Nakd cereal bars review

Review: Nakd cereal bars

Now I was in a quandary when Natural Balance Foods wanted to send me some of their Nakd cereal bars to review. I actually had to sleep on it. Why? Because at one point, these little bad boys fed my sugar addiction. They are not the most sugar saintly thing on the planet. Would it be right to review on my blog? And could I live in peace with a whole box of them in the house?

I thought about those who actually might be reading the post, and I figured I could put together quite an insightful piece on these. It could help those at different points of their sugar-free journey, in different ways. So here’s a review; a handy comparison on a sugar front (they sent me every flavour); and my opinion on when I think eating these is most appropriate.

Nakd cereal bar review: The good and bad

Nakd cereal bars review

One for the chocoholics!

Cereal bars were my thing. I was at the forefront of trying the latest one. They were the supposedly ‘healthy’ way to cure my sweet fix. About 2 years ago I discovered Nakd and I liked them a lot, for the following reasons:

  • Made with 100% natural ingredients i.e. not overly processed
  • Contain mainly just fruits and nuts. Not refined sticky rice puffs like other cereal bars
  • They are pretty substantial and do fill a gap
  • They have a little protein from the nuts
  • They taste delicious (I LOVED the cocoa orange one)

However, on a sugar front they are not so great, due to the following:

  • Most bars are made with dates and raisins. Nearly all of them are made with approximately 50% dates and then another 10-15% raisins on top.
  • Dates and raisins are two of the highest and most concentrated forms of sugar (and fructose) around. Some would even compare them to sweets.
  • They are big portions. 35g in a packet equals more sugar in one go (hard to not eat the whole thing)

How much sugar?

On average we’re talking 14-15g sugar per bar. This is near enough 4 teaspoons which is quite a lot in one hit. I’d say I eat 25g of natural sugar a day now, so it’s a big proportion of that. I found the average cereal bar, for example a Special K, usually was around 7g, so these are over double that. Natural sugars yes, but high in sugar nonetheless.

Nakd cereal bars review

Artistic shot of Nakd bars on my laptop!

Here’s a list of the lowest to highest sugar content by flavour:

  • Ginger Bread 11g
  • Pecan Pie 12g
  • Cashew Cookie 14g
  • Cocoa Orange 14g
  • Cocoa Delight 15g
  • Cocoa Mint 15g
  • Berry Delight 16g
  • Caffe Mocha 17g
  • Rhubarb & Custard 18g

The lower sugar ones are my favourite anyway and the Rhubarb & Custard tastes a bit chemical-like, so that makes picking easy in my eyes.

When to eat these?

So the question is, when are these appropriate? Here’s my view:

1. As a ‘better’ substitute/h4>
If you’ve decided you’re going to eat something sweet and are about to reach for a chocolate bar, a flapjack or a full on dessert, these are a better substitute. They were a definite ‘bridge’ for me in terms of switching bad foods to ‘better’ foods. However, now I would have a square of dark chocolate over one of these, and some greek yoghurt over that. I believe somewhat in a progressive journey.

2. When hungover

I’m most likely to have one of these when I’ve indulged on alcohol the night before. I’ve written about alcohol and blood sugar before, where you might find your body is craving energy while it processes the booze. One of these cereal bars can provide that sugar hit in a more natural way than a bottle of Lucozade if you’re on the go, and are desperately feeling awful.

In summary…

I’m hoping this post has been helpful to you wherever you are on your low sugar journey. I do think Nakd bars have a lot of sugar and they certainly aren’t something I’d advise to eat if you’re actively looking to cut down. They are a big NO for those on my Mentor Me Off Sugar programme and not something I eat regularly these days.

However, I appreciate, everyone is different and at varying stages of lowering sugar, so really, it’s your call. Some are mighty tasty and they are a lot ‘better’ than other sweet things. At least now you can save yourself some sugar credits by opting for the lower sugar ginger bread flavour and you’re fully aware of how much sugar you’re putting away when eating one.

I can’t believe I managed to sit with these on my desk and not eat all morning. A good sign I must have eaten a decent enough protein filled breakfast, and that I’m ‘safe’ from falling back to old ways.

If this has been useful please share, like, comment or wave ;)

What do you think of Nakd bars? I would really love to hear your thoughts on these….favourite flavour, when you eat them etc. 

