I’m often asked what I snack on, particularly which “bars” are the healthiest. My answer is always the same. I say, “What do you consider healthy?” This is so important because everyone’s body processes foods differently.
The Truth about Snack Bars
When health bars first came on the market, they were introduced as a healthy meal replacement option – something to eat on the go. Unfortunately, consumers were led to believe that bars were a perfect, healthy replacement for your most important meal of the day, which is breakfast.
The truth is actually quite different than snack bar manufacturers would like you to believe. First, most bars are high in sugars, carbohydrates, and crappy fats. They’re also low in fiber. Turns out, they’re not so healthy after all, and as time went on, most nutrition experts started to refer to these “healthy” bars as candy!
My Thoughts on Bars
As most of you know, Simple Clean and Whole is about getting “Simple Clean and Whole” foods into your body. I’m fully aware that we’re a country of people who live on the go and move faster than our nervous systems can handle at times. It’s a reality that sometimes we need something quick to eat as we move through our fast-paced days.
To that end, I believe bars should be eaten only as a back-up. There are actually many other healthy “unwrapped” snacks that are more nutrient dense than any “health” bars! With that said, I’ll admit that I do eat bars. Sometimes, I get into a kick of having a bar after a workout or on the run. I’m also very cognizant if I’m using a bar as a treat or if it’s becoming a cloak for my sugar cravings.
My 3 Favorite Nutrient-Dense Snack Bars
Now that you understand snack bars aren’t actually healthy, you can eat them in a mindful way. To help you choose the healthiest bars, here are my three favorite nutrient-dense snack bars:
1. RxBar: Gluten Free/Contains Nuts
The RxBar is my favorite go-to bar. What I love so dearly about RxBars is that the company is adamant and consistent with using just four ingredients in every bar. As they say, “No BS.” Here are some things I love about RxBars:
- RxBars are whole food protein bars made with egg whites, dates, nuts, and natural ingredients like 100% cacao or blueberries to provide added taste and texture.
- They include no added sugar, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no GMO, and no B.S.
- They provide 12g of egg white protein, 4g of fiber, and 200 calories.
They’re perfect as a breakfast bar on-the-go, a pre- and post-workout bite, or a convenient and healthy snack between meals. RxBars are the bars I send to my kids, Elly and Jack, at college. They’re my traveling food and my go-to on long drives.
I also use RxBars after I work out, whether I’m doing barre, pilates, spin, hiking, or skiing. I eat them as a mid-morning snack or late afternoon snack. Depending on my hunger level and the intensity of my movement, I eat either half a bar or a full bar.
If you get my favorite RxBar sample pack, you can try four flavors: coconut chocolate, mint chocolate chip, chocolate sea salt, and coffee chocolate.
2. Bullet Proof Bites by David Asprey: Gluten Free/Contains Nuts
David Asprey is the author of two best-selling books: The Bulletproof Diet and Head Strong. He is also the founder of Bulletproof Coffee with Brain Octane, which is delicious but a topic for another article.
David’s basic belief is that the human body needs:
- Lots of veggies
- Grass-fed beef, eggs, and low mercury fish
- Healthy fats
- Moderate starches and fruit
When we overload our bodies with the SAD (Standardized American Diet) that is full of CRAP (carbs, refined sugars, additives, and preservatives), we cause massive amounts of inflammation that leads to disease of the body. To David, sugar is a blast from the past!
David came out with low carb, low sugar (less than 1 gram), and grass-fed collagen protein bars called Bulletproof Bites. These bite bars are new to me. I just started experimenting with them and can already give them a thumbs up for sure!
This bar is not the typical chewy, sugar-laden bar. It’s a bite-sized collagen protein bar filled with nutrient-dense ingredients that curb cravings.
Now, you might be wondering what collagen protein is. In simplest terms, it’s the most abundant protein in your body, and it’s a key part of all connective tissue. Without collagen, your hair, nails, skin, tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints wouldn’t be able to regenerate!
Collagen protein has so many benefits, including:
- Improves skin and hair health
- Reduces joint pain and degeneration
- Helps with leaky gut syndrome
- Boosts metabolism, muscle mass, and energy output
- Protects cardiovascular health
3. Larabar: Gluten Free/Contains Nuts
Larabars were the first bars to come out with minimal ingredients, and they’re recognized as the original fruit and nut bar. They’re made from whole food with no more than nine ingredients and are a delicious on-the-go, nutrient-dense bar.
I’m always looking for new products, and Larabars are another clean go-to bars I’ve found to date. They’re sold all over, so they’re easy to find in airports, gas stations, health food stores, and even local supermarkets. My favorite flavor Larabar is coconut cream pie!
Simple Clean and Whole Belief System
Remember, portion control is key when it comes to weight loss and overall feeling like a rockstar, so start with half a bar. You’ll be surprise how your body reacts to nutrient-dense food! Overall, we truly don’t need as much as we think.
However, before any bar hits your lips, I want you to remember the key Simple Clean and Whole Beliefs and always go back to the basics:
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods.
- Get a good night’s rest.
Everything else is an add-on to those five basics!
What Foods are You Curious About?
I’m the guinea pig when it comes to trying new foods because it’s important for me to experience new products before I introduce or suggest them to my clients. I’m always coming up with new and exciting products, so please keep me posted if you have any suggestions about products you’re curious about. I promise, I’ll write more blog posts about products I find and that you suggest as I continue my search to find Simple Clean and Whole foods!
In the meantime, if you’re like me and information about food, nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle feeds your soul, you can purchase my ebook full of delicious breakfast recipes here. Want to go even further? Let’s work together!