Recently, the low-carb folks over at Go Lower asked Mark’s Daily Apple to review their low-carbohydrate snack bars. Though I’m not a proponent of processed foods, no matter how healthy – and I emphasize that – I do think there ought to be wiggle room in everyone’s diet. Personally, I enjoy a light beer now and then, and my wife knows it’s never a good idea to keep genuine black licorice in the house (the real stuff, not those pitiful strands that don’t actually contain licorice).
I also think that if you’re trying to lose weight, or simply get better at managing your weight, things like shakes, snack bars and treats that help you do it sensibly can be a real benefit.
The big problem with most low-carb snacks is the dreaded “mockalate” factor. Usually, low-sugar snacks are low on fiber, high on chemicals and artificially-manufactured ingredients, and contain enough alcohol sugars to swell you up like a blimp. If you have ever eaten one too many servings of faux chocolate, you know what I’m talking about, Apples.
I’ll say it again: I’m no big fan of processed foods, even ostensibly healthy ones. Usually, they aren’t healthy at all – low sugar is far from synonymous with health. But I was surprisingly impressed by the Go Lower line. All of the flavors – more on that in a minute – contain visible whole ingredients. There are no artificial flavors, chemicals, or fillers of any kind. Period. The chocolate raspberry bar contains real raspberries. The nut bars look like something any backyard bird would gladly fly into a window for.
You MDA frequent flyers know I’m a huge fan of fiber, and that’s why I can endorse the low-GI Go Lower line. They have, “bar” none, the highest amount of fiber I’ve seen in so-called low-carb snacks (between 7 and 10 grams a bar, easily triple that of most breakfast cereal servings). They aren’t made with faux ingredients or fake sugars. The secret: Go Lower’s makers rely on oligofructose, a fiber-rich, non-GI impact insoluble fructose that doesn’t get digested by your upper G.I. Heard of inulin? This is similar, safe, and natural.
Honestly, I don’t really dig the taste, but to be fair, I’m just not a snack bar kind of guy. They do taste better than most of the other bars I’ve had the displeasure of chomping into.
Here’s what the gang thought:
Chocolate Creme Bar (120 calories)
Elliott: pretty good, but still has that not-quite-real flavor. A lot better than Power Bars, though.
Sara: I’m a die-hard dark chocolate dork. But this is edible.
Aaron: I like it. It’s sweet, but not that sickening fake sweet. There’s no bad aftertaste like you get with aspartame.
Raspberry Creme (116 calories)
Jen: okay, this is amazing! Seriously, you will love these. Really fruity and not too sweet.
Aaron: I agree, amazing flavor. And only 5 grams of sugar.
Casey: It’s got my vote. I think this is the best of them. The fruit is real and the chocolate isn’t chemical-tasting. It’s real cocoa – 47%.
Coconut Nut Bar (143 calories)
Elliott: I don’t taste the coconut. But I like strong flavors and sharp spices. If you like subtle flavoring, it’s pretty good. The one thing I’m not crazy about is the soy in these – that’s a processed ingredient I don’t recommend. But, in general, the ingredients are excellent – good fat, nuts, real chocolate, no sugar.
Sara: sorry, but this tastes like what I imagine licking the forest floor would be like. I am all for nuts, but this is really bland. I am impressed that every single one of these bars lists fiber as the first ingredient, though! That’s a big improvement over corn syrup, corn oil, or refined flours.
Aaron: I think it’s great! Really dense and satisfying. For only 143 calories, this is a really filling snack – and the fiber is incredibly high – about 10 grams! This easily beats any other snack bar or candy. Lots of good fat, fiber, and protein.
Raspberry Nut Bar (141 calories)
Jen: this is a lot better than the coconut, in my opinion. I love the mix of naturally salty seeds with the tartness of the raspberry. I think the raspberry-nut combination they have really works.
Sara: this is excellent. The linseeds, nuts and raspberries are a really satisfying, fresh combination. Awesome!
Casey: I like this. I’d buy them. Tastes like real food – like trail mix without all the salt and sugar.
Aaron: All the raspberry bars are really incredible. This proves there’s no reason why healthy can’t be tasty.
To see the detailed nutritional information, check out Go Lower’s site. My homeboy Jimmy Moore also enthusiastically reviewed these smart snack bars a while back, and you can check out his review, too. Thanks to Kevin and Hannah for letting us try out the Go Lower line! If you like the occasional snack bar, and you don’t want artificial ingredients and sugar, give Go Lower bars a try!
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