What’s the Scoop on “Nutrition” Bars?

What's the scoop on -nutrition- bars-

I did it. I subjected myself to ALL the best nutrition bars I could find locally just for you. ūüėČ It wasn’t actually THAT hard, because truth be told (though they’re delightfully tasty) usually nutrition bars aren’t that nutritious. It’s a game — the food industry¬†definitely has some¬†for trickery up their sleeve. It’s SO difficult to be informed with all of the ¬†abundant misconceptions spiraling around us – and they use labels like gluten-free, all-natural, vegan, organic, and about a gazillion others that make us BELIEVE something is ‘healthy.’ And shoot, y’all. They got me. There were many, many days of my life, especially while teaching, that I would eat a couple LUNA bars and thing I was doing a damn fine job. #not Here are the questions I asked while¬†choosing¬†“nutrition” bars to try, but really you can apply these to ANYTHING you pick up in a grocery store!

  1. Are the ingredients real foods? Meaning – I can pronounce them and know what they are.
  2. Are the first 3 ingredients listed stellar ingredients?
  3. Are the grams of protein comparable in number to the grams of sugar?
  4. Is the sugar coming from a natural source? Meaning – Mother Earth.
  5. For me, but maybe not for you : Is it dairy and gluten-free?
    • As a dairy and gluten-free individual [IBS-related] I can’t have anything with Whey Protein, though there are some good whey bars on the market. QUEST bars in particular come recommended within my coaching community. However, SOY is not. It’s a cheaply manufactured ingredient that has a huge profit margin. BUT the protein source isn’t that great and there are often debates about it’s long-term effects on the bod.

Why do I even eat these at all?

Well, they’re super convenient! It’s really easy to pick one up if you’re going¬†on¬†a trip, if you run out of fresh food at home, or if you didn’t budget time well enough to prep adequately for the week. They also have been known to¬†curb my sweet tooth in a way that’s a bit healthier than a Reese’s, but depending on the bar, soemtimes it’s just better to go all out and eat what you’re truly craving. #knowyourbody #knowyourbar

GoMacro MACROBAR : Protein Purity

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First 3 Ingredients : Organic Brown Rice Syrup [SUGAR], Organic Sunflower Seed Butter, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Sugar : 9g

Protein : 10g

Pros + Cons¬†: I chose this bar because of the high protein count. Though the first ingredient is listed as sugar, the next two [sunflower seed butter and brown rice protein] are good vegan proteins. As a veghead I struggle to get protein sometimes, so if I’m going to get a higher-calorie bar like this, then I want it to have good protein. This was what I believed to be the best bar in the GoMacro line. And, y’all, it’s freaking #tasty.

Health Warrior : Dark Chocolate Coconut Sea Salt

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First 3 Ingredients : Ancient Grain Blend [chia, oats, org quinoa], Brown Rice Syrup [SUGAR], Pea Crisp [Pea Protein Isolate, Pea Starch, Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate]

Sugar : 11g

Protein : 10g

Pros + Cons¬†: I loved this bar. It’s manufactured in my hometown, so it kind of has a soft spot in my heart. #rva I love that the first ingredient is a grain blend AND that it uses pea protein. Pea protein is my favorite vegan blend that is commonly used in “nutrition” bars. It’s marketed as a Superfood Protein Bar, but notice that there are only 3 superfoods included – chia, oats, quinoa. There are also two OTHER forms of sugar within the bar – organic sugar and agave syrup. This is largely due to the fact that there are chocolate chips within the bar, which is something to avoid when you can!

eBars : WOMAN

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First 3 Ingredients : Almonds, Honey [SUGAR], Oats

Sugar : 9g

Protein : 10g

Pros + Cons¬†: This is pretty much as good as you get. I LOVE the ingredients in this one. They’re ALL recognizable. (See below). I Also appreciate that on the bar they share HOW the ingredients work in your body. They’re very tasty! The only drawback here is that they don’t keep me full for very long. I burn right through them. So, definitely a highly recommended *snack*.

