Food Showdown: Which Energy Bar Should You Go Nuts For?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Walk into any grocery store, and you'll find aisle after aisle of energy bars. Some claim that they will boost exercise performance, while others boast organic labels and all-natural ingredients. In recent years, energy bars made with a simple combination of fruits and nuts have become more popular. Larabar, an energy bar famous for its minimal ingredients list, has been around for years, boasting an array of flavors ranging from Carrot Cake to Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte. But now there's a new bar on the block: The Kit's Organic Fruit and Nut Bar from Clif, which also has a short, wholesome ingredients list. So what's the difference? Is one bar nutritionally better than the other? We're comparing the Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar with the Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Bar to find out!

The Winner: It's a Tie!
Both bars are made with fewer than five all-natural ingredients. The Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar contains peanuts, dates, and salt, while the Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Bar contains dates, peanuts, almonds, and salt. Neither bar contains any added sugars or flavorings, and they contain comparable amounts of calories, fat, fiber and protein. Either one of these bars would make a great alternative to a more processed energy bar.

Here is a side-by side comparison of the bars:
Larabar (from the Larabar website):

Kit's Organic Bar (from the Clif website):
A note to add: The Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Bar is 100% organic, while the Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar is not. However, that difference translates to a higher price for the Kit's Organic bar—about $.30 more per bar than the Larabar. You can also try making your own bars at home using one of these fruit and nut bar recipes!

Do you eat fruit and nut bars? What's your favorite flavor?

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MUSICNUT 11/26/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
FUTUREEMT 11/6/2020
Not to helpful if your trying to watch your carbs. I guess the carb watchers will have to stick to low carb fruits, cheeses, and nuts. Report
LGRIF22 10/23/2020
I sometimes eat a bar to get the balance of protein, fiber and carbs for the day. It's hard for me to get enough in the meals I eat...staying within my calorie limit, that is... Report
7STIGGYMT 7/30/2020
Tough it you don't like peanut butter! Report
NANASUEH 6/4/2020
thanks Report
CECELW 5/10/2020
This is energy bars? Report
:) Report
I have Larabars and Clif bars in my pantry. They are handy backup however my dietician warned me to limit using these. They come in handy on Trips, or hikes. Report
Thanks Report
Thanks for the information. Report
Thanks. Report
Great info Report
thank you Report
thanks Report
thanks Report
A lot of products have come on the market since 2012 when this article was written and these days, 25 grams of carbs is entirely too much for me. Will need to research for an article about newer healthier brands. Report
I don’t eat them very often but occasionally will but the larabar or kind bar if I’ve had to skip out without breakfast. They are pretty yummy but way too expensive for what you get. I might try making my own at home Report
Seems so many calories for so little volume to me Report
I don't do energy bars. Report
I do organic so am willing to pay price. Its worth it to me. Seldom buy bars so looks like i need to find some recipes. Report
My favorite, and only 170 calories, is Kind bar Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. Yum! Report
I never saw Larabars. I've been staying away from energy bars because of the calories. Too many for a snack. Maybe a meal on the run? Report
Kind dark chocolate nuts & sea salt are the best! 200 cals., 7gms fiber, 16 carbs, 6 gms protein. Different flavors have slightly different counts. I find them individually in most grocery stores health food aisle and big boxes combined with Madagascar vanilla almond at Costco. Great afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea. Report
15g or more of sugar? Way too sweet for me no matter how 'natural' it is! Better by far to grab handfuls of nuts, an avocado, or eggs. 200 calories equals roughly 3 eggs for crying out loud! That would be 18g protein and only 1.8g sugar! Report
I bought some Dr. Schultz bars, haven't tried one yet. I love Luna Bars. Report
Love Larabars. I love that they have all natural ingredients that I can pronounce, and that I can make them at home if I'm feeling creative. So many energy bars are full of soy and sugar or syrups, you might as well eat a candy bar. Report
I love Larabars. I especially love that they aren't full of chemicals or junk. Just pure deliciousness. Report
Used to eat Clif bars all the time when I was training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day a few years ago, and continued to buy them when I was working retail at a very large, very busy store. Then I got pregnant and REALLY, hyper-fastidiously started paying attention to what was in everything that went into my mouth and got really nervous about soy protein isolate. Which is, unfortunately, in pretty much EVERY energy bar aside from Larabars and I guess this new offering from Clif (hooray, I say!). Glad to see more and more companies are at least offering products with fewer ingredients. Report
I eat the Kind bars. I first tasted them at Starbucks and I can finally find boxes of them at Walmart. They have few ingredients, 100 less calories than your average energy bar and taste great. My favorite is the almond/coconut one. Report
I used to work with Lara when she worked for the City of Lakewood Colorado, Lara was an avid hiker and always complained about the bars that were on the market, she used to say she started making bars for hiking and someday hoped to market her bar! Just goes to show you what an idea and drive can do for you, now her health bars are everywhere! You rock Lara! Report
I am hooked on Larabars! The first one I tried was Peanut Butter Cookie and I could not believe it was made with only 3 ingredients. Since then, I've been trying their different flavors. I'm definitely impressed by how much yummy goodness is packed into a ready to eat bar! Report
We make our own bars using just cashews and dates - similar to the original Larabar. We freeze the bars and take one with us when we go out for a long ride. Each bar has a lot of calories, but good calories for the rides we do.

