Saturday, May 26, 2012

Whey protein bars that do NOT use soy protein

I've eaten many a protein bar and decided I'd compile some notes on the ones I've tried to hopefully save other folks some time. I'm not a big fan of soy, so I've decided to make a list of bars that don't use it as a protein source, though they may include soy lecithin as this seems almost universal. Note that this is a completely impartial review- I paid out of pocket for all the bars below(sadly).
Bar name Calories Protein(g) Fat Carbs Sugar Fiber Sweeteners
Power Crunch Peanut Butter 200 13 12 10 5 1 sugar,fructose,stevia leaf extract
Betty Lou's Peanut Butter Balls 190 15 8 18 9 3 organic agave syrup
Active Greens Organic Food Bar 310 12 15 35 24 7 organic evaporated cane juice, organic agave nectar
Greens Plus Natural Peanut Butter 240 20 11 20 17 2 organic agave nectar
Fucoprotein chocolate/macadamia nuts 210 14 5 28 11 7 organic honey, organic cane sugar
QuestBar Cinnamon Roll 170 20 6 24 1 17 erythritol,lo han guo,stevia
Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Bar 230 5 11 27 19 5 organic agave nectar, organic evaporated cane juice
Raw Organic Fiber Chocolate Delite 200 3 6 33 18 14 organic agave nectar, organic evaporated cane juice
100% Whey Protein Crisp Bar 250 26 2.5 34 7 1 sugar,sucralose,brown rice syrup,maltitol,honey, molasses
VPX Zero Impact Pumpkin Supreme 415 30 17 35 11 7 corn syrup, honey, erythritol,brown rice syrup
Ultimate Flurry Double Peanut Butter 350 32 11 38 6 4 maltitol,dextrose, corn syrup,sugar


Additional Notes

Power Crunch Peanut Butter


Power Crunch bars are my favorite in terms of taste. They have a unique, light wafer-cookie-like consistency that is unlike any other protein bar I've had. Nutrition wise they are actually pretty clean, only a small amount of sugar, no questionable ingredients. You can also find them pretty cheap at Trader Joes. Other flavors exist besides chocolate peanut butter: triple chocolate, french vanilla, cookies and cream, mixed berry. I like pretty much all the flavors, but Trader Joes only carries the chocolate peanut butter and french vanilla.


Active Greens Organic Food Bar


These actually use brown rice protein rather than whey, but I figured I would include them since they don't use soy at all (no protein isolate or lecithin) and they taste really good (in my opinion). The downsides to this bar are the price and the high sugar content. Bio-availability of rice protein is lower than whey, so that's also something to consider.


Betty Lou's Peanut Butter Balls


Betty Lou's is very clean and pretty cheap (especially if you can find them on sale). No corn or soy at all, not even soy lecithin- it uses sunflower lecithin instead.


Greens Plus Natural Peanut Butter


The flavor on these is so so, but the ingredient list seems to include every possible superfood you can think of. Price is pretty high unless you find a sale.


Fucoprotein chocolate/macadamia nuts


Flavor is pretty good, very clean ingredients list, has a lot of fiber. I was able to get them on a buy one/get one half off deal for an OK price. These bars do not contain soy lecithin, but carry the warning that they might contain trace amounts of soy due to manufacture in a facility that also handles soy. These actually use a mix of milk protein, whey protein concentrate, and brown rice protein concentrate. Evidence supporting the benefits of fucoxanthin seems quite scant, but I can't really find any faults with this bar other than the retail price.


QuestBar Cinnamon Roll


Clean ingredient list for this particular flavor. Other flavors seems to use Splenda(sucralose) which some people may not like. Does not contain soy lecithin.


Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Bar


Barely qualifies as a protein bar at only 5g, but pretty tasty as a snack, and I got these on sale for around 80 cents, so I can't complain.


Raw Organic Fiber Chocolate Delite


Lot of fiber as the name suggests and the flavor is decent. Clean ingredient list.


100% Whey Protein Crisp Bar


The whey crisp bars don't use soy protein isolate but they do contain soybean oil and soy lecithin as well as sucralose.


VPX Zero Impact Pumpkin Supreme


These things are huge and filling (as you'd expect for something >400 Calories). Contain potassium sorbate as a preservative. They use low Dextrose Equivalent (DE) corn syrup as a sweetener. I'm not clear if this is just a fancy name for maltodextrin and if so whether that really buys you anything in terms of reduced insulin response. Taste is decent.


Ultimate Flurry Double Peanut Butter


Flurry bars contain soybean oil and multiple artificial colors and flavors. Tastes vaguely like a snickers bar, but way too sweet for my taste.

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