Quest Bar Review, The Low, Slow Carb Protein Bar

quest bar review

 

Why Most Protein Bars Are Crap. Quite Literally.

My nutritional journey that started with past experience in a few network marketing companies has been, and still is, an enlightening one.

One of the things it did was to make me more aware of what’s actually being put into our supplements and food. Of course, I still get (and love) my fair share of crap like KFC and McDonalds, but this knowledge has allowed me to make good decisions when there is a need for it, like searching for the right protein bars.

I’ve always assumed that protein bars were healthy. I mean, it’s usually sold in health food stores and used by fit, athletic individuals right?

One look at the ingredients list however, tells a different story.

A lot of protein bars are filled with fillers and taste enhancers like sugar, rice syrups, fractionated palm oils and the dreaded HFCS, or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Here’s the kicker: on the lists, ingredients are listed in descending amounts, so a major ingredient would be at the top of the list and vice versa. Most products have these fillers in the upper half of the list.

Why are these ingredients used? 3 reasons:

  1. Cost
  2. Convenience
  3. Taste

Let’s take fractionated palm and palm kernal oils. On it’s own, palm oil, from the fruit, is actually pretty healthy, with good levels of antioxidants in the form of Vitamin E. So you squeeze lots of palm fruits, you end up with lots of palm seeds (kernals). Not wanting to waste it, you extract oil from the kernals as well. To extract palm kernal oil though, a gasoline-like hydrocarbon based solvent is used. Eck. Then you have the process of fractionating the oils (like margarine) to make them more convenient for manufacturers to handle and by doing so, losing most of the good stuff. So, you end up with oil that’s cheap, convenient and unhealthy.

Then, there’s taste. Everybody knows that protein products aren’t the best tasting in the world. There are some companies who sell un-flavoured whey protein. If anyone’s tried it, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it’s taste. Glad to see some trying hard to keep to the high road of health.

But for most people, taste is important. What does a profit based company do? Make it taste better! With cheap solutions no less, like sugar or worst, high fructose corn syrup, a derivative of cheap, subsidised corn.

So, except for that one time when my sister and I wanted light and nutrient dense bars for our climb up Mt. Kinabalu, I’ve pretty much gave up on and stayed away from protein bars.

That is, until I found Quest Bar. Let’s have a review.

 

How Quest Bar Differ From Other Protein Bars

To start off, it’s the protein bar with the shortest ingredients list. No kidding. Let’s compare ingredients from a best selling, popular protein bar with a Quest Bar:

 

Popular Bar:
Whey Protein Isolate, Glycerine, Fractionated Palm & Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Calcium Caseinate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Maltitol Syrup, Water, Maltitol, Soy Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Partially Hydrolyzed Milk Protein Isolate, Acid Casein, Invert Evaporated Cane Juice, Sorbitol. Less than 2% of the Following: Cocoa, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Fructooligosaccharides, Egg White, Calcium Carbonate, Soy Lecithin, Titanium Dioxide (Added for Color), Salt, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Magnesium Oxide, Ferric Orthophosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Beta-Carotene, Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Chromium Chloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phytonadione, Vitamin B12), Mono- & Diglycerides, Pectin, Potassium Lactate, Sucralose, Soy Oil, Tartaric Acid, Tocopherols (Added to Protect Flavor), and Maltodextrin.

Quest Bar (Berry Mix):
Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Isomalto-Oligosaccharide* (100% Natural Plant Based Prebiotic Fiber), Almonds, Water, Freeze-Dried Blueberries and Strawberries, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Lo Han Guo, Sucralose.

 

After reviewing the ingredients list, I hope you noticed that you could actually read and understand the ingredients found in the Quest Bar.

Apart from a little bit of sucralose, a calorie free sweetener, everything else is natural. As for Lo Han Guo, it’s actually herbal fruit and where I come from, it’s often used as a cooling herb and for throat irritations. Lo Han Guo can be found in most chinese herbal shops in its dried form. It’s also nice to note that there’re actual berries and nuts in the mix!

As for Quest Bar‘s nutritional facts, there are only 2 kinds of carbs involved. Fibre, which is what you want (and need actually), and slow carbs (and healthy fats) from case nuts, which is also what you want and is slow carb friendly.

I don’t normally give too much credence to who uses a brand of products, unless they themselves use it even when they’re not sponsored. But, when I saw Chet Yorten, the father of steroid-free natural bodybuilding using his name to endorse a protein bar brand, I knew that Quest Bar was different.

So, a protein bar with a difference. Quest Bars has no fillings but is chock full of healthy proteins and nuts. Great not only for the low, slow carber but for anyone who would like a healthy protein bar for some healthy protein on the go or as a meal replacement.

Comes in multiple great tasting flavours, so who said healthy treats can’t be enjoyable eh?

 

Update – Sucralose Free, All Natural Flavours

For those of you who’d rather not have any sucralose at all…good new because sucralose free versions of the Quest Bars are available now! (Thx for the heads up Elven!)

So, the following flavours use stevia instead:

– Coconut Cashew (me likes!)
– Chocolate Peanut Butter
– Strawberry Cheesecake
– Lemon Cream Pie (me also likes!)
– Cinnamon Roll

 

Where to get?

