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You Ask, I Answer: Pro Bars

pro-100087How do you feel about ProBars?

@CatherineAnne
Via Twitter

Advertised as “whole food meals”, these bars certainly are not cheap, retailing for $3.49 a pop!

In comparison, Lara Bars go for approximately $1.39, and Clif Nectar bars average $2.19 a piece.

Are ProBars worth it?  Let’s analyze.

Though available in twelve varieties, Superfood Slam is one of the more popular flavors.  Here is the official product description:

Superfood Slam s a nutritional powerhouse. Our organic acai berries, pure raspberries, dark chocolate and live greens are blended together with PROBAR’s 15 signature whole food ingredients for a bar that is good for you and tastes SUPER.

This bar also boasts Health Magazine’s “American’s healthiest food” seal of approval, which truly boggles my mind.

My main issue is that the third ingredient in this bar is brown rice syrup — AKA, added sugar.

Halfway down the list, evaporated cane juice (a fancier term for sugar) pops up.

The cherry pretzel bar, meanwhile, lists brown rice syrup as the first ingredient!  I find it rather ironic that a bar that sells itself on being a “whole food meal” has what is essentially sugar as the most prominent ingredient.  The 420 milligrams of sodium also don’t do it many favors.

The kettle corn flavor also lists brown rice syrup as the first ingredient.  Added sugars pop up two more times (once as barley malt syrup, and then as evaporated cane juice).

Remember, one reason food companies love these sugar alternatives is because they can be listed separately and, therefore, give the illusion that there isn’t as much sugar in a food product.

If all caloric sweeteners were listed as “sugar” in the ingredient list, a lot of products would have that as their first ingredient.

While I wouldn’t go as far as calling ProBars junk food (they are not), I think they are overrated.  I also don’t like the notion of cramming so many foods into one bar, as it doesn’t allow for substantial quantities of each one to be used.

In my book, Lara Bars and Clif Nectar Bars are true whole-food bars.  Their short ingredient lists are solely made up of fruits, nuts, and seeds, and lack added sweeteners.  If anything, THEY deserve that seal of approval from Health magazine!

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