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Nutritionist Approved Bars

Nutritionist Approved BarsAs a Registered Dietitian, I usually recommend my clients eat real whole foods and small frequent meals throughout the day. Unfortunately this is not always possible. Most people resort to processed quick foods and tend to eat larger meals due to their busy schedules. Many clients ask me if bars are ok to use on the go. My answer is yes, but since there are so many unhealthy bars out there, it’s essential to read ingredients and labels to pick a good bar. Lucky for you, I just came from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Costco and have picked my “Nutritionist Approved Bars”. If you already have a favorite bar, read my guidelines to see if it fits my “Nutrition Criteria for a Healthy Bar”.

Nutrition Criteria for a Healthy Protein Bar
1. First look at its ingredient list to make sure that it is filled with wholesome ingredients that you can pronounce.
2. Avoid Soy Protein Isolate! It is a highly processed and a cheap protein source that causes unwanted hormone imbalance in your body.
3. Next look at the nutrition facts. When evaluating energy bars, the two main areas that I examine are the grams of protein and sugar. In one bar, I aim for >5 grams (approximately 1 oz) of protein and <15 grams of sugar.
4. I rarely read calorie levels because the purpose of an energy bar is to stabilize your blood sugar between meals. When this is achieved, you feel content and your cravings are under control so you can make good decisions. This is done through proper balance of carbohydrates and protein, not calorie control.

My Nutrition Criteria is tough to meet. Listed below are all bars that met my criteria or came close (in order from best to ok). To be honest, I was unable to taste them all, so please email me your feedback!

Nutritionist Approved Bars

Mrs. Mays Bars and Crunch Mixes
Sold at Costco (reasonably priced in bulk)
Pros: It is the lowest sugar bar on the market and it still tastes good. Most of their bars and crunches contain 1 oz of natural protein.
Cons: None

Nutiva Bars
Sold on my Health Food Store and Whole Foods
Pros: It has over 1 oz of natural nut protein and all wholesome ingredients.
Cons: It meets my criteria, but is a little high in sugar.

Ultra Lean Gluco Support Bars
These are my favorite Gluten & Dairy Free bars on my website (Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and Crispy Rice)
Pros: They contain at least 2 oz of pure rice protein so they can hold you over for a few hours. They also contain lots of vitamins and minerals.
Cons: They meet my criteria, but they are a little high in sugar (at least it is a low glycemic sugar source).

Organic Food Bar
Sold at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Lazy Acres
Pros: It contains wholesome ingredients and they also carry a raw bar with lots of sprouted ingredients. Most of their bars contain 1-2 oz of natural protein.
Cons: Too much sugar (around 20 grams).

Lara Bars
Sold at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Lazy Acres
Pros: They usually contain only 3 natural ingredients.
Cons: This line of bars is usually low in protein and high in sugar.

Pure Organic Bar
Sold at Whole Foods
Pros: It contains natural ingredients and 1 oz of protein.
Cons: Too much sugar (17 grams)

Greens+ High Protein Bar
Sold at Whole Foods
Pros: It contains an antioxidant greens mixture and 2 oz of whey protein.
Cons: Too much sugar (18 grams)

Raw Revolution Organic Live Bar
Sold at Whole Foods
Pros: It contains live sprouted ingredients and 1 oz of protein.
Cons: Too much sugar (19 grams)

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