Product Review: NuGo Nutrition “Slim” Bars and NuGo “Dark” Bars
If you are like a lot of our readers, you have you tried dozens of protein and “on-the-go nutrition” bars. If you’ve paid any attention to the labels, you’ve noticed that many are high in sugar. (You are reading food labels, right?)
There’s good news to share: NuGo Nutrition offers six different varieties of nutrition bars, several of which are high protein, low sugar (low Glycemic Index – G.I.), gluten-free, vegan, and free of artificial sweeteners. Most important, they are delicious and satisfying!
I promise, it’s not too good to be true.
When it comes to nutrition bars, I look for exactly what NuGo Nutrition has to offer. Many bars, including some I’ve tried and others that never got past my reading the label, are little more than a candy bar disguised at health food. That’s not what I want for my family or me. Some protein bars have great ingredients, but taste leaves a lot to be desired This can be especially true of gluten-free products. Just ask my nine-year old daughter who needs to follow a GF diet. “Mom it tastes like sand paper with sugar” was one of her recent comments. Her little sister agreed.
When I received several varieties to sample from NuGo, it wasn’t just my health-conscious opinion that mattered. My daughters got to chime in, too.
Bite-by-Bite on NuGo Nutrition Bars
The first bar I tried was the NuGO Slim Raspberry Truffle. I recently switched-up my workout to include a near torturous 50 minutes of military style drills mixed with cross-conditioning exercises. It’s called Rebel Fitness for a reason, folks. I’m fatigued from head-to-toe when my sweat-drenched body leaves the gym. By the time I finish a shower, my stomach is rumbling but it’s too early for lunch and I’m off to work. Most bars I’ve tried at this time satisfy me for about 20 minutes, and rarely do I feel replenished.
The Nu-Go Slim Raspberry Truffle bar was different. I’ve been having a bar around 11:00 a.m. with a glass of water. This has held my appetite in check till about 1pm, my usual lunch hour. Even better, I didn’t feel that post-bar sugar slump. I feel physically replenished and mentally energized—very important for a writer.
The sweet spot: Raspberry Truffle has a delicate berry flavor and the chocolate is to-die-for good. The bar is crisp and satisfying. My daughter agrees; Raspberry and Brownie Crunch are her favorite for after soccer practice. My seven-year old daughter had this to say about the NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter flavor: “It tastes a bazillion times better than a Reece’s Pieces.”
Equally satisfying and tasty is the Espresso flavor. I do not like coffee. But I found the Espresso bar to have just enough of that fresh-roasted coffee aroma and flavor to be enjoyable for me—without the caffeine punch.
What Makes NuGo Nutrition Different—and Better?
A few things set NuGo apart from other chocolate-coated bars. First, nearly all of the NuGo bars are about the same size (45-50g) — which is larger than your average bar without adding a lot of extra calories: NuGo Slim bars contain, on average 190 calories, 2-3 g sugar, 15-17g protein, 4-5g of fat, and 7g fiber.
Second, the Non-Dairy NuGO Slim bar is low in sugar, high in protein bar and sweetened with real dark chocolate and chicory root fiber, instead of the sugar alcohol Maltitol (a sugar alcohol). Maltitol can cause gastric discomfort and carries an aftertaste that some people find displeasing.
Last, but not least, NuGo bars also use cocoa butter solids for the chocolate instead of palm kernel oil, which is used by makers of candy bars and other so-called nutrition bars. Cocoa butter provides a smoother, richer taste. The fats from cocoa butter are primarily in the form of stearic acid, which research shows does not raise cholesterol levels as much as other saturated fats. Cocoa solids also contain antioxidants. Palm kernel oil has nearly twice the amount of saturated fat and far less unsaturated fats compared to cocoa butter
My daughters also tried the GF NuGo Dark variety in Mint Chocolate Chip. After a few bites, here’s what they had to say: “Mom, it tastes like a mix between a Thin Mint and those Girl Scout cookies we used to buy.”
Compared to the Slim bars, NuGo Dark bars are a little higher in sugar (14g) and lower in protein (10g). However, my kids work hard when they play sports. We usually pair the bar with a piece of fresh fruit after a game or practice. And it’s not an every day menu item for them.
I just learned about NuGo Stronger, which boasts 25g of protein and 10g of sugar in a larger bar (80g). This is the kind of bar you might like during long hikes, when you need fuel for the journey but don’t want to add a lot of weight to your backpack.
Everyone in my family is looking forward to trying more NuGo flavors and the wide variety of bars they offer for active lifestyles.
NuGo Nutrition Bars Satisfy Many Lifestyles
Select bars are gluten-free, organic, non-dairy, soy-free, low sugar, and high fiber. Many are also certified organic, non-GMO, Kosher and Vegan.
Always read the label and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if allergen cross-contamination is a concern for you.
Use this chart to find the NuGo bar that is right for you.
Review By Karen M. Rider, M.A.
Karen is a contributing editor with Medicine Talk Pro. She has a decade of experience writing about holistic health, wellness, and integrative medicine. Karen holds degrees in kinesiology and health psychology and has training in wellness coaching, yoga and health research. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Association for Health Care Journalists. When she isn’t writing, Karen enjoys biking and kayaking with her family and relaxing with a home-brewed cup of organic tea.
Learn More about Karen
Comparison of Fats: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culinaryreference/a/fattable.htm
4 Common Maltitol Side Effects (NaturalHealthAdvisory.com) http://www.naturalhealthadvisory.com/daily/natural-health-101/4-common-maltitol-side-effects-more-reasons-to-limit-your-artificial-sweetener-intake/
Stearic Acid and Cholesterol: http://www.nel.gov/evidence.cfm?evidence_summary_id=250134