I live in the real world so I completely recognize the convenience value of “Energy” and snack bars but to be honest there really aren’t very many on the market that I would recommend, much less eat myself! The problem is, so many packaged snack bars, even the ones that go out of their way to advertise themselves as being “All Natural” or “Organic”, are loaded with processed empty calorie ingredients. Sure the ingredients might be “All Natural” and “Organic”, but that doesn’t make them nutrient-rich, healthy and anti-inflammatory.
You can not rely on marketing claims to tell you whether a food is healthy or not (even the Nutrition Facts are highly misleading!) Instead, to determine whether a packaged food is healthy or not you have to read the ingredients list.
If you take the time to read the ingredients on the majority of snack bars crowding the supermarket and health food store shelves you’ll see the vast majority include some sort of pro-inflammatory, empty-calorie and highly refined vegetable oil (such as soybean oil, cottonseed oil, etc.), added sugars and syrups (many sugars are purposely named something healthy-sounding such as evaporated cane juice, organic oat syrup solids, etc.), highly processed soy in the form of soy protein isolate, and so forth.
In other words, most snack bars are basically candy bars dressed up in a healthy looking package. Not good if you want to “eat clean.” Which brings us to one truly healthy snack bar that’s anything but a healthy disguise…
The Ultra Healthy LARABAR
I really can’t say enough great and fabulous things about the LARABAR (Really, I wish I had been smart enough to invent these!)
The LARABAR is truly brilliant in concept; each bar is made with “whole food” ingredients such as nuts and dried fruit and seasoned perfectly with spices. No need to add globs of oil and syrup. Instead, LARABAR is concentrated vegan “whole foods” nutrition in its purest form.
Each LARABAR flavor contains no more than eight ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended. For example, the ingredients in the “Apple Pie” LARABAR include: dates, almonds unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon. That’s it!
I won’t name names, but compare the short and sweet list of “whole food” ingredients in the LARABAR to the lengthy list of ingredients in one of the leading makers of all-natural and organic energy and nutrition foods below. To make it easy for you I’ve highlighted in PURPLE the list of unhealthy empty-calorie or highly processed ingredients in the leading snack bar below. What’s most concerning is that the very first ingredient is not healthy (ingredients are listed from greatest to least amount).
Ingredients in a Not-So Healthy Energy Bar
Soy Rice Crisp [Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate], Organic Toasted Oats [Organic Oats, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice], Organic Soy Flour, Organic Flaxmeal), Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Almonds, Organic Cranberries (Organic Cranberries, Organic Apple Juice), Almonds and Almond Butter, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Red Berries Extract (Derived From Elderberry, Chokeberry, Black Currant), Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Oat Syrup Solids, Dried Blueberries (Blueberries, Apple Juice Concentrate), Raspberry Juice Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Berry Flavors, Citric Acid, Unrefined Sea Salt, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).
LARABAR Offer Lots of Flavor Choices + Loads of Convenience
From Ginger Snap to Peanut Butter Cookie or Chocolate Coconut to Key Lime Pie … there’s a LARABAR flavor to suit all palates. I travel a lot and I’m always on the go so I keep a LARABAR in my purse at all times. They make a super convenient afternoon snack (great for taking to the mall and avoiding the fat laden food court trap) and also a perfect for a pre or post-workout snack. You can’t say eating a healthy whole foods diet can get any easier … or any more convenient than opening up a wrapper!!
Where do I find Larabar ???
They are available at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores but by far the least expensive outlet we have discovered thus far is Vitacost.com, a great on-line source for many health oriented products. Just search for “Larabar” when you get to the home page and you’ll see every flavor represented. Already have an Amazon account? Larabar is also available on-line at Amazon.com, again for less than retail.