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How Far From A Snickers Bar?
Written: Dec 21, 2000 (Updated Dec 21, 2000)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Taste, slightly nutritionally better than a candy bar
Cons:High sugar, less nutritionally complete than some competitors, poor bang for buck
Nutrition bars come in two versions. Either they're nutritionally complete and are aesthetically pleasing as compressed sawdust or they taste great and have all the food value of a compost heap. I've run the spectrum on the former and decided to give taste a chance.
The Clif bar is widely available in many supermarkets, which makes it a viable choice for many. I nevertheless picked it up at good ol' Nutrition Warehouse for a buck and a nickel. They stocked several flavors but the only one that appealed to me was the chocolate brownie. With 10 different varieties, there's something for everyone.
Nutritionally this bar is considerably different than the usual megaslugs of protein I'm accustomed to. Here's the Tale O' Tape from the 68 gram Clif Bar:
* Total Calories: 240
* Total Fat 4 g
* Saturated Fat 1 g
* Total Carbs 41 g
* Sugar 20 g
* Other Carbs (mostly sugar alcohol) 15g
* Fiber 6 g
* Protein 10 g
All in all, the Clif Bar is a sugar bomb. The protein source is not directly spelled out, yet a closer inspection of the ingredients reveals most comes from soy. At best this is considered a pre-workout energy source.
How close is this nutritionally to a candy bar? Here are the numbers on a 58 gram Snickers Bar (currently the #1 selling candy bar in the States):
* Total Calories 280
* Total Fat 14 g
* Saturated Fat 5 g
* Total Carbs 35 g
* Sugar 30 g
* Fiber 1 g (LOL)
* Protein 4 g
Not all that much different, huh? And realize that you're paying about 25 - 30 cents more for the privilege of the Clif Bar. The Clif does pack additional punch with a smattering of 23 vitamins and minerals with most RDI values in the 15 - 35% range. Nevertheless, the numbers do NOT positively impress.
Now that Clif has plunged nutritionally, it had better come through in the taste test. I opened the wrapper and revealed a very brownie-like bar in appearance. A little dry and shrivelled, yet mostly an intact fudge brownie. I reckon if I sat in a wrapper for months I'd be parched myself.
The scent gave me a positive as it did indeed smell like a brownie. I could see the little soy pieces throughout the otherwise brown lump. For a 68 gram bar, though, it did appear small.
Took the first bite and I liked it. It did honestly taste like a fudge brownie, albeit a brownie laced with soy. Still, the Clif was a pretty tasty morsel. The consistency was dry and crumbly, despite its wrapper purporting a moist and chewy experience. Between the diminutive size and the really good taste, I finished the Clif Bar quickly. It was a more satisfying treat than many candy bars.
But is it nutrition? Should we chuck all our notions of getting a healthy snack and begin gorging on Snickers and Butterfingers? I say no and no. For the money, the nutritional punch given by the Clif bar isn't a fair value. There are better sources of nutrition on the market that won't give such a high ratio of carbs and sugar to protein. If a pure carb play is needed - such as for endurance athletes nearing an event - it's better to get them from more natural sources like grains - though check the sugar content on those labels. Another alternative I like is the Met-Rx Food Bar. Although it's a carb monster also (52 g with 26 g sugar) it packs 26 g of high-grade protein. As a nutritional play, I can't recommend the Clif.
Good taste, though!
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