Nutrition Bars: Health or Hype, Part 2

Last week we discussed nutrition bars, and we talked about what to look for in a good quality nutrition/sports bar. Today I’ll go over some of my favorites:

  • 100% Natural Zing Nutrition Bar

zing_bar_groupZing claims to have a proper balance of high quality protein, slow-burn carbs, healthy fats and dietary fiber. Zing bars and gluten free and part of the Non-GMO Verified Project. According to the company website, they have all natural ingredients, NO synthetic vitamins or minerals, NO corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, NO preservatives, filler or artificial flavors, NO trans fats and NO soy protein or gelatin (sometimes used to increased the amount of protein in a bar). Sound good? They are! My favorite is Almond Blueberry :-)

Category: NUTRITION BAR. These bars have a balance of complete nutrition ideal for maintaining sustained energy levels for longer periods of time. I often use these bars as on the go snacks between meals. Most bars are around 200 calories per bar.

Protein Source: Zing offers 3 bars with high quality whey protein, and 7 bars that are Vegan, with plant based pea protein or brown rice protein. Most bars have between 10-13 grams of protein.

Fats and Fiber: healthy fats come from nuts and nut butters, also adding some fiber. Most bars have 2-3 grams of saturated fat and 4-6 grams of fiber.

Sweeteners: only all natural agave is used as a sweetener, besides the natural sweetness found in fruit. A little high in sugar for me, between 10-15 grams of sugar.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate Coconut, Dark Chocolate Hazelnut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Double Nut Brownie, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Almond Blueberry (my favorite) and more. See complete list at Zing Bar Flavors

  • RISE Bars

5d-rise1RISE bars have been a favorite of mine for a while now. The bars are made with few ingredients, all natural, gluten-free and vegetarian with vegan options. All bars are peanut-free and kosher. Most bars are under 200 calories, and the “protein +” bars under 300 calories. I’m also impressed with their “Rise To The Occasion” program, where they distribute RISE bars to community heroes; firefighters, soldiers and volunteers.

Categories: Breakfast Bars, Energy+ Bars, and Protein+ Bars.

Protein Source:  their protein+ bars have added protein; Almond Honey (my favorite!) and Crunchy Carob Chip have whey protein isolate and Lemon Cashew and Sunflower Cinnamon have pea protein. They contain between 15-20 grams of protein per bar.

Fats and Fiber: most bars have nuts and seeds as their main fat source. Several of their bars contain organic amaranth, a gluten-free “grain” loaded with fiber, protein, calcium and magnesium.

Sweeteners: most bars use either dates or dried fruit, brown rice syrup or honey. Bars have between 10-15 grams of sugar.

Flavors: Organic Blueberry Coconut, Almond Honey, Lemon Cashew, Crunchy Cranberry Apple and many more. For a complete list, check out RISE Bar Flavors.

  • KIND Bars

Kind-BarsI wrote a review of KIND bars a while back; for more details on KIND, check out my KIND Bar Blog. Their company motto, “do the KIND thing for your body, your taste buds, and the world,” says it all. With natural ingredients, non-GMO and gluten-free, we have ourselves another winner!

Categories:  KIND offers bars, healthy grain bars and healthy grain clusters.

I like most KIND Bars, but my FAVORITE are the STRONG and KIND, so I will highlight them! This line of  bars are made from 100% whole ingredients: almonds, pumpkin & hemp seeds, pea crisps and spices, and deliver 10 grams of protein per bar. These bars also pack a spicy punch!

Protein Source: nuts, seeds and pea protein. Strong & KIND bars have about 10 grams of protein per bar.

Fats and Fiber: again, most fat comes from nuts and seeds (pumpkin and hemp).

Sweeteners: sweetened with honey and non-GMO glucose. Read the label, some bars have up to 16 grams of sugar, while the Strong & KIND all have 6 grams of sugar per bar.

Flavors: Honey Smoked BBQ, Roasted Jalapeno, Honey Mustard, Thai Sweet Chili, and Hickory Smoked. These are a little harder to find, so I order online at KINDbars.com.

  • Bonk Breaker Bars

BonkBreaker_feat_imageI LOVE Bonk Breaker bars; especially as convenient, post workout food. Their “Energy Bars” have the desired 4:1 carb:protein ratio, and they taste homemade! I must admit I also enjoy these bars once in a while when I have NO time for breakfast. They are small but filling, and they are all less than 300 calories, gluten-free and dairy free. Read my complete product review HERE.

Categories: Bonk Breaker has a line of Energy Bars (9 flavors) and High Protein Bars (3 flavors), with 15 grams of protein per bar.

Protein Source: nuts and nut butters, as well as brown rice protein. While “high protein” bars have between 13-15 grams per bar, the “energy” bars have between 6-8 grams of protein each.

Fats and Fiber: several bars contain flax seeds, and of course nuts and nut butters are a source of healthy fats.

Sweeteners: mostly sweetened with brown rice syrup and honey. These bars are pretty high in sugar, up to 18 grams per bar, which is why I like them for post-workout, to help replenish glycogen.

Flavors: Coconut Cashew (yummy!), PB & J, PB & Chocolate Chip, Almond Butter and Honey, Fig, Blueberry Oats and several more. Find the complete list at BonkBreaker.com.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know on Facebook and make sure to Like my page!

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