There are thousands of bars out there, all clamoring to be the healthy, tasty, on-the-go snack you choose. But which ones really are nutrient dense? And which ones are closer to candy bars with some added oats? What if they've got great nutrient balance, but taste terrible?
Energy Bar Crawl is here to help you sort it all out.
The truth is, there's no one best bar - the bar a vegan person with celiac's disease chooses for breakfast is probably not be the same one that a paleo hiking afficianado wants to hit the trail with!
The EBC database of over 1000 bars is easily searchable by nutrient composition and many other filters, so you can choose the right one for you. We've created categories we think will be helpful - here's how we define them:
Low Sugar - Fewer than 10g of sugar per serving, or "single digit sugar." Divide g of sugar by 4 to get teaspoons - that's a much more tangible way to understand how much sugar is in there!
Gluten Free - Only bars that are certified gluten free included; certifications are self-disclosed by the bars.
Lots of Protein - More than 9g of prortein, or "double digit protein." Since protein takes longer to digest, doesn't spike blood sugar, and helps build lean body mass, this is an important one to consider.
Whole + Simple - Bars without any added sugar (from any source, even honey!) that are made with ingredients you use in your kitchen. No partialized proteins, lecithins, gums, or artificial flavors. Unhydrogenated oils (like coconut oil) and extracts (like vanilla) are allowed in this category.
Paleo - Bars that identify themselves as paleo.
Soy Free - Bars that don't contain soy products (since there is no "soy free certification," these could include bars that are processed in facilities that also process soy.
Vegan - Bars that do not contain animal products like meat, dairy, egg, or honey.
Dairy Free - Bars that do not contail animal dairy products, but may be made in facilities that also process dairy products.
Organic - Certified organic bars that identify their ingredients as organic
100 Calories or Fewer - Has less than 100 calories per seving.
Lots of Fiber - More than 4g of fiber per serving. Fiber is non-digestible carbohydrate that helps you feel full and prevents blood sugar spikes - most people don't get the recommended 25g per day!
Non GMO - Bars are labeled as being non-GMO verfied.
Balanced Fat - Bars contain between 20-40% of the Daily Value recommended for fat (that's roughly the range we should be aiming for!)
Nut Free - Bar does not contain nuts, but may be processed in a facility that also processes nuts.
Raw - Bar is identified by the maker as being raw; often that indicates ingredients have not been heated above 115F.
We hope this helps you explore new bar options, and find the ones that fit your life to fuel and invigorate you for whatever good work you do.
Ali & Sarah