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Natural Nutrition Bars


Updated June 01, 2014

When you want a small meal or a snack on the go, these natural nutrition bars are convenient, although often relatively expensive. From a walker's perspective, I rate them for how they would perform in my purse or pack as I am walking, commuting, or grabbing a quick snack at my desk. What I look for are a list of understandable, natural ingredients. A few varieties are gluten-free and vegan.

1. Larabar Jocalat Pure Organic Food Bar

Larabar Jocalat
Wendy Bumgardner © 2007
This bar is almost a sinful delight, it is that tasty. It has only a handful of organic ingredients – dates, almonds, chocolate and flavoring. No added sugar, no gluten, no soy, no dairy. It's vegan, kosher, and 90% raw food. Drawbacks? Nine grams of fat, but it's all-natural fat and there are 190 total calories. It doesn't have added vitamins, but you get 5 grams of natural fiber. The date bits tend to get caught in your teeth. But it is packable - doesn't melt, doesn't crumble, easy to chew, and tastes exquisite. I would eat this for dessert, then floss. It comes in four chocolate varieties - chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate coffee and chocolate orange. Former name: Maya Bar.
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2. Balance Gold Nutrition Energy Bar/ High Protein

Balance Gold
Wendy Bumgardner © 2007
Very, very tasty. But the coating melts and it ended up being fairly sticky, so it's not a good bar to carry in your pack. At my desk, I would be looking forward to this as a mid-day snack. It is easy to chew, with no weird flavors. It has 210 calories and a whopping 13 grams of protein. It provides 25% or more of the recommended daily allowance of many vitamins and minerals.
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3. Zone Perfect All-Natural Nutrition Bars

Zone Perfect
Wendy Bumgardner © 2007
This bar has a soy crisp base, coated with a chocolate coating that was melting at 75 degrees F, let alone if it gets steamier in your fanny pack. I like the flavor and it is very easy to chew. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, providing 20% or more of the daily recommended allowance for most of them, which makes the ingredient list much longer. It has 210 calories with 14 grams of protein.
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4. ProBar

Wendy Bumgardner © 2006
The ProBar is a tasty energy bar whose ingredient list makes you feel pure and wholesome. It uses natural nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to make a tasty bar much higher in fiber than most energy bars, with 6 grams per bar. At 380 calories, they recommend eating only half at a time for better calorie control. The consistency of the bar is excellent - no coatings to melt, easy to break in half, but it doesn't crumble, easy to chew. Really perfect for munching while walking.
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5. SOYJOY Nutrition Bars

Wendy Bumgardner © 2007
SOYJOY nutrition bars are a good quick snack before or during walking. The all-natural ingredients are easy to understand - fruits, whole soybeans (rather than processed soy protein concentrate), sugar, butter and eggs, just like you might bake for yourself. I liked the texture, it was easy to bite and chew but not crumbly. They don't have any coatings that will melt in your pack. For those who need a small snack, the controlled portion of 130 to 140 calories is good.

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