Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Quest for the Perfect Protein Bar

I'll give you the short version of this review:

Quest Protein Bars = Monkey's Ass

Oh, you want more details?

I have been trying to find a good protein bar since, well, forever. A lot of people dis on the humble protein bar including me. For one thing, most of them have more carbs than protein! But they work for me in a lot of ways.

-They are around 150-200 calories which is a perfect amount for a snack and okay for a meal replacement
-They have around 12-15 grams of protein per bar which is as good as anything I've found to snack on
-They fill me up in a way that a lot of my other snack choices do not
-They are convenient and portable

But for those 12-15 grams of protein, you often are getting 15 or more grams of carbs and at least half of them are usually sugar. If the bars aren't full of carbs and sugar, they are full of sugar alcohols! (Sugar alcohols make me gassy.)

This is why I keep trying the Quest protein bars. First of all, they have 20 grams or protein, not 12-15 grams. Secondly, while it has a similar carb to protein ratio as the other bars, only 2-4 of them are sugar. Most of the rest are fiber.

This makes the Net Carb people ecstatic of course. Only 2-4 net carbs! Except the whole "net carbs" concept is somewhat questionable. Also, there are people who doubt the stats on the bars and don't believe they really have so few grams of digestible carbs.

Though one of the reasons they give for doubting the stats is that a bar made up of 17-19 grams of fiber wouldn't be edible.

Um.

Seriously, when you first unwrap them, some flavors are like unwrapping a brick. People say they are better if you microwave them for a few second. I have tried this (10 seems about right) and they do soften up. Now instead of eating bricks, you are eating a soggy, gritty former brick.

I've also been told that some of the flavors are better than others. I've tried about five different flavors now. I didn't realize monkey's ass came in so many variations! But, hey, I still have five more flavors to go. Maybe I'll run into one that's actually delicious at some point. Or at least edible.

In the meantime, I'll stick to the sugar-y Luna Protein bars or the fart-inducing Oh Yeah! Good Grab bars. Both taste good and have okay, if not optimal, nutritional stats. At some point, taste does matter and the trade-off with those bars is worth it to me.



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