Vegan, gluten-free, low-sugar, high-fiber, nut-free, prebiotic, probiotic, protein, organic, cereal, meal-replacement, granola, energy, pre-workout, post-workout, keto…the choices seem endless as the snack bar market booms. Grocery stores, superstores, quick-marts, and juice bars, to name a few, have displays (some even full aisles) dedicated to snack bars.
Don’t get swayed by pretty pictures, flashy packaging, and ingredients or flavors listed on the front of the bar. Many bars have as many (if not more) calories, fat, and sugar as regular candy bars. Therefore you should always look at the nutrition label and read the ingredients before choosing one.
Here are 5 key nutritional values to take into account across all categories of snack bars before making your pick:
There are two types of sugars in our diets – naturally occurring and added sugars. The naturally occurring sugars are those in whole food products like fruit. The added sugars are just that – added products to naturally sweeten whole foods. Added sugars are anything from artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners to chemically manufactured ingredients like corn syrups and concentrates.
On average males should not consume more than 35.5 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar daily, while females should not consume more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons daily. And yet on average, Americans are consuming around 80 grams or 19 teaspoons of sugar a day, many from foods like soft drinks, cookies, cakes, candies, ice cream, sweetened cereals and more. For more specifics on sugar substitutes and which ones are ok to consume, read the following article titled “Are These 6 Sugar Substitutes Actually Healthy?” and this article on the “7 Food Additives To Eliminate Now” for more information on artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
Before choosing a snack bar it’s important to consider how many grams of sugar, per serving, are in each bar. If a bar has 12 grams of sugar or more, and many do, you’re looking at almost one third to a half of your daily allotment in a single bar or serving. That's too much. Ideally you want to target bars that are 5 to 7 grams on average per serving, or less.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that adults should limit their fat intake to about 20 to 35 percent of their total calorie intake. To start, there are three different kinds of fats in our food - saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Ideally you want to find bars that have less (or zero) saturated and trans fats and more unsaturated fats. There are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Typically these types of fats come from nuts, seeds, oils (nut, seed, fish), and avocados. The American Heart Association discusses “The Skinny on Fats” in great detail for more information on healthy and unhealthy oils.
When considering different snack bars you want to look for oils listed in the ingredients. You will want to avoid any bars that contain trans fats like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, instead opting for un-hydrogenated oils like naturally occurring vegetable oils – sunflower, olive, safflower, coconut or canola.
Fiber is a critical component to our daily diet and something that we should all be eating more of. There are 5 key health benefits to eating a fiber-rich diet. 1. Keeps you regular. 2. Helps with weight-loss and weight maintenance. 3. Lowers cholesterol. 4. Can help prevent disease. 5. Acts as a natural detox. You can read more about each of the benefits of fiber here.
In general, the daily fiber guidelines range from 30 to 38 grams daily for men and 25 grams for women, when on average most Americans are only getting around 15 grams daily. In order to reach your daily allotment of fiber, based on those guidelines, you should be eating high-fiber foods with every meal and snack. When choosing a snack bar, you should look for those that have at least 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
Protein is probably one of the most important nutrients for our bodies. In general, the Recommended Dietary Allowance suggests 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight for a sedentary person. Now, if you’re active and workout the allowance increases to somewhere between 0.5 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight.
Healthline describes protein as ”the main building blocks of your body, used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various tiny molecules that serve many important functions.” While animal proteins (meat, fish) are one of the best sources of protein in a diet, there are plenty of plant-based and animal-free protein options to consider. In addition, there are great supplemental protein sources, often times found in snack bars that can be quite beneficial to meeting your daily protein requirement – whey protein in particular is often found in snack bars.
Based on your daily eating habits, protein intake at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can determine how many grams of protein you should look for in a snack bar. Keep in mind, though, that most people in the US get enough protein in a day so eating bars with super high amounts of protein may not be necessary.
U.S Dietary Guidelines set average daily calorie ranges as follows: 1,600 – 2,400 for adult women, and 2,000 to 3,000 for adult men. It’s important to keep in mind that your physical activity levels can both increase or decrease your suggested calorie range. It should go without saying that the majority of your calories should come from a well-balanced, fiber-rich, protein-solid meal plan and not from highly-processed, sugar and fat-heavy foods. Maintaining a good whole-food diet is the best way to ensure your not eating empty calories.
In general, you want to look for snack bars that stay under 200 calories (ideally from real food ingredients). One exception to this rule would be meal-replacement bars that should be higher in protein (from pure, natural, and wholesome sources) and will likely exceed 200 calories.
There are other considerations when it comes to nutrition in bars -- but generally the cleaner the label, the better. Look for ingredients that sound familiar, are from real food, and serve beneficial purpose in your body.
(For a high-quality gluten-free low-sugar snack bar that is packed with pre and probiotics for gut health try Truth Bars. These bars are customer-rated to taste just like candy bars with only 4-5 grams of sugar, and 12-14 grams of fiber as well as probiotics, prebiotics and Omega-3!)
What are the key attributes of a Truth Bar?
Truth Bars are functional nutrition bars with many key attributes. They were the first bars with both prebiotics and probiotics; they are high in fiber (13-14g); low in sugar (4-5g); contain a full day's supply of Omega-3 from white chia seed (250mg); and are made from natural, real food ingredients with no fillers. They are gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, soy-free and all 200 calories or less. Truth Bars contain premium, mostly organic ingredients such as organic extra virgin coconut in our coconut bars. Truth Bars come in both Vegan and Non-Vegan varieties. Best of all, Truth Bars continue to receive mostly five stars for great taste!
