HEARTBAR Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Heartbar products good for you?
Heartbar oatmeal squares are full of oats, fiber, and plant-sterols. They also are low in saturated fat. All of Heartbar products are infused with plant sterols, which are proven to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
What are plant sterols?
Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are plant-based compounds that can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a.k.a. "bad cholesterol." Plant sterols occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, but usually at levels too low to effectively combat LDL cholesterol. Recent scientific studies have shown that plant sterols can be added to other foods at levels that can result in lower blood cholesterol and reduced risk for coronary heart disease.
How do plant sterols work?
Plant sterols are virtually identical in structure to cholesterol and therefore cannot be distinguished by the body. They work by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. Cholesterol is absorbed in the small intestine at specific sites called micelles. When consumed, plant sterols compete with cholesterol to attach to these sites, effectively blocking the cholesterol and forcing it to exit the body unabsorbed.
Are plant sterols safe?
Plant sterols are safe, natural and highly effective as part of a heart healthy diet. They are found in many fruits & vegetables. Extensive human clinical research indicating that plant sterols and sterol esters substantially and consistently lower blood levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol has led to the inclusion of these compounds in foods and supplements. Since the late 1990s when phytosterol esters achieved GRAS status (Generally Recognized As Safe), they have been added to food products such as margarine-type spreads, as part of a cholesterol lowering strategy that includes a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The FDA has expanded GRAS status for a variety of foods containing non-esterified phytosterols, including the salty snack category that Heartbar is included in.
What clinical studies have been conducted to validate your cholesterol-lowering claim?
Heartbars' cholesterol-lowering efficacy in humans was established by a Brandeis University clinical trial. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Nutrition in March 2004 and showed a significant LDL ("bad") cholesterol reduction of phytosterol-enriched snacks without affecting HDL ('good") cholesterol.
The science supporting the ability of plant sterols to reduce cholesterol is overwhelming and has been endorsed by the American Heart Association for individuals who have high cholesterol. Additionally, there is substantial science behind the ability of oats to reduce cholesterol. However, the plant sterols in Heartbar are the primary cholesterol-lowering ingredient in our products. Further studies from the University of Toronto show that cholesterol-lowering foods are most effective when combined, supporting the use of plant sterols with oats and fiber in Heartbar products. For more information, please see the Heart Health section of our website for a summary of the research that has been conducted on the cholesterol-lowering properties of plant sterols.
What type of fiber does Heartbar contain?
Heartbar contains soluble and insoluble fiber which can further lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood-sugar.
Are there other products on the market that use plant sterols?
Yes, there are other plant sterol-enriched products currently available such as Minute Maid® Premium Heart Wise™ orange juice, Rice Dream® Heartwise™ rice milk, Centrum Cardio® multivitamins and True Heart among others.
What organizations have supported plant sterols?
Plant sterols are supported by The American Heart Association (recommended for those with elevated cholesterol), The Mayo Clinic, The American Diabetic Association, Dr. OZ (Featured on the Dr. OZ show), Fitness Magazine (Blueberry was named best breakfast bar). Plant sterols are safe for patients using cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins and for diabetics. Please consult your doctor to create an optimal heart health diet and lifestyle program that is best for you.
What is the shelf life of Heartbar?
All of our products are best when consumed before the expiration date on the front bottom left hand corner of the package.
Are Heartbar snacks Vegetarian, Kosher?
Our bars are vegetarian and are Kosher certified by Kosher.
Is your product Organic?
Our product is not organic.
Is your product Gluten Free?
No. While our bars have no gluten containing ingredients, our bars are manufactured in a facility that processes wheat.
Is your product Non-GMO?
Our ingredients are Non GMO.
Want to try Heartbar? We have a range of flavors for you to choose from!