Larabar Protein Bar Review

8.2
8.2 score
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Larabar likes to keep it simple. There is no better way than simplicity to stay on track and healthy. And this is the method they used when they created the Larabar protein bar. It is the kind of food that fulfills your dietary needs without sacrificing yumminess. You don’t have to be a fitness expert to want a tasty, fast, and nutritious snack. Larabar provides just that with all their flavor options and simple recipes. Getting back to basics never tasted so good.

The bar is a little heavy on calories, considering the amount of protein in it. But it’s not a bad ratio. And those extra calories are part and parcel of all the great flavors Larabar offers! Blueberry muffin is the most popular. And the rest are all just as dessert-oriented and delicious.

Larabar tries its hardest to be an ethical company. And to that end, they made sure that their protein bar was produced using Fair Trade ingredients. That means all the ingredients were sourced from people who treat and pay their workers fairly.  These bars are also gluten-free and great for eating on the go. And those are just a few of the the qualities that have made Larabar a go-to for athletes and busy folks all over the world.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Nine Ingredients Maximum
  • Large Flavor Selection
  • Inexpensive
  • Fair Trade
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
Cons
  • High in Sugar
  • Few Health Benefits

Calorie Count

The Larabar Protein bar is not in a bad range for their calorie count. Considering they don’t have additional benefits, however, the calorie count may be high if you’re eating these as a snack. Due to using whole fruits and nuts, they do have nutrients that other bars may not.

It is a protein bar, of course. But consumers really have to weigh if the protein and calorie balance is right for them.

The Larabar Protein bar is sweet and tasty. And the calories come primarily from carbohydrates and sugars. It isn’t necessarily high calorie but where calories come from is important. We generally want long term fuel in the mornings before workouts and between meals. Without fiber, this carbohydrate-rich bar will be metabolized very quickly, leaving you feeling hungry before lunch or your next meal.

Fair Trade

Exploitation is rampant in a lot of industries. The food industry has slowly been working to offer more ethical options to its consumer, for the sake of creating a better world. That is where fair trade options come in. Previous to fair trade agreements, workers in developing countries would be underpaid for work.

Companies were able to do this because there were few employment or money making opportunities other than the ones originating in developing countries. Fair Trade agreements bridge the gap between developed and undeveloped countries. This improves the global economy and local economies in areas where we rely on labor.

Larabar ensures that all of their products are created with agreements in place to protect those on both sides. This makes it easier to indulge in their sweet treats without any guilt. You know that your bars are being made by people being treated right.

Flavors

Do you love freshly baked blueberry muffins? Are you banana bread obsessed? Maybe you have a constant craving for delicious carrot cake. With so many baked goods and so little time, it can be hard to satisfy these types of cravings. So what is a person to do?

Well, they can get a Larabar Protein bar. Their flavors are inspired by your favorite baked goods. They manage to nail flavor profiles perfectly using only a few simple ingredients. That means a healthier alternative to warm apple or cherry pie, without missing out on the flavor. The last thing you want to do is sabotage your progress at the gym when treating yourself.

Fans of desserts and baked goods will go wild for their large selection of flavors. Unlike sickly sweet dessert bars, these are higher in carbohydrates, given a more rounded, dense sweetness. These have a bit of chew to them and won’t taste overly gooey or sugary when you bite into them.

For warm fruity tones, Larabar Protein bars are fantastic. You won’t get the artificial taste that you get from similar granola bars. They’re lighter, less dense, and more subtle than their carefully engineered counterparts.

Gluten-Free

Gluten is in grains such as wheat. It is what is responsible for the stretchy texture of doughs. Over the last few years, there has been a surge in gluten-free products due to more awareness of gluten sensitivities or allergies. These issues can cause stomach pain and bloating among other more serious issues like liver damage.

These intolerances can also make it hard to find good food. And this is especially true when it comes to supplements, protein shakes, and healthy bars like these.

Even then. gluten-free products have a reputation for being a bit bland, with an unpleasant texture. Taking out gluten often means avoiding wheat flour and using alternatives that may taste or behave differently. Now, gluten-free products are available so you'll hardly miss gluten at all!

Larabar Protein bars have a delicate texture that won’t evoke cardboard at all. Some of their denser options are rich with a pleasant, almost spongy bite. With the rise in gluten-free options, it's important to be able to single out which you want to try. Larabars are a safe and scrumptious sweet to give a chance.

Glycemic Index

Sugar is frequently spoken about in the food world. The food industry is notorious for adding sugar to products unnecessarily. Sugar helps to keep you hooked and coming back for more. It triggers a response in the brain that both makes you feel great immediately and forces you to crave more sugar.

This works pretty well, as high sugar products become high in demand. The glycemic index measures on a scale for how quickly our body processes the sugar in certain foods. Refined sugar has a high glycemic index. Items that are made up primarily of high sugar are similarly high. This won't fly as a supplement on a ketogenic diet.

Larabar Protein bars have one of the higher sugar contents compared to other bars. Though these are made with natural ingredients, the ingredients have a high sugar count. The calories in Larabars come from the carbohydrates and sugars. With most bars being 17 grams or more, Larabars will give you a sugar rush.