Click Here to Order Your Quest Protein Bars (Only Available Online)

Worldwide Alternative:
Order Quest Protein Bars from iHerb (No Flavour Sampler Packs)
Use the code ‘ZEL439‘ at iHerb.com to save US$5 off your 1st purchase

Quest Protein Bars for Singapore:
Order Quest Protein Bars from iHerb (No Flavour Sampler Packs)
Use the code ‘ZEL439‘ at iHerb.com to save US$5 off your 1st purchase

 

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17 comments to Quest Bar Review, The Low, Slow Carb Protein Bar

  • Bud

    Nice one – will have to look up Quest bars in the UK to see what availability is like. Have you looked at MaxiMuscle's Promax bars? Any thoughts?

    • Quest Bar’s is only available online from their website..means shipment from the US only I’m afraid. Good news is I remember that they have a discounted shipping rate of sorts to Australia and UK.

      My sis and I actually bought promax bars for our climb. It tasted ok, and the texture was kinda like hard-pressed peanut butter…though I didn’t like how it came out from the other end.. haha

      However, again, one look at their ingredients list and you see the problem – corn syrup, fractionated palm kernal oil, fructose (which is most likely from corn), sugar and fillers like tapioca starch.

      Promax’s reaaally affordable. However, given the choice, if I need bars for whatever occasion, I’d still stick with Quest Bars

  • I use lara bars they have very few ingredients.  http://www.larabar.com/
    If you are trying to lose fat I would avoid anything with suclarose in it.

    • Hey Justin,

      Though Larabars make for a great snack bar, it’s not a protein bar. With only less then 5g of protein per bar, so it’s not suitable as a protein or meal replacement bar, hence I’ve not made the recommendation here.

      As for sucralose, it’s right at the bottom of the ingredients list, means it has very little of it (unlike other bars with sugars and fructose syrups in the upper half of the list, as above), it’s calorie free and almost 80% of it is excreted when you take a dump. Of the tiny amount left that’s absorbed, most of it is removed by the kidneys. So you’re left with a tiny bit of a tiny bit.

      As protein bars go, apart from that tiny bit of sucralose which is mostly excreted by the body anyway, Quest Bar is almost perfect and therefore, my recommendation still stands.

      Saw your pics btw, looking fantastic!

  • Joseph

    Have you tried YouBar?  There is apparently an energy bar that was designed by Tim.  Check it out here.

    • Nope, though I believe it’s suitable for everyday use instead of the Slow Carb diet because it has honey and a rice base powder in it. It’s a little pricier as well.

      However, I’ve got good news for those of you who wants to customise your own Youbar.

      A Youbar discount coupon for 5% off – 4hbsupplies

      Enjoy ^^

  • PhilT

     Is " Isomalto-Oligosaccharide "
    a) natural
    b) a filler

    • A – Natural It's actually quite an interesting ingredient because:

      1. It's derived from plants and have been use in Japan as a dietary supplement for many years

      2. It's a prebiotic, promoting healthy intestinal microflora growth (digestive bacteria). In fact, it's the same family as FOS (Fructo-Oligosaccharide), the same stuff Tim talked about when he mentioned prebiotics in Athletic Greens

      3. It's acts as a sweetener but it's indigestible, so in effect, you get the taste but don't get the calories (!!!).

      Didn't I tell you it's pretty cool? Google around and you can even find some studies about its beneficial effects on digestion for people with low fibre intake.

  • Allen

    I'm so tired of seeing these "health" companies putting junk like Sucralose in their products!!!
    As far as thre only being a little bit, if there were only a little bit of dog crap would that make it ok?
    Sorry, for the poop joke, my son's home from school today and we're snowed in =o) It's just so disappointing to get more and more excited about something being good, then seeing it's the same 'ol same 'ol. The person who commented on not taking sucralose if you want to lose weight is correct. If you want to see why else to avoid it, Google its history and some of the research that's been done.
     

  • Elven

    Hi ;
     
    I'm skeptical about sucralose because Tim Ferriss in the 4HB talk about not taking splenda because it act as the exact opposite of inulin (prebiotic), it favorize bad intestinal flora. And splenda is sucralose. Like he said, it's always worst than the real thing, sugar.

    • No issue, in fact, I sometimes prefer such outbursts because they’re usually genuine =)

      That’s the thing, I googled a lot and even read some reseach, seems to be fine. But there’s no issue now becuase there’s a new line of sucralose free quest bars!

  • Elven

    Hi ;
    I did a little research about theses bars because it was a shame, there was just a little bit sucralose that was wrong. And guess what ? In fact, quest bars made a line of all natural bars, without sucralose !
    http://blog.questproteinbar.com/all-natural-quest-bars-now-available/
    The sweeteners are Stevia and Erythritol, and both are pretty much the best sweeteners possible. Stevia is a natural plant already used for centuries and Erythritol is a sugar alcohol who does not have the digestive problems of the others. I made some research about them and they are really good, and not new at all, wich make things clear about what company DECIDE to put in food.
    I hope this might help !
     
    Elven

  • MKing

    I just purchased the Quest Bar "all natural".  The natural line is sweetened with Stevia and doesn't use sucralose!

  • Amanda

    On average- how many blocks is one quest bar according to the Zone Diet??? HELP!

  • Chip

    How does the EPIC bar stack up with yours?

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