Are LUNA Bars Healthy? An Unbiased Review
March 30, 2020 25 Comments
LUNA BAR is marketed exclusively to women as a healthy choice. Can a flavor like chocolate cupcake be healthy?
The real question with a flavor like "chocolate cupcake" is whether LUNA BAR is a candy bar or a healthy snack option.
LUNA BAR associates its brand with health. I mean who doesn't want to be as tough as Megan Rapinoe - a superstar on the soccer field and a paid sponsor for LUNA BARs.
If I eat these can I play as well as she can? At 50 years old, I believe my boat has sailed but I would eat just about anything that could help me be a better athlete.
But, I think LUNA BAR may be marketing a bit o a a dream here with their flavors - for example, S'Mores. I don't think eating anything flavored like S'Mores is going to get me to score in the World Cup.
I don't think Megan eats many S'Mores either.
On the other hand, LUNA BAR has blueberry, lemon, and peanut butter flavors - and those I can see as healthy options.
I haven’t written about LUNA BAR since my scintillating LUNA BAR review in 2012 so I decided to take another look in the hopes that they were better. I don’t think I am that demanding but it is almost impossible for me to find what I want.
Last year, I wrote about Clif Z Bar and was unimpressed. Clif Bar makes LUNA BAR as well.
What do I want from a snack bar? These are not meal replacement bars in my mind because they don't have enough calories. I don’t think I am that demanding but it is almost impossible for me to find what I want. My ideal snack bar would have:
1. Five grams of sugar per bar.
2. About 150 calories (the right size for a snack).
3. Have a delicious flavor and texture.
Pick up any snack bar in the supermarket aisle and use these criteria before you buy it. You can make the judgement about the relative health of these bars all on your own (don't take my word for it). The biggest problem is added sugar.
If you want to eat sugar - just go for the cookie! These are not a great replacement for a cookie because they do't taste nearly as good. I promise that you will still want the cookie after you eat one of these.
Some people are simply focussed on the amount of protein in the bar - BUT 9 grams of protein does not offset the grams of added sugar. All of us eat too much sugar and processed food (like snack bars) are a big source of added sugar.
The first one that I tried was the LUNA protein – chocolate chip cookie dough. Are LUNA BARs healthy?
At a 170 calories, it wasn’t too far off BUT (if you can see it) – 14 grams of sugar!! And I’m not sure of the cookie dough brand that the creators were thinking of – but this did not remind me of cookie dough. It was salty, chewy, and tasteless. FAIL.
The other three bars had 8 grams of sugar (see below) were about 200 calories and varied in yumminess.
My favorite bar BY FAR is the LUNA Lemonzest. Here is the ingredient list:
Protein Grain Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Milled Flaxseed), Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Chicory Fiber Syrup, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Palm Kernel Oil‡, Organic Palm Kernel Solids, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Organic Glucose Syrup, Natural Flavors, Organic Natural Flavors, Organic Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Pectin, Sodium Bicarbonate.
and the nutrition facts:
190 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 9 g sugar, 8 g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 95 mg sodium, 7 Blue, Green, Purple SmartPts
These do have 8 grams of protein which will help with satiety (not feeling hungry after eating them).
This LUNA BAR tastes like a lemon cookie and it is okay. I think I would prefer a lemon cookie even though this is supposed to be good for me. Adding vitamins and protein to something with 9 grams of sugar doesn't make it a healthy choice. Sorry LUNA BAR.
Would I eat this instead of a candy bar? YES! I would because a candy bar is going to be around 30 grams so this is an easy choice. I think that is why you see LUNA BAR and other snack bars at the check-out aisle. People are grabbing them instead of candy bars.
What I would like to see is apples and bananas in the place of the candy bars. Wouldn't that be the best choice?
Overall, I would avoid these and go with a bar that is packed with dried fruit and nuts like a KIND bar. The KIND bars are still too big BUT some of them have 5 grams of sugar and they taste like real food.
Have you tried LUNA BARS? Are LUNA BARS healthy?
Other posts you might like:
Snack Girl has to be honest with you. I have always hated Luna bars....
I don’t know how many of you would like a chocolate brownie that is also a healthy snack –but I guess that would be a majority.