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Best low cal, low carb, high protein bar favorites????

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Hello All,
I am hoping this is an ok question for this blog site. I am new to this site and live in Middletown NJ and follow an insulin resistence/metabolic syndrome way of life. I was hoping to gain some insight on people's favorite bars with the specifics mentioned...
Thanks,
BEACHAHOLIC :)

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  1. I don't use bars, I hate the taste of protein powders. For moderate carb, I use some of the Kind nut and seed bars, and some of the Kashi Trail Mix bars. I have been eating very low carb for many years, tend to use bars only for hikes or for long car rides just in case. Most of them are really bleah. You can make a custom bar from Youbar that will be delicious, but to make it low carb/high protein, you avoid their recommended sweet base and get a crumbly bar for a LOT of money. Might be better to just carry nuts or look up homemade bar recipes. None of the high protein bars taste good to me, anyway.

    1. I haven't like the nutrition of any of the bars I've looked at.

      I'd only want something like that when traveling or away from a kitchen for a while, so I just tend to make up my own trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, maybe some dark chocolate).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Enso

        Thank you for replying mcf and Enso. I haven"t attempted baking my own, but would like to give it a try. I usually do make a trail mix of my own, sometimes with raisins or carob. My struggle is that i am trying to have a subtle way for my 16yo daughter to eat 20gr carbs/10gr protein as a snack while in class as a needed snack for her Metabolic Syndrome condition. As of now, I utilize Glucerna Hunger Smart snack bars....really lookn for a compact way to provide that nutrition without her feeling like she has to consume seeds and nuts by the handful in school......
        Thank you for your help will keep lookn!
        BEACHAHOLIC ;)

        1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

          You're getting an awful lot of sugar and stuff with your protein there. Fat and protein are the keys to building lean body mass... which is the weight you really want to gain. If your child is already insulin resistant, you might think about reversing that ratio, too. Just based upon personal experience with diet and insulin resistance reversal.

          1. re: mcf

            Hi mcf, if I could only find a bar with that ratio switched....my search would be over :)
            It would make life a lil' simpler. I couldn't agree with you more!

            1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

              It does look as if the Quest low carb bars w/o SA may work well. You may have mentioned, the peanut/choc one is reasonably decent ingredients and very high fiber, at least, so less digestible carb, though at most, I'd only deduct half the fiber. She can also have a half for a snack, instead of a whole one. At least the protein is from a good source, whey. Also, Muscle Milk lite shakes are said to taste best, and they make a low carb version. I think EAS chocolate low carb is very good, and comes in a juicepak, not plastic with BPA.

      2. I eat plenty of protein bars, and maybe my tastebuds have just gotten used to them, but there are some that I actually enjoy. (Disclaimers: I don't eat partcularly low carb, and I don't know what is or isn't allowed on an insulin resistence / metabolic syndrome diet. All nutritional info based on the flavors are currently have in my desk drawer.)

        Pure Protein bars: the smaller ones are 180 calories, 19g protein, 19g carbs. Kind of, sort of like a candy bar.

        Luna protein bars: 170 calories, 12g protein, 21g carbs. A little less sweet, but some of the flavors taste artificial to me.

        Questbar: 170 calories, 20g protein, 24g carbs. These are more expensive and harder to find, but they also more closely resemble real food. They don't have the ubiqituous chocolate-like coating (good for carrying in warm cars, etc.) and have actual discernible pieces of dried fruit and nuts.

