November 13, 2003

Luna Bar Review

There are lots of fitness/nutrition/protein bars on the market today. One, Luna, made by Clif Bar, markets its product especially to women. Packed with soy protein (wahoo!), Luna bars also offer a large amount of folic acid, and, depending on the flavor/type, calcium and other important nutrients. They range from 170 to 180 calories, and they're great snacks.

Since I've tried them all except Chai Tea, Chocolate Peppermint Stick, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Orange Bliss, I thought I'd give a review.

The Flavors.

I'll start with the negative. I just recently tried the two new flavors, Caramel Apple and Dulce de Leche. Uh, yuck! They taste imposed...too sweet with a bit of an aftertaste. If I'm hungry and it's the only healthy choice, yeah, I'd eat one. Both have some sort of strange icing on the bar. It's just too much.

Now - two bars "weigh in" at 170 calories; the rest are 180. The two at 170 are Sesame Raisin Crunch and Toasted Nuts and Cranberry. Both are great, and I often use these as cycling snacks (3/4 of one or so at each refueling stop). The reason? Nothing meltable, and that matters in extreme heat. Endorsed.

Of the remaining bars, 180 calories each, the top choices for me all include a bit of chocolate. It's the perfect amount of chocolate. You see it; you taste it, but it's really negligible. Those are Chocolate Pecan Pie, S'Mores, and Nutz Over Chocolate. These are not, because of the chocolate, bike friendly in temperatures nearing and above 80, but they make great afternoon or mid-morning snacks and can even serve as the occasional late breakfast.

So-so flavors? The Lemon Zest is too...zesty. Tropical Crisp was okay, but I wouldn't buy it if I had other choices. I've eaten so many of the Cherry Covered Chocolate ones that I'm tired of them, and Sweet Dreams left me craving more water to get rid of the cloying aftertaste (but otherwise good).

Now, the nutrition info. I'll use Nutz over Chocolate. Sorry you low carbers - you're likely going to rule these out at 24 grams of carbs for a 180 calorie serving. But check it out - all of the folate a woman needs, and 35% of the calcium. This is great for a person like me who doesn't eat much dairy.

Where can you get 'em? Well, many grocery stores will sell them, as will stores like GNC. I get them in bulk online from All Star Health, as this is the best I've found with pricing. I'd recommend the grocery store sampling method before ordering, as most people's taste buds are far less whacked than mine.

My personal favorites are Genisoy Extreme bars, though. That's a review for another day.


Posted by hln at November 13, 2003 08:39 AM | Health/Fitness/Nutrition | TrackBack

I like the sweet ones especially--Lemon Zest, Lime and Orange Bliss.

Toasted Nuts/Cranberry and Sesame/Raisin are also very good.

Dulce de Leche is awful. Just awful.

I know guys who have eaten them for snacks as well--apparently witthout turning into women.

Of course, I get a lot of dairy and the occasional serving of soy milk, so I probably don't need the stuff in the Luna bars. But they're good.

Posted by: Little Miss Attila at November 19, 2003 03:31 AM