Kashi bars sound healthy. But are Kashi granola bars healthy?

Let’s look at their bars. Let’s answer the question today.

(We have discussed Kashi cereals before. They’re not bad, but they’re not the healthiest choices.)

Tested: Kashi GO LEAN Crunchy Bar

kashi golean bar

After eating numerous boxes of Kashi TLC cereal and crackers, plus the GO LEAN cereal, and even some TLC granola bars, I missed out on the Kashi GO LEAN bars. I finally grabbed a few last week, though.

As with virtually all the Kashi products I’ve had, these did not disappoint! This GO LEAN crunchy bar, packed with protein and fiber, had a pleasing taste and texture. Just what I’d expect from Kashi.

Now let’s take a closer look at this “Chocolate Peanut” concoction…

We might as well get the boring stuff out of the way first, so here’s a look at the ingredients for those of you who (like me) like to read every single one:

Brown Rice Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Crystalline Fructose, Oat Fiber, Kashi Seven Whole Grains and Sesame® Blend (Stone Ground Whole: Hard Red Winter Wheat, Oats, Rye, Barley, Triticale, Long Grain Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Peanuts, Rice Flour, Natural Peanut Butter, Mechanically Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Corn Grits, Rice Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Wheat Bran, Chicory Root Fiber, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocoa, Nonfat Milk, Corn Bran, Salt, Chocolate Liquor, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors, Magnesium Oxide, Soy Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Fumarate (Iron), Annatto (Color), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid and Vitamin B12.

Those all-natural ingredients add up to a healthy bar with lots of fiber and protein (but not too much.) Along with the 180 calories in each bar, you also get 5g fat, 9g protein, 6g fiber, and 30g carbohydrates.

The fat, protein, and fiber content is a tad high for use during intense cycling (and the carb count is a tad low,) but it’s a good bar for a snack or maybe as a pre-ride meal. I say that because this bar has a new formula that was reformulated for “optimized glycemic response.” That means it’s low on the Glycemic Index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar too much, making it safe to eat while you’re not working out.

kashi golean bar

But would you want to eat it? I say “yes.”

This GO LEAN bar is a big square, full of rice crisps, bits of peanut butter, and small chocolate chunks. It tastes kind of like a Rice Krispies square, but it’s crunchier and offers more flavors.

So it is “Crunchy,” but it’s not hard like their TLC granola bars. I call it “soft and crunchy.” It’s actually chewy and crunchy, if you can imagine that. Basically it’s like a chewy granola bar with more crunchy stuff in it.

The only minor problem is how the chocolate coating on the bottom will melt and get nasty if you carry this in a jersey pocket while cycling. However, there was not enough chocolate on there that it was truly bothersome. (Tip: place the bar in your jersey pocket so the chocolate side faces away from your body, which will help stop it from melting.)

Kashi GO LEAN Bar – While Riding

I did a 65 mile road ride the other day, and I carried two of these bars plus an oatmeal raisin Peak Bar. I ate a GO LEAN bar first, and later I had the Peak bar.

I must say, the Peak Bar was way better! It had a better taste and texture, and it’s softer so it was easier to chew while riding. Afterwards, I didn’t even bother to eat the second Kashi bar.

So this isn’t something I plan to carry while riding.

My final verdict is…

The Kashi GO LEAN crunchy bar tastes good, uses healthy ingredients, and is packed with protein and fiber. It’s a good choice for a quick “on the go” snack, and it’s not too bad for eating while riding, but I’d only recommend this as a healthy snack.

Since it’s good and healthy I’ll certainly eat them on occasion, although I’ll probably stick with other bars for my on-bike food needs.

Official website: Kashi.com

Product Review Details
Product: Kashi GO LEAN Crunchy Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-07-26
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

 

Tested: Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars

If you’re sick of energy bars and the current selection of granola bars, Kashi has something new for you to try – Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bars.

I tried the Pumpkin Spice Flax flavor.

kashi tlc granola bar

I’ve enjoyed Kashi’s products for a few years now and they continue to impress me. These new granola bars are no exception. They offer great taste and a wide range of nutrients that you wouldn’t expect to find in granola bars.

First, and most important, let’s think about the taste and texture. They are a bit like the Nature Valley crunchy granola bars (which I like, too) but noticeably different. The texture offers more variety; kind of inconsistent and less predictable, but in a good way. That would be due to the multiple types of whole grains and seeds in there. The taste is very robust and spicy, and I like pumpkin so these bars were great for me!

