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?

Are LUNA Bars Healthy? An Unbiased Review

I wish!!!

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:


The Whole Nutrition Bar For Women (Luna) - Is It Marketing Hooey?

Snack Girl has to be honest with you. I have always hated Luna bars....

Cliff Z Bar Review

A Brownie as An Energy Snack?: Clif Z Bar for Kids

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.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 25 )

I have been on a mission forever it seems to find protein/snack bars that don't have the artificial sweeteners in them and still taste good enough that I would want to eat them. I have found YUP bars online, they are newest I have found. I should get my order today, it is hard to find them without artificial sweeteners and after a lot of elimination i realized that they are what was causing some of my digestive issues. If there are any suggestions for other bars please let me know. Can't do soy either so makes it harder too! Keep up the good work Lisa, love your posts!!

A good one I have found is Phyter bars. They are sold in the Chicagoland area at Whole Foods and some other locations and I believe online too. I would be curious about your take on them from a health perspective.

The never ending quest for a decent protein bar! This one is my favorite right now - the Simply Protein line. My fav is the lemon coconut 150cal/15gm protein fairly short ingredient list: Soy, Protein Isolate, Chicory Root Fiber, Cashew Butter (Dry-Roasted Cashews, Sunflower Oil) Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut, Tapioca Starch, Natural Flavor, Salt.

I like the Luna lemon zest. I recently found RX bars & have been loving them

I love Oatmega., full of great ingredients, five grams of sugarINGREDIENTS: Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla), Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut, Organic Sunflower Oil, Almond Butter, Responsibly-Caught Fish Oil (Anchovy, Sardine, Tilapia), Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Monk Fruit Extract.

Yes. I Tried Them. I Think They Are A O K As A Brunch Lunch Item In Order To Make Up A BreakFast Short Fall Less Sugar Than Lunchtime Clif Bars.

(Kind Bars I Don't Purchase Because I Am At Home I Purchase


By The Way Your Lo Mein Article. I Cannot Say I Assemble Lo Mein Because I Do Not Purchase Spaghetti. I Purchase Other Macaroni Offerings To Which I Add Soy Sauce Upon.

I have found that Atkins makes some decent snack bars. Snack bars, not the meal bars. Two different things. Very low sugar, high protein,high fiber. The chocolate one is to due for.

NUGO Slim bars are amazing! 3 grams of sugar, 17 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber in the Crunchy Peanut Butter which is also vegan! These bars are my go to for breakfast or a sweet treat with coffee. They are available at my local supermarket ($1.89) or on Amazon. I also love chocolate brownie.

Larabars- yum! Unsweetened fruit, nuts, and spices. These taste great and have a nice texture as compared to some other bars. (Note: They *look* like they have more than the recommended sugar- but that comes from the dates) My dietician recommended them, and I haven't found a flavor I don't like yet! She always reminds us that not all sugars are created equal!

Are we forgetting Snack Girl's own "Everything but the kitchen sink" bars that can be cut to any size serving to suit your need? My own personally favorite bar.

Lisa-I LOVE the Larabars can you review those please?

I believe that Luna Bars are meant as a meal replacement more than snack bar, but I may be wrong. I love the coconut chocolate one, and mostly eat that. My 6-year-old twins have Celiac disease and we literally tried every gluten free bar to try and replace the favourite snack before the diagnosis, which was the Quaker Dips granola bars. The only bars they have liked of the many we have tried have been Luna Bars. They each like different flavours, their faves are: Nutz Over Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcake, Smores, Peanut butter chocolate, Brownie Nut Bar, and Hazelnut.

Finding anything they can eat on the go or when we are out too long is VERY hard, so I am very grateful for these bars. I do consider them a small meal for them and plan as such. When I eat one, I don't get a sugar crash as I would with something too sugary. And I feel a sufficient energy boost that I really appreciate. Often when I have a busy day, I'll be fuelled by one of these and coffee for hours.

Yes, I've tried Luna Bars, but I don't feel the + outweigh the -

I LOVE Lara Bars - what do you think?

My favorites are the Cashew and also the Pecan.

Luna bars contain fiber and fiber is crucial to healthy eating habits and weight loss though there is no scientific proof that it does help. We can rather try leptigen for weight loss.

I try to make my own but when I can't, I go for Lara bars or Kind bars. Never like the Luna bars.

My dietitian recommended OatOmega bars as well. Really like them. Blueberry makes a quick carb/protein combo if you're in a hurry for breakfast; the chocolatey ones feel like dessert, esp. if you cut a half one into little pieces like mini candy bars.

Lara Bars! Especially the lemon. 5g protein, 4g fiber, and no added sugar beyond what occurs naturally in the dates. Only three ingredients - dates, nuts, and natural lemon flavoring. I stash these everywhere.

I've been eating a luna bar (dark chocolate with hazelnuts) with only 5 grams of sugar (180 calories) - it tastes good and is in the range I can manage. Probably still not good for me, but tasty.

Luna bars are meant to be a snack for hikers, climbers, cyclists, etc who may just need a quick snack since they are burning through so many calories so fast. Anytime I go on an extended backpacking trip I take these and they give me a quick boost of energy until I can set up camp and make a real meal. I get the argument for having too much sugar but when used for its intended purpose (instead of an everyday snack) it’s pretty minimal.

I happen to LOVE Luna Bars! Especially the Lemonzest. Yes it had 9 grams of sugar, but come on, that’s way less than cookies and it’s a bonus that vitamins are added to the bars.

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