ingredients : almonds, honey, oats, flax seed, golden berry, blueberry, pumpkin seed, coca, apple, WOMAN mushroom blend, brown rice, coconut, raspberry, coconut sugar, tart cherry, maqui berry, cocoa butter, cinamon, coconut oil, guarana, vanilla bean, maca.

evo hemp : cherry walnut

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First 3 Ingredients : dates, walnuts, almonds

Sugar : 8g

Protein : 7g

Pros + Cons¬†:¬†This is marketed as an ancient superfoods bar with the tagline¬†Get Your Daily Greens… but there weren’t any greens in this bar. I love the hemp protein that is in the bar — GREAT vegan protein. But other than that it’s just a basic fruit and nut bar! If you’re on the go, I could see getting a bar, but otherwise, it might just be better to stick with regular fruits and nuts. It’s bound with dates, which are MEGA high in sugars.

Go Raw : Banana Bread Sprouted Bar

go raw

ALL Ingredients : flaxseed, banana, coconut, dates

Sugar : 12g

Protein : 3g

Pros + Cons¬†: So, I’d recommend this to someone wanting to curb a craving with a great product — such as banana bread. As far as the actual nutritional quality, the ingredients are fantastic. But, other than the omega3s from the flaxseed, you may be better just eating a nanner. ūüôā

Moringa Bars : Cashew Cinnamon Raisin

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First 3 Ingredients : Cashews, Date Paste, Organic Palm Oil

Sugar : 11g

Protein : 3g

Pros + Cons¬†: In order to know the beauty of this product, you have to know about moringa. It’s a native of India, thought it’s in plenty of places now.¬†Rather than just having one or two benefits as most do, moringa has a¬†bajillion from blood pressure and anxiety to gonorrhea and sleep. It’s most commonly known for it’s energy boost factor — but in a slow, sustained way. So, this is one of those instances that at face value, it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s actually a big freaking deal. Check out the story of Moringa Bars here. I got to meet the founder Kipkosgei — what a rad dude.

KIND Bars : Almond Walnut Macademia + Protein

almond walnut kind

First 3 Ingredients : Mixed Nuts, Honey, Soy Protein Isolate

Sugar : 7g

Protein : 10g

Pros + Cons¬†: I had to add in KIND Bars, because they’re everywhere now. They’re easy to gain access to, whereas many on this list would need to be found in a health store.The sugar count is one of the lowest, which is good! But it has soy. AND it’s one of the first 3 ingredients. Not a fan. You could also¬†forego the protein, and just get a regular kind bar : no protein, BUT no soy.

Larabar : Lemon Pound Cake ALT Protein

larabar alt lemon

First 3 Ingredients : Dates, Almonds, Pea Protein

Sugar : 14g

Protein : 10g

Pros + Cons¬†: Y’all. I LOVE Larabars. Like, A LOT. They’re ingredients are FEW. They’re delicious. I ALWAYS recommend them. There are only a few options that include protein, in which case, I recommend the Lemon Pound Cake one because it has the least amount of sugar. If you are looking for one sans protein, choose the kind without ‘Chips.’ That spikes the sugar and the number of ingredients, and honestly, they’re sweet enough without it! ūüôā

So, there you have it! I’ll keep adding to this list as I find new products that look decent! In all honesty, the ‘bars’ that I prefer the most are homemade. I make them with my superfoods shake mix, which has FORTY-ONE (yes 41!) superfoods that help my body in endless ways. I get in a pinch sometimes and grab a bar, or get one as a treat while grocery shopping! I’m human too! But, in truth, my superfoods shake is truly rivaled by none. If you want more info, then go here¬†and we’ll chat more! <3

now, lovely, it’s your turn!

–>what bar are you currently crushing on?

–>is there a bar you’d like for me to review? drop it’s name in a comment!

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2 Comments

  1. Kaitlyn
    June 1, 2016 / 12:39 am

    Great post! I’m totally going to use this resource!

  2. Mama Hann
    June 1, 2016 / 1:53 am

    Thanks. It is so hard to know the true nutrition al value of these bars!

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