As most of you know, I absolutely despise bars. Being someone who didn’t like the freeze dried food options on backpacking trips, I basically survived off bars and trail mix until I couldn’t stomach them anymore.
For the most part, this feeling towards bars has been a blessing. It pushed me to get creative and find alternative real food options to bring outside that serve me better on the performance front. But on the other hand, I understand the draw to bars from a convenience standpoint so I’m always looking for good options.
That is what I consider Primal Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Almond Bar: a good option.
I’ll compare it to Clif Bar’s Chocolate Almond Fudge bar for a close reference point.
Here’s why I like Primal Kitchen’s bar:
- It isn’t too sweet. Coming in at only 3 grams of sugar (as opposed to Clif Bar’s 22 grams), this bar won’t spike and crash your blood sugar. Plus, there are only two names of sweeteners in the ingredient list (honey and monk fruit) as opposed to Clif Bar’s 5 names (brown rice syrup, cane sugar, barley malt, fig paste, and dried cane syrup).
- What that means: it will keep your energy level consistent.
- It is made with grass-fed collagen. Collagen is a form of protein derived from the connective tissue of animals (usually cows). It is a complete protein that helps support digestive health and muscle repair. Consuming protein that comes from grass-fed animals as opposed to grain or corn fed, will actually lead to an anti-inflammatory effect in your body. So it has 15 grams of high-quality protein, compared to Clif Bar’s 9 grams.
- What that means: collagen from grass fed animals makes for a great post-exercise protein option.
- High in fat. Fat is something that keeps you full longer and balances your blood sugar. Primal Kitchen’s bar has 15 grams of fat derived mainly from coconut oil (as opposed to Clif Bar’s 6 grams from almond butter).
- What that means: if I’m in an emergency situation where I’m starving, this will last long enough to get me where I need to go for a proper meal.
- Overall high-quality ingredients. First of all, I know what all of the ingredients are. Second of all, there are words like grass fed and non-GMO. And third of all, they use good ingredients i.e. honey instead of cane sugar, coconut oil instead of canola, and Himalayan salt instead of iodized table salt.
Here’s what I don’t like about Primal Kitchen’s bar:
- The texture. I get the chewy mixed with crunchy vibe, but also feel like my jaw needs an ice pack after eating it (TMJ problems). It’s a little stuck in the teeth and hard to chew through but texture is an issue I have with most bars so take what I say with a grain of salt.
- The price point. Coming in at about $3.30 each at the store, it’s on the expensive side for a bar of its size. That being said, can you get that high quality of ingredients without paying for it? Nope. At least not until our food system flips on its head so worth the price. An alternative: buy a 12 bar box on Amazon for a price point of about $2.42 each, which makes it more competitive to other bars out there.
- The use of monk fruit. Monk fruit is relatively new on the health food scene and I’m always EXTREMELY skeptical of sweeteners claiming to be no calories, have zero effects on blood sugar, don’t cause weight gain, and safe for diabetics. It’s a classic “too good to be true” situation and I don’t understand what’s wrong with just eating less of the good stuff and letting it do what it’s supposed to do in your body. Sounds like another diet soda situation to me but I guess time will tell. There is such a small amount of it in these bars that it’s not a deal breaker, but until there’s more research backing it, I’m keeping it on the skeptical list.
Most bars, when eaten on an empty stomach, last me 30-40 minutes max before I’m crashing and need a meal. This bar lasted about 1.5 – 2 hours, which is pretty unheard of for bars. So touché Primal Kitchen.
Great to keep on hand as an emergency. Key word being emergency. Like all bars, they are not meant to be a meal replacement or eaten in excess. They should be thought of as band-aids when needed to get you to your next meal or as a light post-exercise recovery snack. Thankfully, the price point on these bars will keep you in check!
Have you tried these? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!