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The GFB - Gluten Free Bar Review

Gluten Free Exercise Snack

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Updated November 11, 2012

The GFB - Gluten Free Bar

The GFB - Gluten Free Bar

Wendy Bumgardner © 2012
These energy bars define themselves by what they lack -- they are gluten-free. That's essential for those with celiac disease or gluten insensitivity. But I found a lot of positives about them for those of us who don't need a special diet but want a natural, well-balanced and tasty energy bar.

GFB bars are made in small batches of natural ingredients, and many of the ingredients are organic. The have a great balance of protein and carbohydrate 1:2 and a low glycemic index for those of us sensitive to carbs and sugars. They work well for a trail snack as they have a great non-crumbly consistency and don't have any coatings that melt in your pocket or pack. At 220 to 240 calories per bar, they make a good pre-exercise breakfast snack, energy snack, or post-workout recovery snack.

What's in the GFB

The GFB bars are certified gluten-free and are made in a gluten free facility. They use organic brown rice, rice protein and organic oats as the chief sources of the starches in the bars.

The sugars in the bars come from dates and agave syrup and the bars have a low glycemic index. The bars have less carbohydrates and sugars than most comparable bars, with 25 to 29 grams per 58 gram bar.

I liked that the bars had a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein, with 11 to 13 grams of protein per bar. The protein comes from soy protein, rice protein, organic dry roasted peanuts, almonds or sunflower seeds. With this much protein, I could using these bars as a light breakfast before morning workouts.

While each bar has six to 10 grams of fat, the fat comes from the seeds, nuts and soy and is high in omega-3 fatty acids and has no trans fat.

The GFB bars are vegan and dairy-free and casein-free.

How Do They Taste?

I gave samples to two walking friends, one of whom is following a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. We all three thought the bars tasted great. We are fans of Clif bars and thought the GFB tasted as good or better. I thought they tasted good, but not so good that I'd be tempted to overeat on them (as happens with any Fun Size Snickers that cross my path). The portion provided was satisfying.

The flavors available at the time of our review were: Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cranberry Almond, and Oatmeal Raisin.

For use as an energy bar during exercise, these have the right consistency of holding together but easy to break into sections. They don't crumble. If I wanted to just eat half, it would be easy to portion it into halves. They are easy to take a bite of and chew. They have some flax seeds, so it is possible to get some stuck in your teeth.

I like that they have no coatings that will melt and make a mess on warmer days.

Bottom Line on GFB

These are a tasty natural energy bar that has a good nutrition profile. They would work well before, during and after exercise.

If you are following a gluten-free or dairy-free diet, GFB will fit into that lifestyle. They should also work well for people with diabetes looking for a low glycemic index energy snack.

The chief drawback is that they are fairly expensive at over $2 per bar. They are not widely available in stores but are available by mail order.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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