Energy Bars and the Binding Problem

Energy bars are a 6.5-billion-dollar market and are here to stay. People grab them between meals, sometimes as meal alternatives, or even to break a sweet tooth craving without feeling too guilty. They were created for the sports market but have fully penetrated the general market and nowadays most grocery stores have a full aisle that’s just energy bars (for clarity I refer to all bars – protein bars, meal replacements, etc – as energy bars).

And like everything energy bars can have a place in a healthy diet. But for most people, they mean empty calories that could be better used in higher quality food.

Because energy bars have a problem, a big problem, a binding problem!

You see energy bars are a mix of fiber/carb (oats usually), a fat (nuts usually), and a binder: sugar!!

You have to hold all the ingredients in a bar together, and the only way to do so is with sugar!! And that is the binding problem.

Now, most energy bar companies are very good at marketing, so they try to hide the binding problem behind healthy-sounding words: dates, honey, maple, brown rice syrup, or if it is a keto bar, all sorts of alcohol sugars or sugar alternatives like stevia.

But it is all the same, sugar! Sticky, gooey sugar! So much sugar! Much more sugar than anyone needs on a snack. Or worse, alcohol sugars which can give you serious cramps and other stomach problems. Nobody should be eating alcohol sugars on the regular if they do not have a sugar sensitivity problem, because they can actually end up causing sugar sensitivities.

And here is the problem from a technical standpoint: you cannot make an energy bar without the sticky binder.

Why? because if you mix fiber with nut butter and try to bake it, it will become crumble. Why? Because the liquid and solid parts of the nut butter will separate, thus creating the crumble. You see, fundamentally heat breaks the emulsification of the solid and fats in nut butter, so you get the crumble.

So, you must add sugar. The preferred sugar of the most popular bars are dates, but you can also find prunes or any other type of dried fruit. But the result in your body is the same: sugar!

And there has been only one energy bar company that recognizes the problem sugar presents and has built their marketing around their natural low sugar alternatives: Kind Bars. But then again, their bars are problematic in a different way, because of the presence of inulin (chicory root), another problematic ingredient that we will explore in another post.

And like everything, there is a place for sugar in our lives. If you are out biking 2+ hours or running, or just overall depleting your body of its sugar reserves through several hours of endurance sport, then, by all means, eat that Clif Bar with the first listed ingredient being brown rice syrup.

But if you are just a bit hungry and craving something sweet, then might as well indulge and eat half a KitKat, because believe or not half a KitKat has less sugar than a Clif Bar!

Ideally, though, a good snack is a portion of 40 grams or less and has a good balance of fats and proteins, the 2 components that will actually make you feel full, and only a little bit of sugar.

That is why a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or a cheese sandwich are the undefeated go-to snacks because they have a balanced mix of fats, protein, carbs, and sugar. You feel full, without having so much sugar in your blood that it creates a sugar spike, and then the unfortunate sugar crash that follows it right after.

Now let’s look at some of the most popular and worst offenders in terms of sugar in the energy bars aisle:

Clif Bar - 21 grams of sugar per bar

RX Bar - 12 grams of sugar per bar

Lara Bar - 18 grams of sugar per bar

That’s a lot of sugar for a little bar that will keep you full for at most 2 hours!

Especially when you keep in mind that a man should consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day and for women, the number is even lower at just 25 grams. That means that a woman that eats a Clif Bar just ate most of her daily sugar consumption! Why not have ice-cream instead, or something actually delicious!

But the point is that there are better snacks, with a more balanced offering of fats and protein, and that are naturally low in sugar.

And that's where Nutality Energy Butter comes in. I wanted to create a product that had those balanced fats and proteins, so you could feel full, but was naturally low in sugar, so you would not get a sugar crash. And because Nutality energy butter is that, a butter, I did not have the binding problem! I did not need to bind the ingredients into any geometrical shape, no rectangle, square, or ball, because it is a butter! I had full freedom form!

With freedom from binding and amazing ingredients like pea protein, coconut cream, real chocolate and, superfoods like maca, and matcha, I could create something technologically groundbreaking: A food that had the fats and protein of the best energy bar, yet low sugar like nut butters.

And there is sugar in Nutality energy butter! There are dried fruits and maple syrup, which are all sugars. But the quantity is ridiculously small because I did not have to bind anything, so you can enjoy the sweetness of fruits without the sugar crash. Each energy butter has at most 5 grams of sugar, yet they taste sweet and delicious. So, you get to have a filling snack without using up all your daily sugar allowance, so you can spend it in a piece of chocolate cake instead if that is what you want.

So, if you are ready to break free of energy bars and their binding problem, may I suggest you try some Nutality energy butter today? I know you will love them!

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