I feel like there are a 1000 bars on the market all telling you they are the best. With so much paid advertising, it is really hard to determine which ones are the real deal and which ones to stay clear from. In this post, I’m laying it ALL out there. These bars are all gluten-free and dairy-free (except one!) and all have CLEAN ingredients! Let us get started, shall we?
Top Three Bars:
These are the convenience bars for me! Notice how I didn’t say protein bar? Their protein isn’t too high (averaging 5g per bar) but their ingredient list, texture, and taste are ON POINT. I reach for one of these bars daily. They completely satisfy me (which is asking a lot for a bar) and the best part? The owner. I know a lot of bars are started from a good cause but Freedom Bar was started because the owner was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 16. He created these bars out of a need for healthy, on-the-go snacks that made him feel good. Freedom Bar’s mission is to help people that have dietary restrictions due to IBD and really give them some FREEDOM when snacking!
Naturally Clean Eats
You know when you just click with an owner of a company? That was the case with Naturally Clean Eats. Before I even fell for one of her bars, I really fell for her first. Talk about an amazing lady! She’s a mama first and a business owner second but even still, killin’ the small business owner game! I knew I had to try her bars and I was NOT disappointed one bit.
Since I’m honest to a fault, I will say her flavors are “need to try twice” status. The first time I tried her Spiced Chocolate Chip bar… let’s just say I was NOT a fan. The second time? Literally obsessed. When you are so used to sugary additives, trying something that’s all natural and not on the sweet side can be shocking to your taste buds. Now I reach for these when I’m needing a little bit of a heavier snack (the higher fat keeps me full for hours!) but don’t have time for an actual meal.
My favorite flavor of the bunch? Hands down Almond Blueberry Crumble… LEGIT pie in your pie hole.
Good 2 Go Bars
These bars have a back story- one I’m not quite sure you’ll care about but I’m going to tell you regardless. You’re welcome.
When I first discovered these bars, I was in the height of my macro counting days (yet to stumble upon an eating disorder). I could not believe people were ‘wasting’ so many macros on such a tiny bar! Pretty soon it didn’t matter because I cut out all dairy from my diet (the little that I was actually eating). Fast forward to today? I’ve realized what really matters is INGREDIENTS! These babies are packed with clean gluten-free ingredients and are 99% lactose free.
When I decided I to try and reintroduce dairy into my diet, I knew I had to try these bars. Sound silly? Probably but it was in part triumph that a few years ago I wouldn’t even look at them. Now I can consider them a snack.
The only downside to these bars? The ingredients list is a little longer than I’d like and the second ingredient in them is brown rice syrup. If they are asking for my input (oh hey, they aren’t) I’d ask them to swap it out for a friendly
Bars that are deceiving but still delicious:
Why are these so deceiving? Well, I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder. I saw someone on
- clean ingredients
- minimal ingredients
- high sugar
- low protein
- moderate fat
So what’s the difference? The biggest one is the company. Plan and simple. I rather support a company that stands behind a great cause versus a company that is racking in millions and could easily lower their prices. They are robbing you
Here’s a few other major differences:
- Texture: their texture is vastly different. I took a picture so you could see what I’m talking about. You see those beautiful PB swirls? It makes the bar creamy, unlike the LARABAR which is a bit chalky.
- Size: the Freedom Bar is obviously bigger. The difference in satisfaction after eating once versus the other is crazy.
- Price: Depending on where you buy and where you are from, the LARABAR can run you anywhere from 1-2 dollars per bar. For a box of Freedom Bars- it will cost you about 1.5 per bar (if you use my code “ahealthyharmony” at checkout!) Since we already discussed the size difference, personal opinion is that the Freedom Bar is a better deal.
Now, I know I sound biased. Maybe I am? BUT with everything said… LARABAR isn’t a BAD bar- in a pinch I would gladly pick one up (staying clear of the fruit ones because holy hell they are SWEET) BUT there are some obvious differences to me that made these bars miss my favorites list!
Does anyone actually know where the egg whites come from? These bars have been getting a lot of heat lately, especially since most of them just got recalled for peanut allergens. My personal opinion? I won’t grab for them over my top 3 bars
Real talk- their regular bars taste like the backside of a camel. Or at least, that’s what I would imagine the backside of a camel tastes like. GROSS. That’s the main reason why they didn’t make my top favorites list. Unless the product as a whole is winning… well, they really aren’t. Their crisp bars on the other hand? FREAKING DELISH. My only issue with them is their long ingredient list and the fact that they use brown rice syrup as their sweetener. That being said, if you are looking for a vegan/gluten-free bar that is higher in protein (10-12g per bar)… this one is the one for you! There have been multiple times I reached for one of these bars because I wanted a little dessert! They are probably the friendliest option on my “didn’t make the first cut” list.
Aloha bars, Luna Bars, Tone It Up Bars, Elemental Bars, Rise Bars, GoMacro… All these bars have great options but they each have one or two reasons why I wouldn’t eat them on the daily! That could range from the ingredients not being as clean as I’d like, being priced too high, or simply because my taste buds say no.
For instance, I know GoMarco bars are a huge hit with SO many people. I actually can’t find many reasons for why they wouldn’t be a great option other than 1) they are always on the too sweet side for me which brings me to point number 2) their first ingredient is brown rice syrup. I’m sorry, why? Shouldn’t the first ingredient in a health bar be… I don’t know, actually healthy?
Unfortunately, “health” bars can be deceiving. They definitely are not all created equal! I have yet to find a bar that can check off every one of my many needs… I’m actually pretty sure one doesn’t exist! I am, however, confident that the top three bars that I listed about are pretty dang close.
I really could go on forever about which bars I like and which ones I try to stay clear from. When it comes down to it, you are in charge of what you put in your body!! This is just what works for me!
One more company I’d like to mention is called Munk Pack: their protein cookies are freaking delicious. I’m not going to sit here and hate on the company because their ingredient list has more than one questionable ingredient listed. Honestly? I really like them. Do I eat them on the reg? NOPE. But when I’m feeling like I want to eat something out of my norm, I’ve been known to reach for a Double Chocolate Chip protein cookie. Shoot me, I’m human… I really like delicious things and their cookies could be WAY worse!
Remember, eating healthy isn’t a diet OR a trendy lifestyle. I’m a big believer that eating healthy looks different on everyone. It isn’t about who can Keto harder or who can whole30 the best. It honestly isn’t about balance either. (what is balance anyway?) It’s about understanding your needs and honoring them the best you can.
That’s all the words of wisdom I have today. You’re welcome. 😉