Pros: Low carb
Cons: Pricey, high cal/high fat, unpleasant taste & texture, SPLENDA.
I like the premise of low carb foods, so the Atkins Advantage Bar looked like something good to try. Since there are so many appetizing carbohydrates out there, a bar like this might have the capability to replace some carbohydrates with something different.
Packaging & Appearance
The first thing you notice about the wrapper is Advantage written in red across the bar. It has the Atkins logo and says The Original Low Carb Lifestyle. The front also notes that there are only 2g Net Carbs.
The flavor is written at the bottom, and there are several flavors to choose from.
The back of the wrapper provides all the pertinent nutritional information, and so on. An expiration date is also provided.
Texture & Taste
I was hoping and expecting to like this bar, but unfortunately I didnt like either the texture or the taste.
First of all, Im not a big fan of bars that have all the ingredients already ground together and then shaped into a bar. This is the case with the Atkins Advantage bar. It is pre-mixed and then covered in a chocolate coating. The only thing differing from the plain consistency was what seemed like bits of coconut thrown in (obviously in the coconut flavor).
Theres also bars that are pre-mixed that require some crunching or have some substance to them, but this was more like eating (or gumming) dried-out peanut butter (although I imagine dried-out peanut butter tastes much better).
Inside, the bar is a tan color, and the texture just seemed a bit pasty. It wasnt really too dry or too moist, but it had almost a chalky feel and taste. The Atkins Advantage Bar has that crumbly, doughy sort of texture that is not my favorite.
As for the taste, all I can say was that it is odd. I dont really know what Im tasting, but theres some kind of strange taste as well as aftertaste that wasnt too pleasant. I would say it is most likely attributed to the vitamin and nutritional content of the bar (what other reason could there be?!). Actually, the ingredients list Splenda, which could be one of the culprits.
Even the smell of this bar was an immediate indication of what I felt was an unpleasant taste. The smell is strong upon opening the wrapper. Youll definitely get an idea of what this is going to taste like as soon as you get a whiff of the bar.
After eating just a little, I just wanted some water. The texture was sort of pasty, and the aftertaste was becoming overwhelming. I didnt make it through one bar in a sitting, so it didnt quite require me to consume vast quantities of water; however I would assume it would be the case, had I continued.
Chocolate Mocha Crunch
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cookies N Creme
Creamy Berry Cheesecake
Creamy Lemon Chiffon
Frosted Cinnamon Swirl
Pralines N Creme
There is a fairly good selection of flavors, although I must say I didnt make it past one flavor
Ingredients & Nutritional Information
(From the Atkins website):
INGREDIENTS: Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium/Sodium Caseinate), Glycerine, Polydextrose (Fiber), Water, Cocoa Butter, Natural Coconut Oil (Non-Hydrodgenated), Coconut, Cellulose, Cocoa Powder, Olive Oil, Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Maltodextrin, Guar Gum, Citric Acid (Flavor Enhancer), Sucralose (Splenda Brand Non-Nutritive Sweetener).
NUTRIENTS: Vitamin A- 25%, Vitamin C- 25%, Calcium- 30%, Zinc- 25%, Iron- 15%, Phosphorus- 20%, Magnesium- 15%, Vitamin D3- 25%, Folic Acid 25%, Vitamin B2- 25%, Vitamin B6- 25%, Vitamin B12- 25%, Vitamin E- 25%, Chromium- 15%, Niacin- 25%, Biotin- 25%, Pantothenic Acid- 25%, Vitamin K- 25%, Selenium- 25% (all in percent Daily Value).
All of the nutrients come from the nutrition blend that is added to the bar.
This is definitely not vegan, considering several ingredients. Things like collagen are usually animal products, and isnt the most appetizing of ingredients. It depends on how you look at the ingredients, but I suppose the Atkins Advantage Bar seems vegetarian.
Theres something else Im not thrilled about, and thats the use of Sucralose or Splenda. Of course, I should have been a little more intuitive in realizing that a low-carb bar is going to have to use something for its sweetness. I personally dont like the taste of Splenda, or just about any other artificial/no calorie/low calorie sweetener, for that matter.
I would rather not take chances with my health with something like Splenda. Take a look at this article that talks about the dangers of Splenda:
There are so many ways to choose a healthy diet without artificial sweeteners, so Ill stick with some of the many wonderful other products that are out there.
There are 230 Calories per bar, which was sort of surprising, considering that there are other nutrition bars out there with not as much. And since this one has a zero calorie sweetener as well as low carbs, I guess I expected it to be lower. It was also surprising to find 10 or more fat calories.
Since the Atkins Advantage bar is packaged in a foil, it should be safe for traveling. The bar is somewhat firm, and even though it might squish under pressure, I would say it probably wouldnt make a mess.
However, temperature is another thing, and with that chocolaty coating, it would definitely mean a messier bar and some sticky fingers. Even without warm temperatures, I found this bar melting to my fingers.
Where to Buy
I picked up the Atkins Advantage bar at my local health food store. If you do like these bars (or any others), remember you can usually get some kind of discount if you buy a case. (Although you have to like one flavor quite a bit!). I also see them at nutritional and vitamin stores like the Vitamin Shoppe.
My first impression of this bar was that I didnt like the smell or taste. After trying the bar and finding out a little more, I have to say I was even less enthused about this product.
Personally, I think there are better ways to go low-carb, without suffering through a bar like the Atkins Advantage Bar. There are better ways to lose weight and to eat healthier- rather than focusing on the Atkins (or any) low carb diet plan. The Splenda was the sure-fire way for me to stop eating this bar.
In terms of finding a nutrition bar or energy bar, I highly recommend Luna, PowerBar, and Clif Bar. This bar is one of the worse ones that I have sampled, out of the many I have tried. I think it is easy to find a better, more healthy bar, with less calories.