Best Low-Carb Snack Bar Review
I’ll be the first to admit that nuts and single serving packets of almond butter get boring after a while. I’m a huge advocate of always having keto snacks in your purse, car or wherever you go, especially when you are away from home. We are most susceptible when we are out of the house, in the car or in the office and hungry.
It is when we are most likely to resort to vending machines or fast food restaurants. Now, there are options at some fast food places, but you don’t have control over things like oils used, preservatives and things that are used behind the scenes.
I have 3 things that are always in my purse or my car.
- Macadamia Nuts
- Single Serve Packets of Almond Butter
- Perfect Keto Bars
Perfect Keto Bars were just released on November 5th, so this is a new addition.
Now, once we are fully fat adapted, we will find ourselves getting HANGRY way less often. But in the early weeks or following a cheat, we are more easily taken over by hunger and then make bad food choices.
As I said, nuts and nut butters get boring after a while.
I’m aware that many people buy Atkins Bars and eat them as a snack often. While they may be low carb, the ingredients are HORRENDOUS. Just like many of the weight watchers packaged foods.
Up until recently, there really weren’t that many options for a high-quality keto snack bar.
Sometimes, carbs are the only thing that gets looked at. Rather than the ingredients AND the carbs. If you are doing dirty keto, then ingredients are not really something people bother themselves with. I do think they are important whether you are dirty or strict keto. Now, I’m not saying that dirty keto isn’t acceptable. Certain ingredients may be meh, but are still ok on occasion.
For products that we consume daily, though, it is much more important.
So let’s look at 2 keto snack bars. The first will be a popular Atkins bar and another will be Perfect Keto’s new snack bar. If nothing else… to illustrate you get what you pay for and your body will suffer the consequences if you go cheap with blinders on.
We are going to look at the Atkins Bars first. I chose the Atkins Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll. Just one of their average bars. There are 19 total carbs, but 6g of fiber and 10g of sugar alcohols. A common thing is to subtract fiber and subtract sugar alcohols. On a side note, I do not subtract sugar alcohols.
Anyway, to some, this calculation would end us as 3 net carbs. Perfect, right? Not even close. Let’s look at the ingredients:
The first thing that jumps out at me is that there are more than 30 ingredients. Peanuts are the first ingredient so that is what is the majority ingredient. Next is milk chocolate flavored coating which consists of maltitol, some other stuff, soy lecithin, etc.. The next ingredient is maltitol syrup, other stuff, peanut butter, blah, blah, blah. From an allergen standpoint, this contains peanuts, milk and soy.
Now, are these the end of the world? No, but there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t eat these on a regular basis.
First of all, peanuts are the main ingredient. Did you know that peanuts are actually not a nut? So while these bars are labeled as a nut bar, I’m not really sure where the nut comes from since peanuts are actually a legume. They contain lectin which is an anti-nutrient and very pro-inflammatory. They also have a high level of Omega-6 fatty acids. I’ve talked about the issue with this in prior podcasts and blogs.
Our body needs a balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The Standard American Diet is notorious for containing a high amount Omega-6 fatty acids which wreaks havoc on our body in terms of inflammation and other issues.
Everything I just talked about with peanuts is also true for soy. And on top of that, soy is one of the largest GMO crops there is. I wrote a research paper a while back in grad school and I recall that 90 something percent of soy crops were GMO and it was even higher than corn which was crazy.
Now, let’s talk about Maltitol. It actually has a Glycemic Index of 36 which means that is does, in fact, affect your blood sugar. Most people just think sugar alcohols are benign and that is not always the case. Maltitol has one of the higher GIs for artificial sweeteners.
I don’t want to devote any more time to these yucky things, so let’s move on to a better option!
Let’s check out the Perfect Keto Bars in terms of ingredients. There are 11 ingredients. I will list every one for you: Organic Almond Butter, Soluble Tapioca Fiber, Cacao Butter, Collagen Protein, Organic Cocoa, Almonds, Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Coconut Oil, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, and Stevia.
Most notable, I’ll point out there are no legumes and no sugar alcohols. The first ingredient is Organic Almond Butter, many of the ingredients are organic, all whole foods, and sweetened with Stevia vs a sugar alcohol.
