Product Review: Quest Protein Bars

Woman eating a cereal bar after exercises
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The Bottom Line

Quest nutrition bars can be a tasty and healthy addition to a low-carb diet, especially when convenience is a factor. The bars are sweetened primarily with natural ingredients, with a very small amount of sucralose. They are chewy, and with a pleasant caramel-like background flavor, and a mild peanut or almond flavor. I have checked my blood glucose after eating them, and there is no rise in blood sugar.

The only real downside is that the chicory root fiber can cause gas in some people.

Update: Since writing this review, the company has released many more flavors of bars, and also ones using Stevia to sweeten them.

Manufacturer's Site

Pros

  • Very good-tasting
  • No sugar alcohols, including maltitol
  • Low-glycemic, sugar-free, and low in carbs
  • No soy or gluten
  • Manufacturer will supply two free bars so you can check them out

Cons

  • Must mail order
  • On the expensive side (but no more so than similar bars)
  • Chicory root fiber gives some people gas (but not most, and the body can adapt over time)

Description

  • Comes in two flavors, with more under development - Vanilla Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter Supreme
  • 4 grams of non-fiber carbohydrate (from the nuts) in the Vanilla Almond Crunch, and 5 grams in the Peanut Butter Supreme
  • 20 grams of protein per bar
  • 230 calories in the Vanilla Almond Crunch, and 220 calories in the Peanut Butter Supreme
  • 15 grams of fiber, mainly from chicory root fiber, per bar
  • Sweetened mainly with inulin made from chicory root, with small amounts of Lo Han Guo (a fruit extract) and sucralose.
  • Gluten-free and soy-free

Full Product Review: Quest Protein Bars 

It turns out that making a low-carb nutrition bar without a lot of artificial ingredients is quite difficult.

The main issue is to make it shelf-stable - we can always come up with delicious recipes in our own kitchens, but we know that they aren't going to last on the shelf for months! Such was the dilemma of the makers of Quest bars. They had been following a low-carb way of eating for 12 years, but were totally dissatisfied with the bars on the market, so they decided to see if they could develop one. It turned out to be a long and winding road (experts kept saying, "It can't be done"), and they ended up getting a patent in the process!

The result, I'm happy to say, is really quite wonderful - a good-tasting bar without objectionable ingredients! The only negative at all is that the inulin in the chicory root, which is quite good for you and is a prebiotic, also causes gas in some people. The reason is similar to why beans tend to cause gas. In an extremely unscientific survey, I have talked to a dozen people who have tried the bars, and 5 of them report this gas. However, (and also similar to beans) over time the body tends to adapt to inulin so that less or no gas is produced.

(Update: I did end up adapting! No more gas!!)

Tip: Many people find that giving them a few seconds in the microwave produces a yummy soft treat.

Ingredients (Vanilla Crunch): Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Almond Butter, Dry Roasted Almonds, Raw Almonds, Water, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Lo Han Guo, Sucralose.

Ingredients (Peanut Butter Supreme): Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Peanut Butter, Dry Roasted Almonds, Water, Raw Almonds, Peanuts, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Lo Han Guo, Sucralose.

Manufacturer's Site

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