By: Nikki Nies
I frequent my grocery store well enough if that if I were to be captured, blindfolded and told I had to go grocery shopping that way, I wouldn’t skip a beat. With that said, I’ve always passed aisle 13, where the energy bars are. Over the years, I’ve, unfortunately, never found energy bars that filled me. While many bars tout themselves as a great snack with loads of protein, it can be hard to decipher which brands are worth the calories and money when they all promote the same qualities and nutrients. We all know they can’t ALL be that good!
Yet, during FNCE 2014, I tried Larabar’s new line of uber products, which were more filling than I expected! I especially enjoyed the cherry cobbler, which is a great mixture of dried cherries, almonds, pecans, cashews, raisins, dates and sea salt. Those are some of my favorite foods and to have them in one bar was like little bits of heaven!
Now that I am transitioning from college life to career, I know my routine will have to change as well. For me, that means ensuring I will have portable, nutrient packed foods on hand! Thank goodness I experienced the wonders of Larabar when I did! Not only do the flavors hold up to their name, but nutrient wise, they do too! My rule of thumb when skimming through snacks, especially energy bars is that it should be at least 3 grams of protein and fiber, mostly heart healthy fats (omega 3s), mostly whole grains and no more than 15 grams of sugar. A tall order, yes, but feasible!
Let’s do a breakdown of nutrient content of some of Larabar’s popular bars: W
|Nutrition Parameter||Cashew Cookie||Peanut Butter Cookie||Cappuccino||Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough|
|Calories||≤ 200 calories||230 calories||220 calories||200 calories||210 calories|
|Carbohydrates||≤ 30 g||23 g||23||22 g||28 g|
|Fiber||≥3 g||3 g||4 g||4 g||3 g|
|Sugar*||≤15 g||18 g||18 g||16 g||16 g|
|Total Fat||≤10 g||13 g||12 g||10 g||11 g|
|Protein||≥3 g||6 g||7 g||5 g||4 g|
|Sodium||≤ 100 mg||5 mg||70 mg||0 mg||55 mg|
*With six ingredients or less found each bar, the fruit in the bars contribute to the higher sugar and carbohydrate content. These bars are free of added sugars,sweeteners, preservatives, fillers, and artificial colorings.
What are your initial thoughts on the chart above? Be mindful that not all of Larabar’s products are the most sugar friendly.Yet, it’s not a coincidence that nutrient wise, the peanut butter cookie is the best and is considered a Larabar favorite! Make sure to read nutrition fact labels, compare flavors and remember that moderation is key. Make sure you’re stocked with other fresh snacks to maintain balanced intake.
Another note, I am not training for an Iron Man or marathon, so I won’t emphatically look for bars that contain ≥40 g of protein. Yes, there are products out there! As a gal that’s on the go, Larabar’s work for me!
Furthermore, Larabar is a great value-nutrient and price wise and have made efforts to provide quality in all they do. Everything from production to recycling. Like FSTG, Larabar is committed to the non-GMO project, ensuring its consumers that fifteen of its products are certified non-GMO! Since their partnership with TerraCycle, Larabar wrappers are part of the Energy Bar Wrapper Brigade, a free recycling program and fundraiser opportunity for participants.
Grab your wrappers out of the garbage and sign up to be part of the Brigade, one wrapper at a time! Unfortunately, not all products are available in Canada, so Canadians, don’t get your hopes up when browsing through Larabar’s products!
Disclosure Agreement: Review of Larabar was due to compensation from the company’s whose products were reviewed. We Dish Nutrition tested each product thoroughly and gives high marks to only the very best. Opinions expressed at We Dish Nutrition are our own.
Photo Credit: Larabar