I do like Larabars, and I've had many of their flavors. Report
Too much sugar and could use a little more proetin for my taste! My personal trainer told me my bars should have at LEAST 10 grams of protein. Report
Although I am not at all a picky eater, I really do dislike dates, so I wouldn't be able to stomach either of these two bars. I don't hate fruit and nut bars in general, though. Report
I'll occasionally buy Lara Bars because of their short ingredients list - none of the scary-sounding unpronounceable chemicals as in most other bars! However, I can't eat almonds so that eliminates many of their choices - and it rules out the Kit bar you reviewed. Report
I had not thought of these but I will now Report
This is good food for thought, especially for when I travel to visit my parents. As I have to fly international on these trips, I can't take fresh fruit or my other usual snacks, so I have to depend on more processed alternatives that can pass through customs. Report
This article came just in time for me as I just bought the Lara Bar Peanut Butter Cookie Bar. I think I will eat them sparingly and not make them a daily habit or daily snack. Report
Thank you for comparing products that are actually good for us. I don't often eat these sorts of bars but there have been times on trips or hikes when they have been handy. Now I can make a good choice on what one to choose. Report
it's all the nuts! Report
I never eat them. I much rather eat nuts and dried fruit with out the other stuff. I like to eat real food not fast food its almost like junk food in my mind. It's just as easy and less expensive to go to your favorites and bag them, at least you know what is in there. Pat in Maine. Report
I prefer Pure Protein bars. At 200 calories, they have 20 grams of protein, so it actually fills you up. Not to mention, it encourages you to drink water when eating it (and, trust me, you definitely get thirsty because they're just dry enough to encourage drinking water), so it helps you get your minimal 8 cups per day. It was one of the few options that fit my requirement: 1 gram of protein per 10 calories (since I want to have 100 grams of protein per day to help keep me full), and works great for a 4:00 PM snack after 12:00 lunch and before 7:30 dinner (especially since I run around a lot during the day). Report
I usually buy Clif Bars. Love their white chocolate macadamia bar. Also like Odawalla bars. But I only buy those when they are on sale. the so called "energy" bars aren't cheap. On sale figure $1 each. Many cost anywhere from $1.25-$2.49 each.

At last! A showdown I can actually USE! I don't eat these bars very often, but sometimes I end up off schedule around lunch time and find myself unprepared. Protein bars and the like have saved the day more than once, but they all have so many ingredients and so much fat. Report
i love the cliff kid chocolate brownie bar. I stay full for hours after eating it, and I have a big appetite! Report
I Eat Clif Bars Sometimes. They Tend To Be Higher In Carbs. I May Try These Bars. Sometimes I Need A Quick Healthy Snack On The Run! Thank You For The Information! Report
I have never heard of either brand, but I like Kashi bars. Especially the Honey Almond Flax chewy granola bar.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 140, Total Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 105mg, Total Carbs 19g, Sugars 5g, Protein 7g. Report
I love Kind bars. My favorites being almond & coconut, as well as the pomegranate/blueberry/pistachio w/antioxidants. I enjoy eating 'bars' that show you the actual ingredients you're eating. It feels much closer to a 'whole' food. :) Report
I wouldn't call these energy bars. I occasionally eat Zone bars, Balance bars, or the original Powerbars. Report
Yes, I eat them regularly before I work out. I go to Curves straight from working all day and I have learned that I will have a much better workout with a healthy snack before I go. I hate the processed junk in most protein / energy bars. These are both real food and they taste wonderful. What more could I ask of a snack!? And if I'm struggling against the urge for junk food, these are a much better choice than a candy bar or honey bun. I'm also interested in the recipes to make my own and plan to check them out as well. Report