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Top Six Dietitian-Approved Nutrition Bars

January 9th, 2019 | no comments

 

Plus:

 

Take a look at the growing number of nutrition bars out there and I’m sure you’ll agree they are a sizzling hot, much sought-after solution for those seeking a quick grab-n-go meal.

I definitely fall into that category.

Personally, I like to use bars in one of two ways:

  1. Split the bar in two; eat one half as a snack and save the other for another snack.
  2. As an on-the-go meal paired with a hard-boiled egg and either a piece of fresh fruit or raw veggies and hummus.

A word of caution: You have to be careful with bars. Just because it’s classified as a “nutrition” bar, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily nutritious and good for you.  

 

Mel’s top six favorite nutrition bars  

 

I’ve narrowed the sea of bars down to my top six favorite, along with a brief explanation for why they made the list, and additional information that will help you choose the best one for your particular dietary needs.

NOTE: All six bars have three essential things in common, they are free of: gluten, GMOs, and additives/preservatives.

 

Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars

  • Net Carbohydrates: 9 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 2 grams (0 grams added sugar)
  • Sweetened with: organic stevia leaf extract
  • Vegan: no
  • Dairy-free: no
  • Soy-free: yes
  • USDA Organic: no
  • Texture: crumbly like a cookie
  • Flavors: Vanilla Shortbread (my fav!); Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough; Fudge Brownie; Lemon Cookie; Mint Chocolate Chip; Apple Pie
  • Mel’s two cents: this is my favorite bar on the market for a number of reasons. First, I love the texture and flavor because it reminds me of a crumbly cookie—sometimes I enjoy it with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea. Second, it contains brain-powering MCT oil in the form of caprylic and capric acid. It’s a bit messy when eaten in the car…which I shouldn’t be doing anyway, right?
  • PS: The genius behind these bars is Dave Asprey, self-proclaimed ‘biohacker’ and creator of the wildly popular Bulletproof Coffee. He is anything but ordinary (which I adore about him) and one of the most interesting human beings I know. Check out his blog, podcast, and other environmentally conscious and ethically sourced products

 

Garden of Life GOL Bars

  • Net Carbohydrates: 19 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 9 grams (0 grams added sugar)
  • Sweetened with: organic dates
  • Vegan: no
  • Dairy-free: no
  • Soy-free: yes
  • USDA Organic: yes
  • Texture: chewy
  • Flavors: Blueberry; Chocolate Sea Salt; Maple Sea Salt; Chocolate Coconut
  • Mel’s two cents: although on the higher end of sugar (my recommendation is less than 10 grams per bar with a target goal of 5 grams or less), this bar made the list because it is naturally sweetened with just two dates. The combination of sea salt with sweet from the dates makes this a real treat for the taste buds.
  • PS: My favorite flavor is Maple Sea Salt. If you love maple, you will adore this variety!

 

Raw Rev Glo Bars

  • Net Carbohydrates: 6 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 2-5 grams (grams of added sugar: undetermined)
  • Sweetened with: organic cane sugar; organic brown rice syrup
  • Vegan: yes
  • Dairy-free: yes
  • Soy-free: no
  • USDA Organic: no
  • Texture: chewy
  • Flavors: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt; Creamy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt; Crunchy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt; Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough; Dark Chocolate & Cashew Mint; Dark Chocolate Espresso Crunch; Double Chocolate Brownie Batter; Mixed Nuts Caramel & Sea Salt
  • Mel’s two cents: this is another one of my go-to bars because it’s loaded with good healthy fat and dietary fiber—so it does a great job at keeping me full. The dairy-free chocolate chips (in all varieties except peanut butter) give it a sweet taste while keeping the sugar grams low. My favorite flavor is the Mixed Nuts Caramel & Sea Salt.
  • PS: check your teeth after you eat one of these babies, you just may have a chia seed or two lodged in there for the world to see!

 

evo Hemp Protein Bars  

  • Net Carbohydrates: 13 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 4 grams (grams of added sugar: undetermined)
  • Sweetened with: monk fruit blend; cane sugar; maple syrup
  • Vegan: yes
  • Dairy-free: yes
  • Soy-free: yes
  • USDA Organic: no
  • Texture: crumbly like a cookie
  • Flavors: Brownie Chip; Cookie Dough; Mocha Chip
  • Mel’s two cents: the monk fruit blend sweetener contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol that can cause digestive upset in sensitive individuals. It’s also the sweetest tasting bar on this list!

 

evo Hemp Fruit Bars

  • Net Carbohydrates: 18-21 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 8-9 grams on average (grams of added sugar: undetermined)
  • Sweetened with: dried fruit; coconut nectar
  • Vegan: yes
  • Dairy-free: yes
  • Soy-free: yes
  • USDA Organic: yes
  • Texture: chewy
  • Flavors: Apple Pecan; Cashew Cacao; Cherry Walnut; Mango Macadamia
  • Mel’s two cents: these bars have a heavy fruit flavor. They carry a decent amount of protein (7 grams on average) and fat to counterbalance the higher carbohydrate content.

 

Bone Broth Protein Bars

  • Net Carbohydrates: 11-12 grams on average
  • Sugar grams: 8 grams (grams of added sugar: undetermined)
  • Sweetened with: minimal sugar alcohols; stevia; organic: sugar, honey, coconut nectar, dates
  • Vegan: no
  • Dairy-free: no
  • Soy-free: yes
  • USDA Organic: no
  • Texture: VERY chewy
  • Flavors: Salted Chocolate Almond; Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  • Mel’s two cents: because these bars are made with collagen, they are very chewy and can stick to your teeth (so don’t smile after eating one until you’ve consulted with a mirror). Collagen is especially good for supporting skin and joint health.
  • PS: They can be a bit messy, so grab a napkin before opening the package!

 

Nutrition bars to leave on the shelf:  

 

I hate to say it, but there are a lot of bars on the market that are anything but nutritious. In fact, they are downright crap! Honestly, in some cases you’d be better off eating a high-quality chocolate bar (no joke). If you stick with the recommended bars listed above, you’ll be just fine.

Here are just a few that I recommend leaving on the shelf.  

 

“Nutrition” Bar (ha, ha):      Why you should leave them:   
Cliff bars Loaded with sugar (upwards of 6 teaspoons of sugar per bar!)
ONE bars Contains the artificial sweetener sucralose
Quest bars      Contains the artificial sweetener sucralose
Think Thin bars  Made with 20+ grams (that’s a lot!) of sugar alcohols—which will likely cause digestive upset (i.e. excess gas!)
Zone bars  Contains inflammatory soybean oil, corn syrup solids, plus an ingredient list longer than my arm

 

Want nutrition bar convenience without breaking the bank?

 

You can find literally thousands of recipes for homemade nutrition bars online, but be careful because many are loaded down with way too much sugar.

Be sure to check out this week’s recipe pick below for my Whole Food Nutrition Bar!

You may also want to try my recipes for Earthfood Energy Bars and No-Bake Cinnamon Cashew Cookie Bars!

 
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Whole Food Nutrition Bar

 

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