KIND Bars – Cranberry Almond Plus & Dark Chocolate Nuts Sea Salt
This product review covers two varieties of KIND bars, Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt. These are my favorites among KIND bar varieties, which have relatively healthy ingredients, yet very tasty & fulfilling. YUM!
I love KIND bars in part because I love the company’s marketing campaigns, called “DO THE KIND THING.” How kind & brilliant! 🙂
“Do the KIND Thing – for your body, your taste buds & the world!”
When it comes to snacks, though, it is about the “taste” and “nutrition” after all. KIND bar gets it, I think.
Most KIND bars, if not all, claim to be All Natural / Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Low Glycemic, Low Sodium, and No Trans Fats. But it is wise to double check the ingredients list and nutrition facts if your body is sensitive to any of those or other particular conditions. And you might find something unexpected from the ingredients list.
Let’s check it out one by one~
1. Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants
The Claim: KIND Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants is a delicious blend of tangy cranberries and whole almonds. Each bar contains 50% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamins A, C, and E, which fight free radicals, and help maintain the immune system and healthy skin. (Source: Kindsnacks.com)
Ingredients: Almonds, dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar), macadamias, honey, non-GMO glucose, crisp rice, chicory root fiber, sunflower oil. VITAMINS: Vitamin A (Vit. A Acetate), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate).
Among the ingredients above, non-GMO glucose means glucose (a simple sugar – monosaccharide) was derived from non-GMO sugar sources such as non-GMO sugar beet or non-GMO sugar cane. Chicory root fiber (or inulin) is a carbohydrate fiber that is known to help lower cholesterol levels (Low Glycemic) and help prevent constipation (just like other high-fiber foods). Other ingredients are pretty obvious from the names, so no further interpretation needed here.
Serving Size: 1 Bar (40g)
Calories : 190
– Fat Calories : 110
Total Fat : 13g (20% DV)
– Saturated Fat : 1.5g (8% DV)
– Trans Fat : 0g
– Cholesterol : 0mg
Sodium : 25mg (1% DV)
Potassium : 130mg (4% DV)
Total Carb : 20g (7% DV)
– Dietary Fiber : 3g (12% DV)
Sugars : 11g
Protein : 4g
Vitamins and Minerals: Vit. A (50%), Vit. C (50), Calcium (4%), Iron (4%), Vitamin E (50%),Vit. B1 (4%), Vit. B2 (8%), Vit. B3 (4%), Vit. B6 (2%), Folate (2%), Selenium (2%), Phosphorus (8%), Magnesium (10%), Zinc (4%), Copper (10%), Manganese (30%)
Overall, it appears very nutritious and nothing too bad. But, note that it contains relatively high amounts of Fats (20% DV), including “Saturated Fat” that increases bad cholesterol (LDL) level (i.e., bad for your heart health).
A downside of the Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants KIND PLUS bar is that it’s a little sticky (due to cranberry and sugar, I guess) and tends to crumble slightly, unlike other hard KIND bars. But, it tastes very good overall (and pretty sweet), so I love it anyway. 🙂
2. Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt
The Claim: Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt is a sweet and salty blend of almonds, peanuts, and walnuts drizzled in chocolate with a touch of sea salt. (Source: Kindsnacks.com)
Ingredients: Mixed nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts), chicory root fiber, honey, palm kernel oil, sugar, crisp rice, cocoa powder, non GMO glucose, sea salt, soy lecithin, milk powder, vanilla extract.
It’s disappointing that KIND bars use palm kernel oil. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed (pit) of palm using a chemical solvent while palm oil is extracted from palm fruit with a rather gentle process. Many consider palm kernel oil a cheap and unhealthy fat because it contains a lot of saturated fat (bad fat) and not much antioxidant that are found in palm oil.
Lecithin, in general, is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods. Lecithin is yellow-brownish fatty substances (a group of phospholipids) that are found in many plants and animal tissues (for example, egg yolk contains a lot of lecithin). Soy lecithin is lecithin derived from Soy. Soy lecithin has rather bad reputations because it is made through a multi-step process, often using toxic chemical solvents (such as Hexane) and mostly using genetically modified soybean. Nonetheless it works well as an emulsifier so the Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar doesn’t crumble unlike the cranberry one does.
The amounts of these two ingredients, Palm kernel oil and Soy lecithin, in KIND bars may not be much and nothing to be panic about at all, unless you are very sensitive to these ingredients (such as soy allergy). In fact, KIND bars are relatively healthy snacks compared to many sugary unhealthy candies. But I wish all KIND bars are made with healthier or less processed ingredients.
Serving Size : 1 Bar (40g)
Calories : 200 — Fat Calories : 140
Total Fat : 13g (20% DV) — Saturated Fat : 3.5g (18% DV), Trans Fat : 0g, Cholesterol : 0mg
Sodium : 125mg (5% DV), Potassium : 210mg (6% DV)
Total Carb : 16g (5% DV) — Dietary Fiber : 7g (28% DV)
Sugars : 5g, Protein : 6g
Vitamins and Minerals: Vit. A (0%), Vit. C (0%), Calcium (6%), Iron (8%),Vit. E (25%), Vit. B1 (4%), Vit. B2 (8%), Vit. B3 (8%), Vit. B6 (2%), Folate (4%), Phosphorus (10%), Magnesium (15%), Zinc (6%), Copper (15%), Manganese (30%)
Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar contains significantly higher amount of saturated fats (due to Palm kernel oil vs. sunflower oil) and less added nutrition, compared to Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants.
But it contains a good amount of fiber (7g, 28% DV) and tastes great, even with low amount of sugar (only 5g). Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt KIND bar is a healthy & delicious snack overall compared to many other sugary snacks (like Sneakers or STARBUCKS caramel macchiato), less guilty food no doubt!
Where to Buy: Almost everywhere, local grocery to big box stores as well as online. The company website sells KIND bars at ~$1.50 each (or $107.50 for 72 Bars per case).
The following star ratings are based on the average of the two KIND bars.
What do you think about KIND Bars? If you have tried this product, please rate the product below and share your experience.