Monday, May 28, 2012

LUNA Protein Bars Review

Last week, I received some gluten-free LUNA bars in the mail.  Marketed specifically for women, the bars have fewer calories than their Clif bar counterparts, and have more nutrients specifically geared to the needs of women. 

The line of bars is fairly extensive, including the original bar, the mini, protein and fiber versions.  I received 3 flavours of the LUNA protein bar for review: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, and Mint Chocolate Chip. 

The Facts:  All LUNA protein bars went gluten free in 2011 and are produced on their own dedicated line.  The company website states that they source ingredients that are confirmed to be gluten free and that they also test the final product.  The website also has an allergen reference table that provides information on the most common allergens ata quick glance.  The protein bars are also certified kosher and contain no genetically modified ingredients. 

Each bar is under 200 calories, making it a snack bar rather than a meal replacement.  They also contain 3g of fiber, and are high in calcium and folic acid.  The bars contain between 6-9g of fat each.

The Flavour:  I have to admit, these bars were pretty delicious!  Most protein bars have a vaguely chalky feel to them and a strange aftertaste, but not these.  They were nice and chewy without being hard, and were comaprable in size to some bars that are higher in calories and fat.  I eat breakfast at around 7a.m., and I ate a bar each day at around 9:30 at work.  The protein kept me feeling satisfied until lunch, which is sometime between 11:30 and 12:30, depending on the craziness level of the day.  Considering my increased pregnancy appetite, that's pretty impressive!

The Verdict:  On a pure taste level, I love these bars.  The flavour is great, I like that the calorie count is reasonable for a snack and that they have a decent amount of fiber and an even better amount of protein.  I also love that the ingredients are non-GMO, and that they contain calcium and vitamins that are geared specifically towards women's nutritional needs.  The only drawback for me is that each bar is a bit high in saturated fat, at 3.5g per bar.  I would prefer that amount to be lower. 

Although I don't eat protein bars on a daily basis, these bars taste great and make a great portable snack to have on hand when hunger strikes and gluten free food is nowhere to be found.  Their protein and fiber content are satisfying and the flavours make it feel more like eating a treat than a health food bar.  I always pack something to tide me over when going out, particularly now that I'm pregnant.  These bars are going to become part of my go-to arsenal of portable, gluten free snacks. 

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