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Are gluten-free Lara Bars paleo?

by (101)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:29 PM
Created August 29, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Are gluten-free Lara Bars paleo? By the most-strict definition? If not, what is wrong and is it "OK"?

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E42df6ff885d9d40f63836ce804d9e8e
25 · November 22, 2013 at 4:57 PM

if they were once using GMO ingridents, I think that may have changed. See here.

I don't know a whole lot about the Non-GMO Project, but it looks reputable.

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Damn! These things are delicious. UGH. Well at least we only have to worry about LaraBars since those other brands are NOT paleo ;)

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

LaraBar trees, haha. And good point about not making them a staple. Also one for breakfast would definitely spike your insulin, possibly the worst way to start the day for anyone. That being said... these things are delicious haha

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Good for you with your self control just breaking off a chunk! It's all or nothing for me -_-

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I love these! There are some with chocolate in them too, depends if you're avoiding that or not :)

D779919c96f031f7e3393057f1caaefd
0 · November 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM

The "Uber: Sticky Bun" variety has only 7g of sugar, which is the lowest I've found of any so-called energy bar so far. The part that's not pure paleo is the brown rice syrup and molasses. Still, it seems like a good post-workout option to this amateur.

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4754 · August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

1)linoleic acid - eliminate or minimize oils from nuts/seeds 2)grains - avoid or minimize food toxins (phytates, lectins and more) by eliminating grains/legumes/plant proteins. Nuts/seeds are also high in plant toxins unless soaked and sprouted (whene possible) 3)added sugars- minimize or eliminate foods with added sugars, especially fructose (sucrose is half fructose, honey is much more than half fructose.) fruit is definitely paleo but many minimize it or eliminate the high fructose fruits.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34
4754 · August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Linoleic acid is one of the short chain, polyunsaturated omega6 fatty acids. Paleo/primal could be said to hinge on the following:

E751dbb140aecc9479b9248891edf584
101 · August 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Fish oil and whey protein wouldn't be paleo either then, right? Snarky is a great word. Thanks for the comments.

E751dbb140aecc9479b9248891edf584
101 · August 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I tried finding some info on linoleic acid here and came up pretty empty. Could you point me to some info?

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c
725 · August 29, 2011 at 8:00 PM

yes.. they are high in sugar.. sure its from dates, but thats arguably worse if you believe in the problems of fructose. Moreover, the protein is from nuts which isn't exactly ideal. I think you would even be better off eating a protein bar that has plenty of whey protein, as long as sugar/sweeteners and other preservatives/chemicals are minimized

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

You are correct!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I tried to use them for hypo emergecies only, but I just ate them anyway. So I had to stop buying them. Did I mention how tasty they are?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Plus some ingredients are not "orthodox paleo" - peanuts, cashews, etc. Warning! They are really tasty and possibly insulin provoking. YMMV

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Snarky, snarky, snark-snark. Reminds me of a certain poem. "His vorpal blade went snicker-snack!" Speaking of snicker-snacks, I would avoid the one's with peanuts. For a bar, you're not gonna get much better, unless you make your own. I generally don't eat bars anymore - getting off the Atkins choco-peanut butter bars was harder than quitting smoking! I've tried those Lara bars and they are just too tasty for me.

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7592 · August 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Snarky is a great word.

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12359 · August 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

did they have computers in the paleolithic era?? c'mon seriously - why you gotta be snarky to a newbie??

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18691 · August 29, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Yeah, I read the nutrition information all the time and then put them back. I do occasionally buy one or two for "emergency" food to keep in my desk/gym bag. Usually they end up smushed and inedible. LOL.

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4359 · August 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Did they have Lara bars in the paleolithic era?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd
9812 · August 29, 2011 at 5:26 PM

This thread may be helpful (I did a search on here for Larabars) http://paleohacks.com/questions/29721/do-you-eat-lara-bars#axzz1WR6O4WyJ Some varieties have peanuts, just need to read the ingredient list.