Next let’s look at the ingredients. We have Kashi’s special blend, which includes oats, wheat, rye, triticale, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, and sesame seeds. Then add the whole pumpkin seeds and flax seeds and it results in 4g of fiber, 6g of protein, and 300mg of Omega-3s. All that, plus the fact that Kashi does not use refined sweeteners! We may have a winner!

Basically, we’re looking at a very healthy snack that tastes good.

My final verdict is…

Find some. The taste is great and they are quite healthy. If you don’t like them, give them to some friends.

Official website: www.Kashi.com

Product Review Details
Product: Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bars
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2007-02-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

 

Tested: Kashi GO LEAN Roll

kashi golean roll

kashi golean roll

Plain old energy bars and gels are going out of style, and here’s an example of something new – the Kashi GOLEAN ROLL. Instead of a bar, this is a roll!

It looks a lot like a bar, but it’s rounded, like a log. But not just any log… we’re talking nougat log! Seeing this roll really brought back the memories of those delicious, creamy nougat logs I used to have at Easter.

This Caramel Peanut flavor Kashi GO LEAN Roll is basically a nougat log covered in peanuts and soy crisps. It looks and smells like a PayDay candy bar.

Based on looks, it should taste extravagant. And it almost does…

See, the peanuts are nice, but the soy crisps detract from the taste. And the nougat is pretty good, albeit nowhere near as sweet as the unhealthy nougat logs! Those soy crisps lead to an overall “crispy” texture, which certainly takes away from the soft, chewy, and creamy texture I was expecting.

Breaking it down some more…

The nougat is pretty close to having the nice texture you’d expect from nougat, although it’s not as sweet as usual. The caramel coating over the nougat is good, and the peanuts on the outside are good. Unfortunately, the oats, grains, and soy crisps on the outside make it feel like you’re eating bird seed!

I guess you can’t take a candy bar, sprinkle some healthy grains on top, and have it work out well.

Kashi GO LEAN Roll Nutrition

Can the nutrition facts save this bar?

At first glance, it does seem pretty healthy for an energy bar. The 190 calorie bar provides 27g carbs and 12g protein, along with an impressive 6g fiber to help you stay satisfied. It is also formulated for an “optimized glycemic response.”

But the ingredients don’t impress me much…

Brown Rice Syrup, Crystalline Fructose, Soy Protein Isolate, Kashi Seven Whole Grains and Sesame® Blend (Whole: Hard Red Winter Wheat, Oats, Rye, Barley, Triticale, Long Grain Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Whey Protein Isolate, Peanut Flour, Chicory Root Fiber, Peanuts, Oat Fiber, Evaporated Cane Juice, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Rice Starch, Mechanically Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Skim Milk, Vegetable Glycerin, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Magnesium Oxide, Carrageenan, Mixed Tocopherols (For Freshness), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Fumarate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.

Crystalline fructose (which isn’t much different from high fructose corn syrup) is way too close to the top! That’s too bad. It’s probably because of the caramel and/or nougat, since most Kashi products only contain healthier sweeteners such as evaporated cane juice syrup and/or brown rice syrup.

kashi golean roll

My final verdict is…

While most of Kashi’s products are stellar, this GOLEAN Roll was a disappointment. It looks like a delicious candy bar, but it ends up tasting no better than a plain old Kashi granola bar. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it’s one of the worst products in Kashi’s lineup. (The GOLEAN protein & fiber bar was disappointing, too.)

Feel free to try one to see for yourself, but I would recommend you grab the Kashi TLC granola bars instead. Either stick with the healthier bars, or splurge with a PayDay candy bar – don’t compromise and get one of these.

Official website: www.Kashi.com

Product Review Details
Product: Kashi GO LEAN Roll
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-08-23
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

 

Tested: Kashi GO LEAN High Protein & Fiber Bar

kashi go lean chewy protein bar

Kashi’s GO LEAN line of products seems to be never-ending. The latest addition to my Kashi shelf has been this Kashi Chewy Bar, also labeled a High Protein & Fiber Bar.

I like my protein and fiber, although that’s not really why I was excited about this bar; it was the cookies ‘n cream flavor that did it for me! Hopefully it tastes as good as Oreos 🙂

But if not, there are still health benefits to fall back on. This “all natural” 290 calorie bar (yeah, it could probably function as a meal replacement bar for dieters) is packed with 13g protein and 6g fiber.

kashi go lean cookies n cream

But as I said, I’m more concerned with taste right now. Unfortunately, biting into this gave me nothing more than a bland taste of chocolate and filler. It’s thick and chewy so it does feel like you’re eating something substantial, but the flavor is just too bland and mediocre.

