The Nice List: Your Definitive Guide to Navigating the Nutrition Bar Aisle
This is part two of a two-part series analyzing the best and worst ingredients of the nutrition bar industry. See part one: The Naughty List.
Stores all over the world will be frenzied and frantic with holiday shoppers for the next few weeks. But if there's one store aisle that's always crazy no matter the season, it's the nutrition bar aisle.
With hundreds of bars to choose from, even the most experienced nutrition bar consumer can feel overwhelmed. Whey protein bars, soy protein bars, bars made from meat, and bars made with low-calorie artificial sweeteners are but just to name a few. Peek under the wrapper for the full list of ingredients and you'll be more confused than ever. Who thought you'd need to have paid attention in chemistry class just to know what's in a protein bar?
But fear not, fellow festive foodie, the Choice team is making a list and checking it twice. As a follow-up to yesterday's naughty list, today we're unveiling the nice list. Use this as your North Star when navigating the nutrition bar aisle, while also avoiding the ingredients from the naughty list, and your body will give you the gift that keeps on giving: natural, sustained energy.
- Chia seeds
- Not to be confused with everyone's favorite white elephant gift, Chia Pets, chia seeds are regarded as a superfood for good reason. Many experts suggest that chia is one of the most nutritionally complete foods found in nature.
- French Emperor Charlemagne was onto something when he passed laws requiring the consumption of flax. We're all about helping people make empowered choices, though, so enforcement seems a little much. Nevertheless, this nutritional powerhouse is a rich source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and dietary fiber.
- If you're still suffering from fat phobia when it comes to things like nuts, avocado, and coconut, please stop. This superfood doesn’t contain your average saturated fats but rather Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) that will leave you with more sustained energy than you can shake a stick at.
- Our BFFs. Growing in popularity across the industry, these little fruits add the perfect natural sweetness to nutrition bars. Eating dates has even been known to give people these four superpowers.
- Seriously, stop with the fat phobia already.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Also known as pepitas, just one ounce of these nice guys provides about 7 grams of protein. Add in all of the zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese and you'll wonder why you ever settled for "proprietary protein blends" in your bar.
- Raw cacao
- The Incas considered raw cacao the drink of the gods. And for good reason! This superfood is packed with incredible health benefits from head to toe. It can "improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy." And because we proudly make all of our batches without added sugar, this is what we use in our Mint Chocolate and Cookie Dough recipes.
- Grass-fed whey
- Moooo-ve over, sketchy whey protein. Whey from grass-fed cows is way better for you. It's also more expensive, though, so not many bars use it. If you own a container of it, simply mix it in with your Choice Nutrition Bar Dough.
- This delicious spice has been making the nice list for thousands of years. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon can work holiday miracles, including the ability to reduce blood sugar levels (which will come in handy after your next candy cane).
- Hemp seeds
- Did you know hemp seeds are technically a nut? While the nomenclature will forever be a mystery, the health benefits of these nutritional all-stars is not. The two main proteins in hemp seeds--edestin and albumin-- are both high-quality proteins that are easily digested and contain nutritionally-significant amounts of all essential amino acids.
May your holidays be safe, happy, and healthy, and your nutrition bar forever be on the nice list.