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REDROSEBUD4 Posts: 447
7/5/13 4:01 P

Thank you OBIESMOM2 and GDBEAR65 for your response. I am going to look into some of the bars you suggested. I have never heard of VPX or the Kroger Simple Truth Protein Bar. Guess I better read on meal-replacement bars. I seem to pick those to eat as a snack. Like the topic say-what about all these bars out there? Have a great day. emoticon

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 574
7/5/13 2:03 P

From a nutritional perspective, a lot of bars like Zone, cereal and granola bars are little better than a candy bar such as Mars or Snickers. Larabars are an excellent choice - all natural ingredients that are minimally processed. The only meal-replacement bar I like is Zero Impact from VPX
- they are well balanced, with no artificial sweeteners, good carb sources, high protein and monounsaturated fat.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (252,290)
Fitness Minutes: (126,640)
Posts: 14,923
7/5/13 1:55 P

I keep a stash for those times when I just cannot get anything else. I keep one in my purse, and take them with me when I travel. It comes in handy when breakfast is a box of donuts or a basket of muffins!

for me, I watch the sale pages and stock up when the price is right. I like -
Larabar Uber
KIND bars
Kroger Simple Truth Protein Bar

I can usually find these for $1 or less at various times at the grocer, CVS, or with a coupon at the wholesale clubs

REDROSEBUD4 Posts: 447
7/5/13 1:45 P

I like bars, to help if I'm at work and need a quick snack. Well I like Zone bars and they just came out with New Greek Yougurt Zone Perfect. I got my coupon (which helps) and I got the Chocolate (only kind they had). I had to get the box, no single bars, but my mistake was not looking at the lable. The chocolate layer first 3 ingrediante- corn syrup, sugar and palm kernel oil. Ugg-I have heard about palm kernel oil, and all that sugar- emoticon
So even if the out side sounds like it is good, and healthy- check the ingredients before buying. Don't shop when in a rush.
I'm looking at what others have mentioned, and I'm going to start going with the fresh fruit and nuts more than bars. I'm defenantly going to learn to get into the habit of label reading.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/5/13 11:02 A

LaraBars are wonderful. Not cheap by any means, but they're real food and I find them filling despite that they're sweet.

You can make your own trail mix from plain nuts and dried fruit -- the fruit makes it a bit easy to snack on overmuch, but it can be portioned out the same way as bars are if you want.

PKTRUCKDRIVER SparkPoints: (2,491)
Fitness Minutes: (1,738)
Posts: 78
3/5/13 8:40 A

May I say Awesome anwsers Ladies, honestly.

I too liked GIASBASH6260. post, but as someone mentioned I am a trucker and gone for a week or so at a time, and only with a small fridge, not really a freezer, maybe 1 very small frozen meal could go in there, if lucky.

I did ask in another post about stuff to help me with snacking and possible meals replacement to keep me out of the diner's and the hot dog's, and buffet's

So I am asking for idea's as alternative's to the bars , some of which are pricey at a 1.50 each, compared to the sweet and salty for Wal-masrt for 1.88 a box of 6 or so., and about 80-110 calories with peanuts , but salt too. I try to keep my salt intake down, if possible.

gotta run, but many many thanks so far

God Bless

SLENDERELLA61 SparkPoints: (304,301)
Fitness Minutes: (195,572)
Posts: 10,303
3/5/13 8:09 A

In SparkCoach today's challenge is to eat good carbs (whole grains, fruits) and not more than 1/4 of your plate. The RD specifically mentions the energy bars as empty calories. I've also read that the sweetening (brown rice sugar, I think) in most of those bars have environmental arsenic.

Also, in the Curves diet it recommends protein drinks (whey and soy) and discourages any of the bars. I suspect even better is to stick to the SparkPeople power foods as much as you can.

I do occasionally eat one of those bars, but I'm going to try to do nutritional better from now on.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
3/5/13 8:08 A

I like the answer given by GIASBASH6260.

I don't buy them regularly (hubby might, but also not very often).

I'd rather make my own, knowing exactly what's in them.

I like foods that haven't been processed so much that I can't recognize the ingredients

CHEETARA79 Posts: 3,946
3/5/13 8:06 A

I also think that Lara bars are the best option out there. They usually have an ingredient list with just 1-3 items and they are all real food. For example, the Cherry Pie bars contain only dates, almonds and dried unsweetened cherries. No preservatives, chemicals or any other nonsense.

