We are all busy. Although I do recommend NEVER leaving your house without food (lol, seriously, you never know when you’ll be out longer than expected and get hungry), sometimes you get in a pinch and grab the lesser of the evils. KIND bars come up often when talking to clients…
As with any food product, of course, it depends on the exact ingredients as well as how they are processed, packaged, and stored, as all of those things can play a role in the nutrition of the product.
Product to evaluate: Kind Energy Bar (Peanut Butter flavor)
*Disclaimer- KIND makes tons of different types and flavors of bars. I am looking at this specific one for this review. Although at a cursory glance, I would not recommend this brand, I will admit that I have taken time to look at every individual one.
Its claim: These bars claim on the front of the package that they give “sustainable energy from 100% whole grains (17g/bar).”
What does the research say?
One randomized controlled trial (study) indicated that whole grains can improve blood glucose levels and therefore increase energy when comparing whole brown rice to milled rice.1 Also, whole grains may improve energy because of their high fiber content which can strengthen the microbiome and improve elimination.2
Is their claim valid?
Yes and no.
A serving of whole grains is 16 grams, so there is indeed one serving of whole grains in each bar. Whole grains as verified by the evidence above do indeed support good energy.
However, in the case of this product, in order to get the benefit of this serving of grains, you also would have to consume a great deal of sugar. In addition to the whole grains, these bars also contain tapioca syrup, honey, and cane sugar for total sugar content of 13 grams/bar.
Would I personally consume this bar for energy or other purposes?
No. These bars are not organic and do contain canola oil. They say that they are non-GMO but I am usually skeptical of even organic canola products due to crop contamination.
Also, although I don’t believe these are the worst bars I have ever seen, they are not health-promoting. Remember: our goal isn’t just to eat the least worst food but rather to consume the best food ever so we can have the best health ever!
Consuming non-organic foods can cause problems with the liver, brain, and reproductive systems, as humans weren’t designed to run on herbicides, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals.
Consuming these on rare occasions may not cause a major problem but they also wouldn’t support your best most optimal health (which is my goal for myself and my clients).
If you wanted to eat these, I would recommend it to be rare and more as a dessert than a meal replacement or “energy” bar. For energy, there is nothing better than a fresh organic green smoothie. Or, if you do need a quick go-to bar, I love the organic Original Food Bars. I carry these in my clinic, and they come in Vegan/original, Chocolate Chip, and Active Greens (my favorite). These test well and are made from organic whole food with no added sugar or oils. Remember, never feel deprived, always reach for incredible food upgrades!
- Panlasigui LN, Thompson LU. Blood glucose lowering effects of brown rice in normal and diabetic subjects. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2006. doi:10.1080/09637480500410879
- Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013. doi:10.3390/nu5041417