        10 Replies
        1. re: cookie monster

          HI Cookie monster thank you so much for taking the time to put all of that info together for me, it was so very nice of you. i will def look into those Questbars... I'm very curious to see about the fiber. Our endocrinologist just gave my daughter the green light to forgo the snacks betwwen meals(if she doesn't warrent it)and it those spared carbs onto her lunch and or dinner, when balanced with adequate protein. She will keep some type of bar near by in case she needs it. Thank you again for taking the time,
          :)

          1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

            i know you have a couple of Vitamin Shoppe locations nearby, and they actually stock a HUGE assortment of protein bars. you should just go into the store and ask one of the salespeople to help you find some good options...and they carry the full line of Quest bars so you can check those out. (i wish they weren't sweetened with sucralose - which gives me wicked stomach cramps - because aside from that, they're some of the least junky bars i've seen.)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Funny you should mention that shop, I just went there and inquired yesterday and the fellow told me about Greenbars(spirulina) so I gave a few different ones a try. The one with the least calories,low carb and high protein was a peanut butter based one; for some reason i felt an instant sugar rush(even my face got warm and diapheretic)wish I had a meter near by....will be attempting to make my own with almond flour soon.
              Thanks again for all your help

              1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

                are you sure it was a low-carb bar? most of the green bars contain 15-20 grams of sugar.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  you guys are correct the bar had 24carbs,only 2g/fiber, and 18sugars...I had thought it was from complex carbs and nevr xpected the sugar rush.....so much for the 'balanced blood sugar"claims on the wrapper :(
                  The salesman was very informative, so thats what I get for assuming ;) SHAME ON ME

                  1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

                    Complex carbs can be higher glycemic than table sugar. Complexity of carbs has nothing to do with glycemic response.

                2. re: BEACHAHOLIC

                  26 grams of carbs and 18 grams of sugar in the one I looked up! Cut that by 1/2 and it's still moderate, not low, carb. My glucose meter tells me that any meal or snack over 10-12 grams carb total is not low carb. Then consider how much of that carb content is from sugars, yeesh.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Thats what I get for not doing my homework sometimes I dont have my brain....fibro takes it from me more often then i would like :(

                    1. re: BEACHAHOLIC

                      Or whatever is causing your FMS is also fogging your brain. BTDT, still am for other health reasons.

                      1. re: mcf

                        right there with ya lol, ;)

          2. When I was an athlete, between work outs I'd eat Myoplex Lite bars. I needed the protein but wanted to keep calories low as well. They used to have more flavors I think.

            http://eas.com/product/myoplex-lite-n...

            4 Replies
            1. re: thegforceny

              The OP asked for low carb and high protein, and that bar is neither of those.

              1. re: mcf

                I thought 15g was pretty high protein for a bar of only190 calories. But I did mis-read / -register 'carbs' for 'calories'.

                1. re: thegforceny

                  It's certainly significant, if not high, protein and not a calorie bomb.

              2. re: thegforceny

                Thank you for the fyi thegforceny, I hadn't heard of those yet. I will be looking into the nutritional values. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
                :)

              3. I have been eating 2 bars as of late. The fruit and fiber bar and The Simply Bar. These are both great and hold me over until the next meal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: taboo

                  if you mean the AdvoCare Fruit & Fiber bars, they're much too high in sugar for the OP.

                  The Simply Bar is new to me. i just looked up the nutrition info, and it does appear to be better than most in terms of macronutrients...it's just too bad the first ingredient is processed soy.

                  i think i need to revisit my desire to create a line of gluten-free, soy-free, low-sugar protein bars!

                  1. re: taboo

                    I ate a few Simply Bars this spring. It was nice to find a bar that was more of a snack size (under 200 calories) but still high in protein. I'll never be someone who replaces a meal with a bar, but it's nice to get some extra protein considering I'm a vegetarian who lifts a lot of weights (well, for a girl...).

                  2. I had gestational diabetes this past Spring/Summer and needed to be below 120 after eating. I found that certain KIND bars were low enough in carbs and sugar for me to eat. Not sure if they would work for your numbers, but they are tasty and perhaps worth looking into?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MRS

                      Yes, a few of them are under 14 grams of carbs, and I keep them around. They don't have too much crap stuff in them, either, which I like.

                      If ONLY endocrinologists told ALL diabetics to stay in that range post meal!

                      1. re: mcf

                        i was to be at 90 waking and 120 after eating and that was with only borderline numbers on failed 3 hour glucose. My endocrinologist was firm that you don't mess around and so, for 4 or so months, I was hard-core about my eating and checking my sugar.

