Granola Bars

Let's talk about granola bars. The good, the bad, and the ones I don't allow in my house. I've had mixed emotions about granola bars because I think everyone has scarfed one down in a rush not caring about what they're evening eating. I try to be extremely intentional about my food (I'm actively choosing to eat a salad or a piece of cake). I try not to let timing or my environment to dictate what I eat. Some granola bars are filled with some much sugar and so little nutritional value they are practically candy bars. Not that there's something wrong with that, but many people are unaware of what they're really eating. Now I know I sound super anti-granola bar right now, but I've found some that are life savers. Sometimes you just don't have time to make or have a full meal, or maybe you're just still hungry for something else, and granola bars get that job done. I'm going to share my go to granola bars and what to look for when picking one.

What I look for when picking a granola bar

  • Vegan

  • No added sugars

    • Sugar itself is fine if it's natural and comes from fruit for example, but I really try to avoid added sugars because they are unnecessary and not great for you

  •  Real Ingredients

    • "Cashews and dates" not "soluble corn fiber and dicalcium phosphate"

    • Banana and strawberries not natural flavors which are anything but natural

  • No vegetable oils

    • It's weird to think that vegetable oils are bad for you but yes they are. They're super processed and you should really avoid canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, the list goes on - try coconut oil

  • No soy lecithin

    • This is an emulsifier (preservative to keep the food stable). Natural foods don't have this so sometimes they need to be refrigerated because they'll melt at room temperature. This is a food additive and a genetically modified version of the soybean. 

  • Organic and Non-GMO

    • I try to eat organic because I don't want to be eating foods that have been sprayed with chemicals like round-up. I want non-GMO because I find it so weird that humans are changing the DNA of the foods we've been eating for centuries. We are disrupting the natural process the earth has so what our apples to get brown after a few days? 

The Best

 

Thunderbird Bars

 

This is the best tasting granola bar I've had that is made with minimal, clean, vegan ingredients. These bars are vegan, gluten-free, paleo, non-GMO, have zero added sugar, made in the USA, and delicious - what's not to love? I first found this bar at an organic grocery store near me because it met all my criteria for a granola bar and after I tasted it I was in love. After sharing it on my Instagram story because everyone needs to know about them, the company reached out to me and I'm now an ambassador! I say this because I don't want anyone to think I'm talking about this bar because I am an ambassador, I would never promote a product I didn't fully believe in and love. 

 

Go Macro Bars

 

This company checks all the boxes and more for me. The bars are vegan, organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, no added sugars, made with real and sustainably grown ingredients. The company uses 100% renewable energy, offsets their carbon footprint, and is run by a mother-daughter duo. I honestly think Thunderbird bars taste better, but Go Macro bars are really good too. 

 

The ones we think are good for us but actually aren't

Luna Bars

 

I used to eat the Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar every day in the car on the way to school. I thought I was getting a pretty good breakfast in and some protein, even though I never really felt satisfied afterwards. Now that I know more about how to read ingredient labels and processed foods to avoid, I would have to be very desperate if I was going to ever eat a Luna Bar again. The bar has soy lecithin, other products, multiple vegetable oils, natural flavors, and all the sugar is added sugar. 

 

 

Clif Bars

 

I used to eat the Chocolate Chip Clif Bar for snack at school a lot and later on as a dessert. This bar is like a dessert. I'm not gonna lie it tastes really good and like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. So now if I was to eat this I would consider it dessert because it has so much sugar and doesn't meet all my (high) standards. This bar is better to me than Luna Bars (which is actually part of the Clif Bar company) because this Clif Bar at least is non-GMO and uses some organic ingredients. However, the bar has soy lecithin, other soy products, vegetable oil, natural flavors, added vitamins and minerals, and added sugars (can sugar). 

The ones I don't allow in my house anymore

 

Nutrigrain Bars

 

I honestly remember not liking the taste and texture of NutriGrain Bars and you'd think it would taste better with all the additives in the bar, but I guess not. Their marketing is pretty good because they make people think these bars are good for them with tricky wording. For example, on the front of the box it says "naturally flavored with other natural flavors." Natural flavors are anything but natural. The article "The Truth About Natural and Artificial Flavors" from Bon Appetit is really helpful in explaining that even natural flavors are made with additives and chemicals. I learned this from the article: "Both natural and artificial flavors are synthesized in laboratories, but artificial flavors come from petroleum and other inedible substances." Petroleum. The same thing in your gas for your car. The NutriGrain bar box proudly says on the box that there are no artificial flavors. Like congrats? Want a trophy for not having petroleum in your bar. This bar is full of soy, vegetable oils, chemicals, added sugars, and nothing natural or nutritious. Please don't eat these. It's literally not food.

 

 

Chewy Dipps

 

When I saw these in my pantry I actually got angry. These are literally candy bars except people think they're healthy (not really sure how it's literally sugar covered in chocolate). The only thing this bar can even brag about on the front of the box is that it's made with whole grains. Again like the NutriGrain bars these Chewy Dipps are full of soy, vegetable oils, added sugars, and chemicals chemicals chemicals. Did I say chemicals? There is nothing about these that is good for you. The ingredient list is almost the whole length of the side of the box because there are so many, wait for it, chemicals. Don't buy these. Don't eat these. Don't even look at them.

Not all calories are made equally

 

The two bars that are the best for you are two of the highest in calories and the bars that I think you should never eat are the lowest in calories. I don't focus on calories, but the nutritional value and quality of my food. I'll compare a bar from each of these companies so you can see.

 

Thunderbird - Chocolate Coconut Cashew Bar

  • Serving size - 48g

  • Calories - 240

 

Go Macro - Banana and Almond Butter Bar

  • Serving size - 65g

  • Calories - 270

 

Luna - Chocolate Peppermint Stick Bar

  • Serving size - 48g

  • Calories - 190 

 

Clif - Chocolate Chip Bar

  • Serving size - 68g

  • Calories - 250

 

NutriGrain - Blueberry Bar

  • Serving size - 37g

  • Calories - 130

 

Chewy Dipps - Chocolate Chip Bar

  • Serving size - 31g

  • Calories - 140

Green Clean Living

www.greencleanlivin.com

VFS Creatives, LLC

©2019 by Victoria Smith

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