Yesterday we compared Kellogg’s Fiber Pus to Larabar. Despite the high amount of fiber in Kellogg’s bars, the clear nutrition winner was Larabar, with a short, understandable ingredient list and no added sugar.
What you need to know:
To start off – Clif is made with many organic ingredients, whereas Lara is not.
Nutritionally, the bars are quite similar – Clif weighs in at 69 grams and 240 calories, and Lara at 51 grams with 230 calories. Definitely not a 100 calorie snack. Clif sports 4 grams of fiber to Lara’s 5 grams. Sugarwise – 22 grams to Clif vs 20 to Lara (that’s about 5 teaspoons each!). We shall check the sugars’ source in a bit.
Clif does have 50% more protein than Lara – 9 grams vs 6 grams, but remember that most people do not suffer from lack of protein.
Here is Clif bar’s ingredient list:
Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Walnuts, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Toasted Oats (Organic Oats, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice), Organic Diced Bananas (Organic Bananas, Organic Rice Flour), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Oat Bran, Psyllium), Organic Banana Powder, Organic Soy Butter, Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Cinnamon.
Almonds, Dates, Unsweetened Bananas.
Clif has 29 (!) ingredients vs Lara’s 3. And the first one is sugar (Organic Brown Rice Syrup is just a fancy word for sugar, don’t be fooled). There are 3 more added sugars mentioned in Clif’s list (underlined), so you can be sure that most of the sweetness is not from the 26th ingredient, organic date paste. Lara goes to the other extreme – sourcing all its sweetness from dates and the bananas. Funny they write unsweetened bananas, we’ve not see sweetened bananas as an ingredient in other products. Bananas are simply very sweet, especially when a bit overripe.
Clif’s high protein count is again, not from a direct food, but rather soy protein isolate, a derivative of soybeans (note that here Clif is not using organic, so for organic fanatics – you’re probably getting GMO here).
Another irritating fact about the Clif bar is the addition of “Natural Flavors”. When the Clif founder Gary Erickson was mixing the first bars in his mom’s kitchen, there were no such additions, be assured. So what happened to the wholesome natural ingredients that they need to be fortified with a “natural flavor”?
In summary – looks like Larabar is the winner again.
We do have a lot of respect for Clif though. It is a small company run by a passionate founder and his wife, with a focus on organic and sustainable raw materials (recyclable packaging), exceptional employee benefits, etc… Now if they could just put together a simple bar…