                    2. I eat these, though certainly not every day. They come in handy sometimes, and sometimes you need to carry a snack. None of the reduced carb bars are very good, in the way a couple or three cookies would be, for instance. I've used Kashi bars, but grew tired of them. Right now I'm liking Nature Valley Protein chewy bars. Be sure to check the carb and fiber counts to make sure they are OK for your diet--but you probably already knew that.

                      One bar of the sort I bought a week or so ago has 14 g total carb with 5 g of fiber per bar. There are two or three sorts, and the carrb counts vary a bit.

                      1. I love Power Crunch bars. 200 calories, 10g of carbs, 13g of protein. It's the best low carb protein bar I have found. My favorite flavors are peanut butter, vanilla, and cookies & cream (they also have chocolate, and a berry bar). You can find them at Trader Joes for like $1.20, but in the grocery stores they run anywhere from $1.30-$1.90.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: lynnlato

                          those were my favorite before i went off gluten - such a treat!

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Love 'em! Nice crunchy texture and lighty and creamy. I am not a fan of bars (usually too heavy and tasteless and WAY TOO CARBY). These are the anti-protein bar. ;-)

                            1. re: lynnlato

                              Have to try those some time... Tom really likes PB and Choc together.

                              1. re: mcf

                                highly recommend. they have a PB Fudge flavor that would be right up Tom's alley.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  "Tom really likes PB and Choc together"

                                  Who doesn't? ;-)

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    Yeah, really, silly me! :-)

                            2. re: lynnlato

                              I stock up on these and keep one in my purse all the time. They have the lowest sugar grams per serving of any bar I've found.

                              1. re: tracylee

                                FYI, they are currently running weekly giveaways where they are giving away a box of bars (like 30 bars). Details are on their Facebook page.

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Woo hoo! Thanks for the heads-up!

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    I have never tried these bars, but they sound like something worth looking into. I am going to give 'em a try. A BIG thank you for the info...always good when the nutritional value "works" and the product doesn't taste like cardboard :)

                              2. addendum to my previous comments about Questbars - apparently they now have an "all natural" line with no sucralose, so i'll have to pick up a couple to try...

                                1. I enjoy Greens Whey Krisp Protein Bar. It's a bit larger in size than many, so that's a factor. 50g per par.
                                  But that said, it has 20 g carbs (-3 g fiber), 15g protein, 9g sugars. While it's GF, it does contain dairy product (obviously, whey). They sell it at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) and in the Bay Area at Rainbow Foods.

                                  1. Kind bars! They have one that has nuts, and dark chocolate and it is only 5 carbs!

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: mrsphud

                                      Ooooh, good to know. Thanks!

                                      1. re: mrsphud

                                        I think I've mentioned in this thread; their new nuts and spice line has lower carbs and less sweet, more salt and/or spice. We buy them by the case for Mr. MCF's golf bag, car, office.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          I had the madagascar vanilla nuts & spice Kind Bar today and it was really good and quite satisfying. I will be buying more of them for sure.

                                          I was not able to find any Kind Bar's that only have 5 carbs. The lowest carb Kind Bar i could locate was 14 carbs. I even checked there website and came up empty handed. All I can figure is maybe mrsphud was referring to the bars that say "only 5 grams of sugar" but they have 14 carbs.

                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                            Some folks only count "net" carbs or sugar, but I count them all the same, fiber and non sugar carbs. My pancreas doesn't know the difference.

                                            There's one bar with only 4 grams sugar, the one I mention here is 5.

                                            These wouldn't be low carb for an Atkins dieter on induction, but half a bar makes a great snack for me, and a whole one is great for a round of golf for my husband, or a hike for me.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              "Some folks only count "net" carbs or sugar, but I count them all the same, fiber and non sugar carbs. My pancreas doesn't know the difference."

                                              Exactly. I have never understood why some folks, diabetic or not, only count the sugar. I think it was a trick or play on words that the food industry tossed out there. Carbs are carbs as far as insulin production is concerned. And while fiber is good and complex carbs are better than simple ones, all carbs affect our blood sugar.

