Would Luna bars be considered relatively Paleo-friendly? They're basically taking the nutrients that women need and putting them into these delicious little gluten-free bars and seem to really help me get through the day when I need a little something more. I seem to get the most energy to work out when I eat one about 30min before hitting the gym!
Welcome to Paleo Hacks:) The paleo diet, no matter how many variations people put on it, is basically a whole foods template. Nothing from a bar, package or box. Basically pastured raised meats and poultry, wild fish and seafood, grass-fed beef and lamb, fruits and vegetables. You say you workout, so that means your paleo template will include more carbs than lets say someone who is sedentary. Carbs could include a pre or post-workout sweet potato or a couple, some fruit throughout the day, squash (spaghetti squash is really good as a past sub if you know how to cook it and don't overcook it) and pumpkin. Some say rice but I wouldn't say its very nutritionally dense and you can get your carbs otherwhere, especially if you are just starting out. That's why the luna bar makes you feel good before a workout, its pure carbs but its full of junk (soy etc.).You'll get all and more nutrients you need on a paleo diet. Spend your money on the good stuff!
The bar is garbage:
LunaPro ® is the first thing listed for all Luna Bars. It is a combination of the following different ingredients: Soy rice crisp [soy protein isolate, organic rice flour] - Soy rice crisp is used in many nutrition bars and other packaged food in a variety of shapes and sizes. These little spheres provide texture and the main substance of the bar. The soy protein isolate provides the majority of the protein for the bar, and the rice flour also gives volume and texture to the soy protein.
Organic Toasted Oats- This also provides texture to the bar, and also provides complex carbohydrates and fiber. Evaporated cane juice is added to the oats for sweetness.
Organic Soy Flour- Soy flour also adds to the protein content for the Luna bar and may affect the moistness of the bar.
Organic flaxmeal- This is the final ingredient in the LunaPro ® mix. Flax meal is ground flaxseeds. This adds texture, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids as well as giving a nutty taste to the bar.
Organic brown rice syrup: This is a sweetener derived from barley malt and brown rice. It is a honey like substance that gives a caramel like flavor to the bar. Brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, but it still adds sugar and carbohydrates to the bar.
All Luna bars contain a coating on the bottom of the bar. For the flavor Nutz Over Chocolate, the coating is a chocolate coating. The coating contains the following ingredients: Organic evaporated cane juice: This ingredient is a sweetener that is derived from cane sugar, which is less refined than table sugar.
Organic Cocoa: Adds chocolate flavor. Cocoa also contains flavonoids that are natural anti-oxidants.
Palm Kernel Oil: This oil is high in saturated fats, and it is a common ingredient in energy bars. It does not have any harmful trans fat, but it is higher in saturated fat. Luna bars contain around 2 grams of saturated fat.
Organic soy lecithin: Used as an emulsifier.
Organic vanilla: Used for flavoring and the last ingredient for the coating.
Inulin: Inulin, derived from chickory root, is used to add fiber to food products.
Organic peanut butter, peanuts and peanut flour: Give the nut flavor to the bar, add some protein and fat.
Vegetable glycerin: This is a sweet, colorless compound from vegetable oil. It is used as a natural preservative and to keep moisture in food.
Natural flavors, organic oat syrup solids, sea salt: These last ingredients are used for flavoring. Luna claims no MSG is used in the natural flavorings, but a blend of secret ingredients.
Oh man, I love Luna bars, but yeah, they're not Paleo.........although I still might have one once in a blue moon as a treat. On the days I feel like I need a quick pick-me-up before the gym, or something sweet, I usually have a spoonful of almond butter, maybe with a little bit of honey drizzled on it........delicious, and full of carbs (from the honey).
Have you ever had Larabars? Although still slightly processed, the ingredient list is typically just fruit and nuts - a little more Paleo friendly than Luna bars. You should totally look into making your own protein/snack bars though, there are some super easy and tasty recipes out there!