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15 Answers

best answer

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34
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4754 · August 29, 2011 at 6:35 PM

In my experience, avoiding excessive linoleic acid is one of the most beneficial things to be done in toward the goal of achieving health. Lara bars, because of the nuts, have a lot of linoleic acid.

Also when we dry fruit, the volume decrease tricks us into thinking we're eating a lot less sugar than we really are.

Certainly it's a fine snack or treat once in awhile but if a person has significant health issues needing attention, it may be best to avoid them completely.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34
4754 · August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

1)linoleic acid - eliminate or minimize oils from nuts/seeds 2)grains - avoid or minimize food toxins (phytates, lectins and more) by eliminating grains/legumes/plant proteins. Nuts/seeds are also high in plant toxins unless soaked and sprouted (whene possible) 3)added sugars- minimize or eliminate foods with added sugars, especially fructose (sucrose is half fructose, honey is much more than half fructose.) fruit is definitely paleo but many minimize it or eliminate the high fructose fruits.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34
4754 · August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Linoleic acid is one of the short chain, polyunsaturated omega6 fatty acids. Paleo/primal could be said to hinge on the following:

E751dbb140aecc9479b9248891edf584
101 · August 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I tried finding some info on linoleic acid here and came up pretty empty. Could you point me to some info?

best answer

C22b71e29cc2d4019e31cc41b9322edd
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185 · August 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I use the non-peanut varieties for fuel when I'm biking because they are easy to carry in my jersey than a whole piece of fruit and nuts and provide some instant glucose that I need to continue. Not a bad option for that.

best answer

D0501f0cc09c961a06c3d188361e7b07
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428 · August 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

No, LARABARs don't grow on trees. Yes, LARABARs are paleo. They are made with fruit and nuts.

We don't eat them all of the time because we'd rather eat meat for protein/fat and veggies for carbs.

They are high in carbs. But being paleo doesn't mean you have to be LC, VLC or ZC (if that's even possible.)

Avoid the ones with peanut ingredients, don't eat 50 of them a day and remember to read food labels on packaged foods.

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I love these! There are some with chocolate in them too, depends if you're avoiding that or not :)

D779919c96f031f7e3393057f1caaefd
0 · November 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM

The "Uber: Sticky Bun" variety has only 7g of sugar, which is the lowest I've found of any so-called energy bar so far. The part that's not pure paleo is the brown rice syrup and molasses. Still, it seems like a good post-workout option to this amateur.

best answer

631c54f06823212486471f6f97087218
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33 · August 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

From my experience, MOST Larabars are paleo. They have been coming out with new flavors though that have some ingredents that are not paleo; i.e. peanuts (in the peanut butter bar) and chocolate (in the cookie dough flavor) but for the most part they are. They are very dense, but I like to break off a chunk of one during a 6 hour shift when I need the energy. They are also my go to on my long runs (im training for a marathon, and they are so much better than candy and "goos" that other runners use)

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Good for you with your self control just breaking off a chunk! It's all or nothing for me -_-

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a
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4276 · August 29, 2011 at 5:38 PM

By the most strict definition, unless you find a LaraBar tree, then no.

However, I think they are fairly harmless as long as you dont make them a staple. One for breakfast everyday seems like a ton of sugar all at once. One every now and then while on a hike, bike ride, or just as a treat seems fairly harmless.

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

LaraBar trees, haha. And good point about not making them a staple. Also one for breakfast would definitely spike your insulin, possibly the worst way to start the day for anyone. That being said... these things are delicious haha

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Plus some ingredients are not "orthodox paleo" - peanuts, cashews, etc. Warning! They are really tasty and possibly insulin provoking. YMMV

1368bb49d7a1455a3c477aea04363b03
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169 · August 29, 2011 at 5:21 PM

My only assumption is that it's a high carb load in the form of fruit sugars from the dried dates, or other dried fruits. Otherwise the ingredients are just nuts or the like.

