I discovered this protein bar the other day when I stopped to get a cup of coffee at a local convenience store. Quick Trip had placed them strategically right above the coffee cup lids, and being as I seen right away that they were sugar free, I bought one to go with my coffee and to review for you, our wonderful readers.
Barebells Caramel Cashew Protein Bar meets all the criteria I personally look for in a protein bar – I want to know that it is sugar free, a good source of protein, and fiber. This protein bar fills the bill on each of those three qualities I look for in a bar. And just as importantly, I want my protein bar to have great taste and texture.
I am sure that some of you who like protein bars can relate – some bars can be sort of dry and mealy, and often times not really taste very good. In case any of you wonder why I did not place taste and texture at the highest criteria of importance for me is that I eat foods more to fuel my body than to enjoy flavors.
Barebells Caramel Cashew Protein Bars taste good – the caramel flavor blended with a hint of cashew flavor is quite good. The inner caramel nougat is slightly chewy and has a smooth texture when you are eating it. These protein bars are really just like eating a sugary candy bar except they are sugar free, full of protein and will not cause cravings later in the day for more. They are almost too good to be true if you are one who likes candy bars but know that you should not eat too many of them. The reason why is because of a serious downside which can come with maltitol being used as a sweetening ingredient.
You would probably be best off to not eat more than one per day at the most.
Barebells sweeten their bars with the sugar alcohol maltitol which is known to give some people gastro-intestinal upset. Or in other words, if you eat too much you might want to remain close to a bathroom in case you get the trots.
It is a consequence that comes after eating maltitol, some people will experience stomach pains and gas. Maltitol also can act similarly to a laxative and cause diarrhea. The severity of these side effects depends on how much of it you eat and how your body reacts to it.
There aren’t any other major health concerns with using maltitol or other sugar alcohols. Just know, buyer beware should you happen to enjoy these protein bars. I personally would not recommend children be given anything with maltitol as an ingredient, especially when traveling.
Looking at the nutritional and ingredients information, the only thing which I might find some fault in is in the fact there are no actual cashews in this bar. What is supposed to pass for cashew pieces are those little pieces of soy crisps. There is nothing inherently wrong with this but for the fact if a label says cashew, the product should actually contain cashews. However, this is only a minor issue for me and it will not keep me from trying any of Barebells other products as I think the good taste and texture are of a higher quality than many other protein bars I have consumed in the past.