Deciding which bar to fuel you through a long day can be challenging as there are so many on the market to choose from! I recently sat down with my colleagues at Sports Medicine Weekly, Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole, for a quick Q&A to break down how to choose the best bar for you.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A NUTRITION BAR?
A: Look for recognizable real food ingredients. This includes food such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, quality protein, oats, whole grains, dried fruit, greens, chia, flaxseed, maca, spirulina, and goji berries.
Natural sweeteners are ideal. Look for bars sweetened with dried cherries or dates instead of sugar and artificial sweeteners which are whole foods and also add fiber.
Try to find bars high in protein and fiber and low in sugar. When a bar advertises “low in sugar,” you need to read the label and see how it is sweetened; for example, sugar alcohols such as erythritol and mannitol can be safe but wreak havoc on people’s digestive tract, especially mine!
Oats are a healthy, inexpensive filler which is why some bars sell for $1.99 and my Transformation Bar sells for over $4. You want a bar that’s nutrient-dense with healthy fats that will satiate you for hours. Look for a quality protein source from rice or pea protein, or grass-fed organic whey protein devoid of rBGH growth hormones.
I first check the refrigerated section for bars that are preserved for freshness. I don’t want to eat a bar with a 2-year shelf life! How can that be real food?
Q: WHAT SHOULD WE BE AVOIDING?
A: Avoid artificial sweeteners. This includes aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, neotame, and acesulfame K (or ace K). Stevia and monk fruit are a much safer non-caloric sweeteners.
Avoid isolated soy protein which is chemically processed and genetically engineered. Whole food forms of soy can be healthy, while isolated soy protein can cause gastric upset.
Whey from healthy cows are a great source of protein if you can tolerate the casein (the protein found in dairy). Generally speaking, it’s important to know your sources and buy organic or non-GMO whenever you can.
Q: WE LOVE YOUR TRANSFORMATION SUPERFOOD BARS AND THEY OFTEN GET DR. COLE THROUGH SEVERAL LONG SURGERIES. WHAT MAKES KMHC TRANSFORMATION BARS DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS ON THE MARKET?
A: Karen’s Transformation Bars contain 270 calories for a 60 gram, super heavy bar. Most other bars are 45 grams in weight.
The Transformation Bars include 11 grams of organic rice protein, 12 grams of fiber, and only 5 grams of sugar from the cherries.
These bars are non-GMO, made with cashew butter, almonds, cherries, rice protein, 100% unsweetened raw cacao chunks that taste like chocolate chips, plus superfoods such as flaxseed, spiralina, maca, and greens.
They are also vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
These Transformation Bars make a great pre-workout energizer. They get me through my 3-hour bike rides and have enough protein and healthy carbs to be a recovery snack after a great workout!
Q: WHERE CAN WE GET THEM?
I have over 450 recipes on my website! Check out Client Favorites on my recipes page and you can make your own delicious, nutrient-dense bars!