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c
725 · August 29, 2011 at 8:00 PM

yes.. they are high in sugar.. sure its from dates, but thats arguably worse if you believe in the problems of fructose. Moreover, the protein is from nuts which isn't exactly ideal. I think you would even be better off eating a protein bar that has plenty of whey protein, as long as sugar/sweeteners and other preservatives/chemicals are minimized

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

You are correct!

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493
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3904 · August 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I was looking at them in the store the other day and was like no way I'm buying those. They are so tiny and way full of carbs.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I tried to use them for hypo emergecies only, but I just ate them anyway. So I had to stop buying them. Did I mention how tasty they are?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18691 · August 29, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Yeah, I read the nutrition information all the time and then put them back. I do occasionally buy one or two for "emergency" food to keep in my desk/gym bag. Usually they end up smushed and inedible. LOL.

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50 · August 05, 2012 at 6:01 PM

The ingredients are amazing!! Great for on the go!

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0
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3159 · September 05, 2012 at 5:23 PM

No, any company that supports GMOs is not paleo. See here.

E42df6ff885d9d40f63836ce804d9e8e
25 · November 22, 2013 at 4:57 PM

if they were once using GMO ingridents, I think that may have changed. See here.

I don't know a whole lot about the Non-GMO Project, but it looks reputable.

6044d623688f4fe69133bab95c3ae3b9
10 · November 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Damn! These things are delicious. UGH. Well at least we only have to worry about LaraBars since those other brands are NOT paleo ;)

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50 · August 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I'm a big fan of Larabar but like others have mentioned, you need to be careful as to which ones you select.

I'm constantly on the look out for paleo(ish) foods to snack on while I am out running. I made my own bars once just by dicing up some dates and mixing them with crushed almonds, cashews, and pecans. Roll them up in saranwrap and then freeze. Once chilled or frozen, just chop into bite or bar size.

Other options: Navitas sent me a couple packages of their new Power Snacks to try out and I absolutely loved them. They promote them as being vegan but I see nothing non-paleo about them and will be snacking on more of these in the future. Very mild on the sweetness level which appeals to me. Clif is sending me some of their ClifC bars in the mail soon to try out. These are similar to Larabar but with a higher sugar content I believe. Advertised for vegan athletes but the ingredients appear paleo which is why I am interested in trying them out.

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1097 · November 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Larabars are one of the only ways to get my dw enough calories *and* sugar. Yes, I said sugar. From natural fruit. They're so dense we can get a mini-meal in her without being exasperated at half the plate still full from too much bulk.

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0 · February 06, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I love Larabars. Especially cashew cookie. It makes a great dessert in the evening: a couple times a week my wife & I indulge in a cup of herbal tea and half a Larabar. I know, cavemen did not have Larabars, but they didn't have cars, TVs, cell phones, or grocery stores.

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106 · September 05, 2012 at 5:12 PM

yes, only the larabars without the peanut and chocolate chip crap are paleo by strict definition. however, it doesn't mean they are the best choice of food to eat as a staple. they are made with dates and dates can easily spike your insulin levels making you hungrier than when you started. then again, not everybody responds the same way to insulin, so you might find you can eat them regularly throughout your day without any problems. but for most people it can cause issues.

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150 · September 05, 2012 at 3:30 PM

They're Paleo, choose your battles on which you want to eat. I don't get any with Peanuts, and only get ones with Chocolate once in a while. If you get Blueberry Muffin it's less than 20g Carbs and when you're looking for a quick snack for traveling or as a Post workout fuel they work great. I would say that I usually have maybe 2 a week, sometimes 3 if I have a heavy workload in the gym. For something you can grab off the shelf and take anywhere I love them. They are a lifesaver when flying.

Dcb6e50f4ceaa769dfec97afcc60fef5
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0 · September 05, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Some Lara Bars are. Just look at the ingredients. Some might have fruit juice concentrates, chocolate chips,and peanuts.

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