Published on October 1st, 2013 | by Becky Striepe1
Healthy Snacks? A KIND Bars Review
Are KIND Bars healthy snacks or just another candy bar in disguise?
Another snack bar review? You betcha! It must be that time of year – I have been getting emails from all sorts of snack food companies looking for reviews of their bars (check out the list of other snack bar reviews at the bottom of the page). Of course, all of these companies tout their bars as healthy snacks or even meal replacements, but I’m always skeptical that something in a plastic wrapper is good for me.
Healthy Snacks or Candy Bars: What’s the difference?
I think that any snack bar should be a sometimes food. If you overslept and it’s grab a bar or skip breakfast, by all means, do it! But if you’re eating a snack bar every morning, chances are you’re not doing your body any favors.
The trick to deciding whether bars are healthy snacks is reading the ingredients list and looking at the label. Here are the things you are looking for:
- Weird chemical additives. Use your judgement here, but if there are ingredients that skeeve you out, that should throw up a flag for you.
- How much sugar? Some snack bars try to limit how much sugar they contain. Others don’t. If the amount of sugar is in the single digits, chances are you’re on the right track.
- How much salt? When companies don’t use good ingredients, they use excess salt to make their foods taste more palatable. Look at the net weight of the product. For every 100g, there should be no more than 120mg of salt. That is the definition of a low-salt food.
KIND Bars Review
I made a small mistake when talking to the rep at KIND bars: I didn’t tell her that I’m vegan! For some reason, I assumed that all KIND bars are vegan. They are not! They do have a few Healthy Grains Granolas that are vegan:
- Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds
- Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia
- Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
Since I couldn’t eat the bars they sent – many contained dairy, and they all contained honey – my omnivore husband was kind enough to try these out and give feedback for me. He actually eats KIND Bars semi-regularly and loves them. He says that he thinks of them as a “good” snack that he grabs when he wants to avoid reaching for the candy bowl at the office.
What I can tell you about KIND Bars is what I read on the labels. The ingredients and amount of sugar and salt can vary quite a bit, so when you’re choosing a KIND Bar, definitely flip it over to see if you’re opting for healthy snacks or something on the sugary side. They are all very low in sodium. Here are a couple of examples of the sugarcontent:
- Madagascar Vanilla Almond – 4 grams of sugar
- Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew – 14 grams of sugar
- Dark Chocolate Cinnamon – 5 grams of sugar
In contrast, let’s look at the sugar contents of a few popular candy bars (I got these from the company websites.):
- Snickers Bar – 27 grams of sugar (also, can we talk about how insane it is that they’re billing these as healthy snacks??)
- Kit Kat Bar – 21 grams of sugar
- Hershey’s Bar – 24 grams of sugar
Even the more sugary KIND bars only have 1/2 to 2/3 the sugar of these more common candy bars, plus KIND bars are GMO and high fructose corn syrup free. They’re also made with actual dried fruit instead of fake dried fruit made of colored lumps of sugar (no, for real).
Other Snack Bar Reviews
As promised, here’s the list of other snack bars that I’ve reviewed recently:
So, what do you guys think? Can snack bars be healthy? Do you eat KIND bars when you’re on the go? Let’s talk healthy snacks in the comments!