In case you didn’t know, Stevia is naturally found in nature and has a Glycemic Index of 0. Definitely a much better choice than Maltitol and in fact Stevia is my sweetener of choice in my keto baking.
Perfect Keto Bars are the only low-carb protein bars on the market that are actually optimized for a healthy ketogenic diet.
You also won’t see massive amounts of protein and a small amount of fat like your typical protein bars.
A closer look at ingredients
- Organic almond butter & almonds. Almonds are low in carbs and loaded with monounsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which keeps me feeling full for longer and gives me a nice dose of micronutrients. And since Perfect Keto only uses organic almond butter and almonds, I don’t have to worry about nasty pesticide exposure that comes with other brands.
- Grass-fed collagen. Collagen directly supports healthy skin, hair, nails, brain, joints, gut, heart, and eye health.
- Cacao butter. The cacao butter in this bar serves two purposes: it adds an extra layer of fats in the form of saturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation, and gives these bars a richer texture that feels more like a brownie than a bar.
- Organic cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants — which can help fight free radicals — and it’s beneficial for heart health. So while you’re technically eating cocoa, it’s nothing like the sugar-filled chocolate you’re used to since there’s added health benefits. So it’s better taste-wise and nutritionally.
- Organic coconut oil. As one of the best fats on keto, coconut oil is packed with medium-chain fatty acids that give your body the fuel it needs to power through any day and it helps support ketosis. It also has anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties so you know it’s a staple in my house.
- Soluble tapioca fiber. It’s the cheap binders found in other bars, among many things, that have a tendency to kick you out of ketosis. That’s why Perfect Keto ditched those altogether and used soluble tapioca fiber, which keeps these bars keto-friendly.
A Blood Sugar Experiment
Perfect Keto spent a huge amount of time perfecting these bars to create a satisfying snack that won’t kick you out of ketosis. 1 year and 18 different iterations to be exact.
Dr. Anthony Gustin even went so far as to test his bar against 3 other popular low-carb protein bars to see how it affected his blood sugar.
I was shocked by what he discovered.
This is a MUST watch video if you are even mildly interested in keto, metabolism, and snack food.
Too long? Didn’t watch? Quest and Dang bars spiked his glucose by 20-30 points and Bulletproof spiked it by 40 points for 5 hours!
Perfect Keto Bars increased his glucose by 3 units. That’s about as much as you would expect from standing up or sitting down.
I stick to these Keto Bars since they won’t stimulate increases in my blood sugar and I know there’s only high-quality ingredients inside.
What I like about them
Besides the ingredients? The taste of course. Chocolate with a hint of sea salt. Need I say more? I didn’t think so!
Know what else I like to do? I like to brew a cup of Perfect Keto’s Instant Coffee and pair it with this snack bar. A great way to start the day!
They are clean, tasty, convenient and perfectly keto!
Bars are fickle, especially high quality keto bars. These ones hit the spot. The thing I love best about these bars is that the chocolate flavor with a hint of sea salt on top of the sweet flavor. My favorite combo EVER and these bars nailed it.
Are they more expensive than Atkins bars? Heck yeah! Not even close. But, you get what you pay for. Think of produce and meat – is organic more expensive than non organic? Totally. Why? Because, unfortunately, the healthier foods are more expensive. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is.
Higher food costs now, lower medical bills later. That’s my thought process!
If you want to try these bars, use coupon code KETOBARS25 to get 25% off!
So, back to snacks in general, my best advice is to be prepared. We all get hungry now and again, get stuck in traffic or forget about an errand we have to run. Getting caught in one of these scenarios without being prepared is a recipe for disaster. I don’t want you or anyone making quick decisions that might derail your path temporarily.
Grab some nuts and nut bars and keep them with you!
Trina Krug is a Holistic Nutritionist, Integrative Health Coach and host of the Carbless Conversations Podcast. With a Master’s Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, her single mission in life is to facilitate self-healing in herself and those around her through awareness, lifestyle shifts and low-carb eating. As a current Doctor of Science student, she continues her studies in functional nutrition.