When You Blew by Breakfast...
No one's claiming that prepackaged cereal bars—even fiber- and protein-packed ones—are the healthiest or most slimming snack choice (most contain more sugar than your dietician would recommend). But a study at the U.K.'s Cardiff University found that this ultra-convenient snack has its advantages if the alternative is an empty stomach. When women ate a cereal bar as a midmorning snack, especially if they hadn't eaten breakfast, they became much more alert and less anxious than those who didn't snack
. Moreover, they showed an improved ability to remember words they had just learned—a likely result of the protein and a well-timed (and, er, significant) glucose rise.
One standard fiber cereal bar (about 1.5 grams of proteins and fiber, and 3.5 to 4 grams of fat)
The Cardiff researchers also found that when people took a road test in the midmorning, those who had first eaten cereal bars perceived significantly more hazards—and were therefore likelier to avoid accidents
—compared with non-snackers. (Bars are also easy to eat while driving one-handed.)
Next: The biggest mistakes women make when dieting