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17 replies
  1. ChocRaspberry
    ChocRaspberry says:

    I have to say I am a big fan of Nakd bars, although I am a bit dubious of the ‘natural flavours’ they add to the flavoured bars, for example with the rhubarb and custard they aren’t adding fresh rhubarb otherwise they’d state that on the label, so what they are adding is ‘natural’ flavouring which could be anything. And I agree that one and teh caffe mocha taste quite synthetic. I would much rather that they stated orange zest as an ingredient rather than natural flavour if that is what they are using, but I’m not sure if it is. Anyway those are my random thoughts on that subject. I do eat them on a semi regular basis, mostly because they are convenient, and much better than the alternatives. I’ve actually just ordered two cases of the new ‘crunch’ varieties, I wonder if the added protein will bring the amount of sugar down. Great review!

    • lauraj_thomas
      lauraj_thomas says:

      ChocRaspberry Thanks Ffion, yeah I wanted to do an honest review. I do think they’re tasty, especially the pecan one which I think is my favourite but I literally have avoided them till they sent them to me for this review. For ease and convenience I can see the attraction. Anyway glad you liked! Be interesting to see what the new variety are like as you say.

  2. munchforhealth
    munchforhealth says:

    Hi Laura, great review! The gingerbread one is my favourite so it’s good to see it has the lowest sugar content too. Like you I used to eat Nakd quite often to get my sugar fix, but I don’t really have them as much anymore because I’m trying to eat less processed foods. I’d be interested to try one of the new bars though!

  3. JoyceWeeks
    JoyceWeeks says:

    Found this very interesting as I have two bars that were in a birthday hamper from my daughter, who was doing her best to supply me with healthily food. I haven’t eaten them yet but think I may pass them onto my hubbie, who is also having to eat my low fat, high sugar yoghurt since I changed them to total Greek since reading your website. Keep up the good work, fab!

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Thanks Joyce, sorry for the delayed reply here. I seem to missing some comment notifications on occasion. The Nakd bars are a tough one and they are everywhere now. If you’re trying to get to that next level of control over cravings then let the hubbie enjoy them as a healthy alternative to chocolate and seek some lower sugar snacks :) Hope it’s going well! x

  4. europehealthtv
    europehealthtv says:

    Interestingly, we have a competition in this month’s issue of HealthTriangleMagazine dotcom to win some exclusive backpacks full of Nakd bars. Not many healthy products taste as good as this!

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      They do taste good and I still like them but they were dangerous for me at a point. I think it’s just important for everyone to understand they’re not completely saintly if they’re trying to get control over your sugar cravings and fructose dependence. A whole backpack of them is reasonable if it lasts you a year rather than a week ;)

  5. Perri
    Perri says:

    Thanks for the great analysis Laura. I have only tried the Gingerbread and was such a fan I thought of ordering them in by the boxful, but after your post, I realised that of course they must be high in sugar (even if natural sugars) and that’s why they’re so yummy. I’ll keep them for a treat now,
    Cheers, Perri

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Thanks for your comment Perri. I don’t want to completely demonise natural sugars but I do think it’s important to be aware, especially if you’re suffering from cravings and are particularly partial to dried fruit like I was. Glad you found this helpful :)

  6. Mark Corder
    Mark Corder says:

    What I don’t see in this review is whether the Nakd bars are healthy or not, because they contain fruit and nuts and in a mixed variety. The emphasis seems to be on sugar rather than the healthy benefits.

    I say this because a plain and simple apple has 23g of sugar. A peach has 15g of sugar. A large banana has 17g of sugar. Personally I find quite a few fruits quite boring and tedious, but in an effort to eat healthily, I’ll have a Nakd bar and hope that I’m no worse off for it.


    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for your comment. Nakd bars are a healthy substitute for many (instead of chocolate etc) but this blog and my articles are people who are looking to reduce their sugar intake and reduce their cravings. Because they are concentrated sources of fructose, they don’t help if you’re trying to increase your sensitivity to sweet and get control over your cravings. I found personally I was eating a Nakd bars nearly everyday and I was craving them and all kinds of sugar. When cut back on everything like this, I found that small portions of fruit and these days 1/2 Nakd bar suffices for the little natural sugar I have in my diet.

      Healthy for some, but for people with a troublesome relationship with fructose then it’s important to be aware I feel. Hope that helps?


  7. Laura
    Laura says:

    Hi Kevin, I do still like them don’t get me wrong, but I was also feeding my sugar addiction with them at one point so I just have them every once in a while now as a real treat or even just eat half at a time! They are so much better than a full on chocolate bar so I appreciate them as a healthy food for many. The cashew one is definitely my favourite. What flavour did you buy? Or mixed?


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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