Nutrition bars are supposed to be a great way to get good nutrients on the fly. They give you protein, fiber, and vitamins. “Keeps you fuller longer! 5grams of sugar! 18 grams of protein!” While that may be true, they also give you a lot of crap. Bars can be highly processed and contain a lot of fillers and nonsense to bind them together. Have you ever actually read the ingredients of say, a cliff bar or a quest bar? shudders
When I was in college, I used to eat a lot of nutrition bars- KIND bars in particular since it seemed healthier of the options. I just listened to the front label and never read the ingredients. So, I’d grab about 3 of them and call it a day. I’d always have bad indigestion and get bloated afterwards and couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t until I brought this problem to a friend. She told me that they aren’t real food. I was baffled. “But they were marketed as that…and there are real ingredients in it…,” I said. My friend repeated herself. “It’s not real food”. It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually understood what she meant. It wasn’t a whole food- limitedly processed, free from crap, genuinely nutritious food. It was like the veil had been lifted from my eyes.
I want to break this down for you. I obtained an ingredients list from an article on Self.com titled “The FDA Says KIND Bars Are Healthy Again“. It reads “the ingredients in KIND bars vary depending on the flavor, but an almond and coconut bar contains almonds, coconut, honey, glucose syrup, rice flour, soy lecithin, chicory root fiber, sugar, and sea salt—a relatively short list that leaves the bar with 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 12 grams of sugar.”
Yes, its a relatively short list. Yes, it doesn’t have many calories. BUT ITS PACKED WITH SUGAR! And not natural sugar. Honey, glucose syrup, and sugar. 3 of the 9 ingredients are sugar! Also, do you know anything about glucose syrup, soy lecithin, and chicory root fiber without looking it up? Neither do I.
Bars are advertised like they are some God-sent gift to humanity, but they really aren’t. As you can tell, I have a personal gripe with them.
You’re better off getting a piece of fruit or unroasted, unsalted nuts. Other on the go snack ideas are grass-fed cheese sticks, grass-fed drinkable yogurt. Olive snack packs (only the Kalamata are free of crap). Popcorn (Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop).
If you need bars in your life, I do recommend these two brands. They have all good stuff and actually taste pretty good:
LÄRABAR – they have only 6 ingredients in them and come in a variety of flavors. Dates make up the majority of these bars, however.
Perfect Bars – who doesn’t like peanut butter! (unless you’re allergic 😦 ) These bars are mixed with 20+ superfoods. I’d stick to the regular, peanut butter one. Just please, don’t try the brownie one. It’s a lie.
As with everything, make sure you read the ingredients on the back, and if you don’t know what something is, neither does your body. But if you eat unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies, rice. Etc, that becomes a non-issue!
**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**