Questions About Prebiotics and Probiotics:
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are good bacteria in your digestive system that help to keep your gut healthy and that make a beneficial contribution to your overall health.
What is a prebiotic?
Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that come mainly from certain plant foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Why is it important to have both prebiotics and probiotics together?
Prebiotics feed the probiotics to help them thrive and work longer in your body. When combining a nurturing base of prebiotics in the belly, with a good dose of probiotics, a garden of flora blossoms and fills the gut with a balanced, healthy microbiome.
How much probiotic is in each Truth Bar?
1 Billion CFU's.
What is the strain of probiotic used in Truth Bars?
Lactobacillus sporogenes (bacillus coagulans). It is a stable Lactic Acid forming probiotic that has extensive studies of gut healing effects ranging across gastrointestinal issues, bloating, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. This spore-producing bacteria remains dormant in the package and on grocery store shelves, but becomes activated once eaten. This hardy bacteria strain has a protective shell that helps it survive the acid and bile in your stomach so that it can reach your intestines unharmed. Once there, the low ph and moisture in your intestines allows it to activate and multiply rapidly. This is especially true when it has prebiotics there to feed it.
Questions about ingredients:
How are Truth Bars sweetened?
In order to achieve a balance between sweetness and low sugar, Truth Bars are sweetened by a combination of natural sweeteners and real food ingredients.
How many grams of sugar do Truth Bars have?
The number of grams of sugar ranges from 4 grams per bar in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar to 5 grams per bar in the rest of the Truth Bar flavors.
Are Truth Bars Made With All-Natural Ingredients?
Yes. Truth Bars are made with 100% all-natural ingredients and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, and no fillers. Truth Bar ingredients are also non-GMO.
Are Truth Bars Vegan?
Two Truth Bar flavors are vegan. Our Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut bars are both 100% Vegan. They're both rich in fiber and essential medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested, which makes them incredibly useful for a quick burst of energy.
Three of our Truth Bars are protein based (10g per bar) and non-vegan. Our Chocolate Almond Crunch, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bars feature a Non-Vegan blend of brown rice protein, whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate that supplies essential Amino Acids for a "complete" or "whole" source of protein.
Are Truth Bars 100% gluten free?
Yes. All Truth Bars are 100% gluten free.
Are Truth Bars soy free?
Yes. Though often found in chocolate, the specially formulated dark chocolate coating on all Truth Bars is completely free of soy. (the chocolate coating itself is also sugar free)
Are Truth Bars dairy and lactose free?
Truth Bar's vegan bars (Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut) are dairy and lactose free. Truth Bar's protein bars contain both Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate. These whey proteins contain a small percentage of lactose.
What about other allergens?
If you have allergies, please read the food ingredients on the label carefully or talk to your nutritionist, allergist, or doctor about what is best for you. Also note that though not every Truth Bar contains these ingredients, they are made on equipment shared with peanuts, tree nuts, soy and dairy.
Are Truth Bars kosher?
Yes. They are certified OU Kosher by the Orthodox Union.
What is the source of Omega-3's?
Truth Bars contain Omega-3s from white chia seed.
Do Truth Bars contain MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil?
MCT Oil can be found in four of our bars: Chocolate Raspberry Coconut, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Almond Crunch.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch contains no MCT oil.
Where can I find a full list of ingredients?
You can find a full list of ingredients on each bar’s label and product page on truthbar.com. The ingredients can be found by clicking the second tab on each product page.
Where can I find nutrition information?
Each bar’s nutrition facts can also be found on the product pages on truthbar.com. Just click the third tab.
You can also find information on the ingredient page on truthbar.com that outlines key ingredients and their benefits.
Truth Bars & Popular Diets:
Are Truth Bars Keto Friendly?
Keto diets are very low in carbs, high in fat, ideally higher in fiber, and have some balanced amount of protein. The strictest Keto diets require very low to almost no carbs. Truth Bars would not be ideal for the strictest keto diet. But if you are looking for a snack option for a basic or moderate keto diet, Truth Bar's Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bar is a great choice -- high in fiber (13g), high in healthy fat (12g), moderate protein (10g) and relatively lower net carbs (6g).
How many Weight Watchers points does a Truth Bar have?
Truth Bars have approximately 8-9 points per bar.
Are Truth Bars Paleo Friendly?
Paleo diets in their strictest form include foods that hunter-gatherers would have eaten. This means no foods that were not available to them (like sugar, processed foods, artificial ingredients) and lots of fruits, grains and lean protein. Paleo diets also restrict grains, legumes and dairy. Truth Bars, while gluten-free and only containing real food ingredients, would not fit in the Paleo diet in its strictest form as they contain some sugar (4-5g).
What is the shelf life of Truth Bars?
Truth Bars have a shelf life of 12 months from the date of production. We make our bars in small batches, which should ensure that our retailer's shelves are stocked with fresh bars when rotated correctly.
Do Truth Bars need to be refrigerated?
No. This type of probiotic is not in a live state on the shelf, it is activated only after it's eaten. For this reason, Truth Bars do not need to be refrigerated.
Questions about buying Truth Bars
How do I find out if Truth Bars are sold in a store near me?
You can use the Store Locator on truthbar.com to search by zip code, city or state to find a store near you.
What if there aren't yet stores near me that carry Truth Bars?
First, you can talk to your grocery store or health food store's manager and ask them to stock Truth Bars in their store. They can contact us directly and we can help. Meanwhile, Truth Bars can be purchased on amazon.com/truthbar and truthbar.com.
What is your return policy?
100% satisfaction or your money back. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help.
Please let us know if you have a question that is not listed above.
Simply write to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to answer any questions!