I think they cost around $1.50 per bar if you buy in bulk. They do not have a lot of protein but they are packed with fiber and flavor.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,300
3/5/13 8:02 A

Well, I think a lot of these companies have just jumped on the bandwagon, of Americans looking for something quick to eat that doesn't really require any preparation. And slapping the "protein bar" or "high fiber" label on it makes it sound like it's healthy. Even if it contains a lot of sugar or sugar alcohols or other stuff people can't even pronounce. Not to say that maybe there aren't a few reasonable choices out there. But then you get into the cost factor.

Here's a Spark article on bars

Shows little graphs comparing some of the bars.

But it also lists a few quick-to-prepare things, from "regular" food-- like peanut butter or cheese and crackers. Peanut butter is cheap and so is cheese, compared to those bars. I feel fuller and happier with "regular food", than I do with any kind of bars, no matter how many calories etc they have in them. The bars just always seem more like a treat than a meal or anything.

So honestly (since cost is a real factor here) I'd skip the bars completely.

SWEDIEPIE Posts: 338
3/5/13 7:15 A

The only bars that I buy on occasion are Lara Bars. They only contain dates and whatever dried fruit is in the bar- my kids think the cherry pie and chocolate chip ones are candy bars, and if I put them in the school lunch as a surprise, it makes me the Bomb. :)

I make homemade LaraBars, too- just as good, not as fun for the kids.

GIASBASH6260 Posts: 170
3/5/13 12:18 A

The best protein bars are:
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Turkey
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Grass-fed, Sugar Free Beef Jerky
- Sliced Chicken or Turkey
- Tinned Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna, Sardines, Clams

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
3/4/13 11:53 P

on there is a good article about this very subject. I read it and found it very helpful.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (82,009)
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
Posts: 5,092
3/4/13 11:11 P

I honestly think they're all glorified candy bars, although they can be good in a pinch. I used to eat a Zone Perfect bar just about every day ($4.50 from Walmart for 5, sometimes they have an extra in there), and they were considered meal replacement bars since they were "balanced" - 50% of calories coming from carbs, 30% from fat and 20% from protein and between 200-220 calories each. But they just contain a lot of sugar and additives and artificial sweeteners and stuff I no longer want to put in my body. Also, they never filled me up. I always ate one with something else as part of my meal. Since you say you're "on the road" you might benefit from these if it means avoiding the drive-thru or something similar, but if you're able to pack a small cooler with you, I'd pack that with greek yogurt, cheese, sandwiches, nuts or seeds, fresh fruits, vegetables, (also deli meats, I'm a vegetarian so I always forget to mention meat as something to snack on) etc.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
3/4/13 11:03 P

I think protein bars are your best bet for meal replacement. I don't have any experience in the ones that have high amounts of protein (like Clif bars or whatever), but for snacks, I like the ones that Kellogg's Fiber Plus makes. They have regular ones that are 120-130 calories, and protein ones that are 170 calories. The ones with peanuts in them will have the sweet/salty you like.... those are the kind I get too. I eat one of the regular fiber ones every day for a snack. I like the protein ones a lot but I just don't usually have the calorie room for them since I'm just using them as snacks. I don't know how much they are at Wal-Mart because I don't shop there, but I can get a box of 10 at Target for 4.79... less of course when they go on sale.

I think stuff labeled as breakfast bars (like Nutri Grain bars) are pretty much on the level with candy bars. If you look at the labels, there is very little nutritional value for what you get.

PKTRUCKDRIVER SparkPoints: (2,491)
Fitness Minutes: (1,738)
Posts: 78
3/4/13 10:41 P

It seems everyone has them now.

Atkins , has many, but some are meal replacement and some are like candy bars.

Oreo has them too

Special K has them

Wal-mart has many of them, I like Sweet and Salty

How do I decide which of these I can use to help me when I am a bit hungry, or is there a certain one or type that is best for a possible meal replacement ?

Protein Bars
Energy Bars
Candy Bars
Breakfast Bars

I looked around a bit, but thought I might as well ask this for myself, because they are always coming out with a new product, so please any thought s on this , any at all, will be taken seriously.

If you take a bar , why and how does it work for you?


Many thanks for everyone's help.

I need to go back on the road and need to find something to help me keep losing weight while out there and keep the calories down and the energy up, if possible


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