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
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.
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.
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.