Are Larabars Healthy?

Cashew cookie Larabar sitting on cashews

 Photo from Amazon

The Larabar is a tasty raw food energy bar with just a few ingredients. Each bar contains fruit, nuts, and a spice or two. Larabars are popular with endurance runners and walkers and people looking for a quick energy snack.

Are Larabars Healthy?

Larabars are high in fiber, mostly from the dates that are a main ingredient in the bars. They are also high in sugar, though, due to dried fruit. The fiber content of the bar can help slow down the metabolism of sugar, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

If you have a medical condition that restricts sugar or high-glycemic foods in your diet, it might be best to avoid Larabars, but speak to your doctor to see what is right for you. Depending on the variety, Larabars can contain 24 grams of sugar.

This sugar comes from natural fruit sources but is also condensed due to the lack of water in dried fruit. For this reason, the bars are more calorie-dense and less filling than eating whole fruit. This can be beneficial if you are looking for energy but detrimental if you are trying to reduce calories.

The dried fruits and nuts provide several minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. The exact nutritional content depends on the variety of bars that you choose.

Pros
  • Raw, natural ingredients

  • Satisfying and tastes good

  • No preservatives, added sugars, gluten, dairy, or soy

  • Vegan, kosher, non-GMO

  • Easy to chew but not messy

Cons
  • Not a meal replacement; lacks vitamins

  • Can stick to teeth

  • Not safe for those with nut allergies

  • May have a laxative effect if eaten in excess

Ingredients and Varieties

The Larabar has a short ingredient list: fruit, nuts, and spices for flavor in some bars. You won't see any added sweeteners or preservatives. The brand proudly touts that Larabars have no dairy, gluten, soy, or GMOs.

The flavor choices are a dessert smorgasbord, including:

  • Apple Pie
  • Cashew Cookie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Chocolate Coconut
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Ginger Snap
  • Lemon Bar
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Pecan Pie

Larabar also produces Larabar Nut & Seed, a crunchy bar made with sprouted chia seeds, and Larabar Fruits + Greens, which packs 1/4 cup of greens with the fruit in each bar.

Larabar Organic With Superfoods bars include ingredients like kale, hemp seeds, and turmeric. Larabars are also available in a 100-calorie mini size, which is easy to take on a walk or run.

Larabar Nutrition Facts

The Larabar should be used as an energy bar. It is high in sugar and fat and low in protein. If you use it as a meal replacement or recovery bar, supplement the bar with a protein and vitamin source.

Here are the nutrition basics for the original Larabars (not UBER, ALT, or Renola).

  • Calories: 190 to 230 per full-size bar (100 calories for the mini-size bars).
  • Carbohydrates: 23 to 24 grams total carbohydrate, 4 to 6 grams fiber (all from natural fruit and nuts).
  • Protein: 4 to 6 grams per bar
  • Fat: 9 to 14 grams (all from nuts, which also provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids).
  • Vitamin content varies by flavor.

Review

The consistency of the energy bar is excellent. It has no coatings to melt, breaks in half easily, doesn't crumble, and is easy to chew. Larabar is perfect for munching while walking. The taste is fantastic (no weird flavors from additives).

Energy bars tend to be highly processed products. For people who prefer whole and natural food, finding a natural energy bar that tastes great, has the right qualities for carrying on a walk or run, and is 100% natural, vegan, and preservative-free can be challenging.

Are They a Good Energy Bar Choice for Athletes?

Larabar is high-carb, so that it will provide endurance energy (especially for distance walkers and hikers). As they are made with natural fruit and nuts (which can have a laxative effect on some people), walkers should test the bars for tolerance before using them in a competitive event.

Larabars are not ideal for runners because they require chewing (which can be a choking hazard when breathing hard). That said, the bars could work as a snack when you're taking a break during a long run.

A Larabar can be well-suited to gym workouts if a quick energy snack is needed during a long session—just be sure to have water on hand to wash it down.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Are In a Larabar?

The calorie content in a Larabar depends on the variety, but the average is around 220 calories.

How Many Carbs Are In a Larabar?

Larabar carb counts depend on the type you choose, but they contain an average of 25-30 grams of carbs per serving.

How Much Protein is In a Larabar?

Larabars contain about 5 grams of protein per serving, but the actual amount depends on the variety you choose.

A Word From Verywell

Larabars can be a healthy choice as an occasional energy bar or snack when they are part of a balanced, healthy diet. While they should not be used as a meal replacement, they can be a good nutritional choice as long as you don’t overdo it and stick with healthier varieties.

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  1. USDA. Larabar. Updated February 27, 2020.