The Larabar Protein bars are not a bad alternative to actual desserts though. If you’re craving something indulgent and doesn’t want to eat a real dessert with even higher sugar content, these are an option. Still indulgent with not as much fat, sugar, or carbs, Larabars are a great way to not be bored with the same old granola bar.

Ingredients

Ingredient lists can be insanely long, with hard to pronounce words. Food like this will have different names for the same thing, generally sugar or starch. Larabars are refreshingly simple.
They take a much different approach to their ingredients.

Instead of ingredients lists that span the whole back of the packaging, Larabar Protein bars contain much less. You may wonder how you create pie or cake flavored treats with only a few ingredients. The way they achieve this is by knowing how to get those distinct flavors from somewhat unexpected combinations.

To make their apple pie bar, they use a combination of dates, apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and raisins. Their carrot cake bar has all the ingredients of carrot cake, without the flour and added sugar. Larabar Protein bars rely on the natural sugar of dried fruits and the warm spices to evoke the flavor of fresh pies, muffins, or cakes.

They advertise the tiny number of ingredients right on the front of the package. One of the longest lists is for the carrot cake, using a fruit packed blend, reaching their nine ingredient maximum. Salt, cashews, vanilla, apples, dates, and chocolate chips come together for the cookie dough flavor. These are simple recipes for exquisite final products.

Kosher

To be Kosher means that a product was prepared following Jewish laws or rules. Having a bar marked as Kosher creates a more accessible product for a wider variety of customers. For those who are orthodox or just prefer to keep Kosher, this means they can snack on Larabars without concern.

The yummy Larabar Protein bars are all prepared with regulations in mind that follow that standard of preparation. Their delicious flavors come from all natural ingredients that anyone will love. Catering to the dietary needs or restrictions of all your customers is extremely important.

Without taking all those who enjoy your products in mind when you create them, you’re preventing them from getting to savor your items. Larabars are made for everyone who wants to give them a try. Those who do decide to give Larabars a chance will be glad that they did.

Value

Despite having whole ingredients and a short list of them to boot, the Larabar Protein bars are extremely affordable. In part due to their large parent company, these are a very affordable option. Sixteen bars cost less than fifteen bars from comparable brands.

Considering the brand is fair trade, the fact they have managed to make them low price is both a testament to their values and their customers. These are a wonderful alternative to fast food during a busy work week. Even if the sugar content is high, this is still much better than a fat-laden option.

Getting your kids to eat before school can sometimes be a struggle. It is much easier to get them to eat breakfast when you have a delicious, decadent option to offer. Larabars are going to be a family favorite once they are given a chance. Think of these as a hassle-free way to get some fuel into your kids during the most hectic time of day.

Variety

Originally, Larabar made a protein bar named ALT. Though they discontinued this bar, it is still available from other sellers. Larabar just decided to retire the ALT, so they no longer sell or make it directly. All of their current options are comparable to the ALT in nutrition but their flavors like lemon poundcake are missed

ALT got its protein from an "alternative" source, mainly peas. Larabar still derives their protein from natural, real foods. Their current protein bars derive their namesake ingredient from peas, with the addition of nuts as well.

In their current rotation, they have five different specific types of bars, all angled towards different needs. Whether you are a nut for superfoods, vegetable blends, or just a smaller kid-sized option, Larabars makes something tailored for you.

Their protein options have 11 grams of protein. This is comparable to other brands in similar flavors but it doesn’t stack up to protein supplement picks. That being said, the added protein helps to justify some of the higher numbers for the carbohydrates and sugar. The protein bars have closer to 20 grams of sugar, so keep in mind these will still have a high glycemic index.

Vegan

Sometimes veganism inexplicably gets a bad rap. While not everyone agrees with cutting out dairy, eggs, and meat products - and some are medically advised against it - everyone can agree that it has benefits. Veganism helps the environment thrive. CAFOs, formerly known as factory farms, is one of the biggest contributors to harmful emissions.

Cutting out meat and dairy when you can is great for the world around you and your body. You don’t have to devoutly swear off meat products and by-products to indulge in vegan fare. This is tasty whether you choose to abstain from meat and dairy or not. You don’t have to feel like you’re depriving yourself of these things.

Delicious foods like the Larabar Protein bars are a non-committal way to enjoy vegan food. Even if the ideology isn’t your thing, these are so delicious, you won’t want to pass up on tasting them based on your normal food preferences. For those who are vegan, it's nice to have a bar that doesn’t contain palm oil or other similarly harmful ingredients when trying to eat consciously.

Bottom Line

These bakery inspired bars are a total hit with the tastebuds of many. With nine ingredients or less, they keep their approach simple, yet memorable. Acting as perfect copycats to all the flavors you’re looking for when you want a sweet, Larabars will satiate even the strongest dessert cravings.

These don’t need to be a pure health food option to be enjoyed. These are scrumptious in their own right, without requiring you to be a health food fan to love their flavor.