                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                Actually, complex/simple makes no difference in terms of metabolism; white potato and white flour are complex, for ejemplo. They are as bad as or worse than table sugar.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  I meant, for example, sprouted grains vs. white flour. Both affect blood sugar, but the latter more rapidly than the former.

                                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                                    Oh, sure, definitely, but that's not about complex/simple, which is just a molecular description of the food. I get no benefit from, say, breads made from sprouted grains, but water filled sprouts themselves, just fine.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      I don't understand your point, but I'm fairly certain we are officially off topic. I'll chalk it up to a case of lost in translation. :)

                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                        Okey dokey. :-)

                                                2. re: lynnlato

                                                  I admit right off that my situation is really unusual in that I don't watch sugar for diabetic or low-carb diet reasons. For me, it's sugar grams and sugar grams alone that mess up my digestive tract. It really doesn't matter what else is on the label, or where.

                                                  I do look at protein. Since I don't have the capacity to eat much, what I do eat needs to be high enough in protein to keep my body functioning.

                                                  1. re: tracylee

                                                    Oh, gotcha tracylee. Well, that is good to know that there are folks who do need only the sugar info.

                                        2. Kind bars....findable in zee big chain grocery stores or do I have to go to a Whole Foods? I live in big chain purgatory.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                            They are pretty much everywhere Pinehurst. You should be able to find them in your chain grocery store. :)

                                            1. re: lynnlato

                                              They're usually in regular groceries, but around here, it's hard to find every variety in one store, I've found. I managed to sample the nuts and spice by hunting around, then ordered full boxes online when I couldn't always get the ones I wanted, the dark chocolate, nuts and sea salt, and the chocolate, pecan cinnamon.

                                              Andrea, I didn't know you were bilingual! ;-)

                                          2. Right now I've been enjoying Lara Uber Bars: 190 calories, 12 g fat, 0 cholesterol (that's my bugaboo), 12 g carb, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar and 4 g protein. The bars are mostly fruits and nuts. The one I like is called Cherry Cobbler, lots of nuts and cherries but of course held together with brown rice syrup and honey. That seemed healthy enough for an occasional snack, but I don't have many dietary restrictions, so you let me know. Oh and it's gluten free and Non GMO, plus kosher.

                                            Think I'll pick up some Kind bars when I go shopping today, those flavors sound outrageous!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: coll

                                              Those Uber bars were what we were eating before finding the Kind on the market. Love the salty with sweetness.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Uber bars are really good, but I will see if Waldbaums has Kind in stock later on too. I don't like to make a steady diet of them, but we will be on a couple of weeklong trips in the near future and I've love to have a tasty, healthy snack on hand, instead of impulse buying.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  I always travel with bags of nuts, cheese sticks (very small cooler for car trips), bars, and dark chocolate bars. Oh, and my own coffee and pour over filter.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    Yeah we're visiting our friends who are militant vegans, I'm thinking instant coffee or Lipton teabags will have to be smuggled in my suitcase. Not sure if her refrigerator will be like a kosher one and I will contaminate it with my impure foods? She doesn't do any fats or sugars either. And my husband cannot get out of bed without a glass of milk and a bowl of Cinnamon Life. I'm afraid I'm going to have a whole piece of luggage devoted to foodstuffs!

                                            2. I guess I never actually replied to this. I enjoy the "Pure Protein" bars - PB for breakfast when I can't do my eggs, chocolate for later if it's what I'm craving. 200/180 cals, 17 carbs, 20 protein.

                                              I adore the "Jamieson Slimdown" bars. 150 cals, 15 carbs and 15 protein. LOVE the almond coconut. Also enjoy belgian chocolate crisp.

                                              The "Protilife" line has some OK stuff. I'll have the chocolate delight and choco crunch bars. 160 cals, 19 carbs, 16 protein.

                                              Cost and availability are both issues for me. That being said, I've been juggling those brands around for the last year or so, making sure I always have a variety on hand for when I need them.