Not at all! They’re still the same, great tasting bars, but with a fresh new look.
Yes, all our palm oil comes from a sustainable source. We are fully aware of the issues associated with the sourcing of palm oil, and we have taken this into account when sourcing our ingredients, in particularly the vegetable oils and fats of palm origin. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, replacing palm oil is not the right solution to address the environmental and social problems associated with oil palm cultivation for two reasons. Firstly, replacing palm oil with other types of vegetable oil would mean that much larger amounts of land would need to be used, since palm trees produce 4-10 times more oil. Please find out more on our palm oil page.
The total sugar stated on the nutritional label can be confusing because this includes the integral sugar found naturally in NINE plant-based ingredients, mainly seeds and a bit of carob. We aim to only use as much sugar and rice syrup as needed to properly bind the bar together, with the sugars providing the first fix of energy before the body breaks down the complex nutrition contained in the seeds (and nuts or fruits where relevant) and slow release the rest of the natural energy and nutrients into the body. Furthermore, from a health point of view there are many other nutrients in these ingredients that provide a great deal of health benefits so whatever smaller amount of added sugar is in a NINE we feel this is greatly out weighted by the majority of essential nutrients found in its main natural ingredients and the great taste it offers. NINE is after all a sweet bar and we also know it is a much healthier option to many other sweet snack foods on the market. The sugar in a NINE plays a very important role as a binder and we have found from our own trials that it falls apart if removed. Sugar can generate health problems but only if it is eaten in excess or in an imbalanced diet. Natural sugar is found in the majority of foods, especially fruit in anything from trace to larger amounts. There is a greater concern if more of the total sugar in a product is added as opposed to natural although sugar content should always be a consideration as part of a balanced diet. This is why we always encourage people to follow a recommended healthy balanced diet and see no reason why NINE cannot be a part of that. How much is also dependent on what sort of lifestyle you lead. We cannot make a product that suits everyone’s lifestyle and we have found NINE is ideal for people with active lives. It is an energy bar which is very popular with athletes and active people because of its nutritional makeup. We accept NINE cannot be nutritionally perfect but compared to many sweet snack bars it is much more nutritious. For us it is all about making a sweet natural bar that retains the nutrition of the core ingredient. NINE also provides an alternative for those who have to follow a specific free from diet such as gluten. If you like the taste then just enjoy as we recommend, in moderation.
NINE is made predominately with seeds and it’s these that give NINE most of its fat content. Seeds have a lower percentage of saturated fat and much higher percentage of unsaturated. For example, sunflower seeds (which form the base of every NINE) have a fat content that is around 90% unsaturated. On average, the ratio of good fat to bad fat in a NINE is typically 4:1 and NINE can actually claim High in Unsaturated Fat on all Original Lift and Carob Hit bars. It is well established that seeds have a high nutritional density including a high level of essential fatty acids. EFAs are commonly referred to as “good” fats which include EFAs such as omega 3. As with most fat containing foods there will be a range of both unsaturated and saturated but in seeds a much lower percentage of the fat is saturated compared to a higher percentage of unsaturated. With fat it’s the “good/bad” ratio that’s important as the effect of the good can counterbalance the negative influence of the bad. Saturated fat is a real problem when foods like fried foods have a high ratio of unhealthy fats and very little other nutritional value. With seeds we feel the nutritional pluses more than outweigh the negatives. There is no such thing as the perfect nutritional food but compared to many other snack bars NINE is nutritionally denser. We do stress that NINE should be eaten as part of a balanced diet and the FSA do accept a percentage of saturated fat as part of that balanced diet (10g per day). NINE is really seen as a treat especially for those with specific allergies but it is also very popular with endurance athletes who need higher levels of energy. Generally as part of a balanced diet we see no reason why a NINE can’t be a tasty part of it.
NINE is an energy bar (1 unit of energy = 1 calorie) embracing all the nutritional goodness of seeds which are also naturally high in calories. It is now understood that the most effective way of managing weight is to not rely on calorie counting in isolation but more to consider eating healthy nutritionally dense foods – i.e. foods that have a naturally high nutritional value (e.g. nuts, seeds, veg, fruit and pulses). Seeds are generally a nutritionally dense food as they have a high nutritional value in a very small package. Compare it with something like a doughnut which may have a similar calorific value per 100g to seeds but is much more likely to have a very low nutritional value in a processed state. This is commonly referred to as “empty calories,” calories which aside from an energy content have little other nutritional value. Nutritionally dense calories naturally contain both energy and a wider range of valuable nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids. Nutritionally dense foods are also more likely to keep you fuller for longer making a diet more sustainable and enjoyable. NINE is not designed or promoted as a slimming bar our key markets are for allergy sufferers who can find it hard to find a delicious treat and athletes and active people who usually need a higher calorie intake. Eating one NINE will not pile on the pounds, that is much more to do with your overall diet and we always recommend following a recommended healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle which a NINE can be included as part of that.
Our range is completely vegan!
NINE do contain sugar so they are not specifically advisable for diabetics. However as our scientific understanding of diabetes has improved it has moved away from the traditional no sugar and now promotes an overall healthy diet, specifically managing blood sugar levels. The advice from the DOH states “It is not true that if you have diabetes you will need to eat a special diet. Eat a healthy diet that is high in fibre, fruit and vegetables and low in fat, salt and sugar.” Eating the right type of carbohydrate is one of the main dietary considerations as it controls blood sugar levels. This means limiting your intake of foods with a high Glycaemic Index (GI) and replacing with lower, more regulating GI foods. Although NINE contain sugar the main ingredient is seeds which is low GI. Currently we are putting our bars through the GI testing process so we will have an accurate GI value very soon. Studies also show different types of fat influence diabetes as essential fatty acids especially omega 3 can be beneficial. Type II is also greatly influenced by weight so it is important to achieve and maintain a balanced weight through a balanced calorific intake and exercise. So although NINE are not necessarily suitable for diabetics they are perfectly acceptable as part of a healthy balanced diet and could be a healthier option compared to other snacks. As with any health condition diabetics should always consult with a health professional before they consider any dietary changes and carry their instruction out under the recommended level of supervision and ongoing assessment.
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