This Kashi GO LEAN protein bar is nowhere near as good as the Met RX protein bar which comes in a scrumptious cookies and cream flavor. That bar is actually a treat!

But this Kashi bar wasn’t a total disappointment. The taste is not actually bad, but it’s just good enough to make them edible.

Considering how I purchased these at a Big Lots department store for about 30 cents each, I can’t complain. I mean, 1/10 of a cent per calorie is a good deal! Even though they aren’t that tasty, I stocked up on an a fairly large supply because they’re still convenient and fairly healthy.

My final verdict is…

The only reason I got these is because they were cheap. At full retail price, I’d never buy these. They’re fairly healthy and everything, but 13g protein really isn’t that much, and they taste like crap.

There are far better tasting options, and most protein bars have 25-35g protein, so choose one of those instead. (Or, if you’re looking for a regular bar from Kashi, try something like the Kashi TLC crunchy bar.)

Official website: Kashi.com

Product Review Details
Product: Kashi GO LEAN Chewy High Protein & Fiber Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-08-21
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

 

 

Kashi bars. They’re sort of healthy.

More articles you will probably enjoy:

Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

13 Comments
  1. Try the Chocolate Almond Toffee Kashi’s GO LEAN High Protein & Fiber Bar.

    Just tried one, and it tastes fabulous! I think it could have less sugar and still be great!

  2. After Hurricane IKE left Texas I went to Wal-Mart to buy my cereal, it was sold out. I looked around and I saw Kashi Go Lean Crunch, it looked good, protien, fiber, whole grains, who can ask for more. I fliped the box around and I saw the piza ads, I went imediately to the piza isle and sure enough I found the tomato garlic cheese and it reminded me of NY days so I bought one. I tried it that evening it was good. The next morning I tried the Kashi Crunch and that was to tough for me, it was like eating rocks, I sware it cut my gum. I think you should have a warning on the box for seniors. Now my tooth is so sensative that I had to go to Wal-Mart to buy Orajel Maximum Strength to relieve the pain.
    Can you please make a kinder mix for us seniors. Thank you

    David Heidami
    Houston, TX

  3. i think you should purchase one of the kashi chewy bars from somewhere other than big lots because i can tell you that i have those bars all the time and they are in no way blandd. the cookies n cream is amazing and is full of flavor. also the penut butter is veryyy good. so id try buying it for full price and see if you notice a difference

    • @nick

      Thanks for the comment. I understand your concern, since some foods could get stale or weird as they near their expiration date. And some stores are definitely a little sketchy! But buying something on sale doesn’t mean it will taste bad. I’ve never purchased anything from Big Lots that wasn’t just as good as the full-priced version somewhere else.

      In this case, I think it’s a personal preference, because I gave the bars to other people who thought they were good. So the bars were probably fine, but I didn’t love the taste.

      • agreed. Im sure its all out of preferance. Also im used to eating them after a long workout so at that point any food seems extremly good haha

  4. I purchased a box of Kashi GoLean ‘”CRUNCH!”. I have never had a cereal that is so hard. After 15 minutes a bowl of Crunch soaked in 1% milk was still hard. My family won’t eat it. I have tried other Kashi breakfast cereals and they were fine. But this Crunch I really don’t care for. Fact is I had to throw the cereal in the garbage with one small bowl out of it, no one will eat it.

    –Roger W.

    • @Roger

      I’m actually a big fan of the Go Lean CRUNCH cereal! It is indeed hard and crunchy but that’s why I like it. It’s one of my favorite Kashi cereals (although they’re all good tasting in my opinion).

  5. I just had the Kashi GoLean Chewy bar today and I felt like I was eating stale play-dough. It was so gross.

    • @bess

      That’s not a bad description! Haha.

      I’ve had so many healthy food bars that are way better than this one. (Larabar, Raw Revolution, Archer Farms fruit bars, etc.)

  6. This bar was totally mediocre. Its more of a “brownie”, if that, substance. The taste is dry and the bar itself is dense. Totally not satisfied. Sticking with my other high protein and fiber bars. Skip this one.

  7. I love this its so yummmmmmy!

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