these rules. Some mislabeled fiber sources go by these names:
We routinely test our bars to ensure our customers are getting what’s on our nutrition labels. In fact, Quest Bars were recently named the #1 bar in terms of having accurate nutrition labels by Labdoor, an independent 3rd party lab that tested many protein bars from many different companies to determine label accuracy.
Unfortunately, they did not test for fiber. If they had, we’re confident Quest Bars would have still maintained the top spot.
Quest is a nutrition company that’s obsessed with making sure we aren’t fooling ourselves first and foremost. That’s why we are so transparent with the customers that we consider our family. Make sure your bar’s fiber claim passes the test of AOAC 2009.01. Your body will thank you and you will have peace of mind.
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