I rail against processed food quite a bit here at Fearless Fat Loss, but today I am actually going to recommend a convenience food to you. First though, I’d like to mention that even though I do recommend getting off processed and fast foods (not only to lose weight but also to feel great), there are some processed foods that I eat when I’m eating clean.
Technically, any food that has been mauled (LOL) or worked over and packaged is processed. Therefore when I buy no salt added tomato paste or sauce in cans, even though the only ingredient in those cans is tomato, these are still considered processed food. What I am talking about when I say get off the processed food and get on a diet of whole healthy foods is to abstain from those packages, boxes, and bags that are filled with refined sugars, loaded with sodium, packed with preservatives, and filled with other various and sundry chemicals. Those foods won’t do a darn thing in a positive direction for your weight issues, much less for your level of energy and state of well-being.
Today’s topic of Lärabars is another example of processed food that contains minimal ingredients. I first found them last spring at Costco when I was looking for some foods that I could travel with overseas that were packaged (as they must be for air travel) but were as healthy as I could possibly get. Not only do Lärabars contain minimal ingredients, but they are also tasty, a treat that I’d recommend to you in place of those sugar-filled choices.
Here’s an example of the flavors I bought in a box of 18 last spring, and their ingredients:
- Apple Pie: dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon
- Pecan Pie: dates, pecans almonds
- Cherry Pie: dates, almonds, unsweetened cherries
As you can see, there isn’t any refined sugar, additives, preservatives, or sodium added. Now if you really wanted something sweet, the optimal choice would be fresh fruit, however I understand how it is, that sometimes you just want a treat. Lärabars are great for those times, as well as when (like overseas air travel) fresh fruit just isn’t practical.
What the Lärabar manufacturer Humm Foods has done is to use dates as the “glue” in the bars, which is really neat in my opinion. What is also interesting is that the founder and CEO Lara Merriken is a self-confessed former junk food junkie. When Lara discovered how natural foods enlivened her mind, body and spirit, she then developed a passion for healthy living, which “continues to be a driving force behind everything she does professionally and personally”.
While Lärabars aren’t a part of my weight loss program (when I’m on the losing portion of it), if you’re looking for something sweet to eat that is pre-made and convenient, this is it. Now if I were already in the maintenance phase and at my goal weight, I could see myself having a Lärabar once in a while, but there is one thing that I must mention: you know that I am addicted to sugar and if you are also sugar sensitive, I suggest you monitor yourself if you try Lärabars. My experience has been that their high natural sugar content does get me wanting more, and if you get the same reaction then they might not be good for you.
What you could try is eating only 1/4 of a bar making sure that you eat protein first and then see if they trigger sugar cravings for you. Otherwise, if you don’t have a problem with sugar addiction or sugar cravings, these are a great option to have.
Overall I really think that Lärabars are a wonderful idea (and product!), and if you were to work them in to a healthy diet consisting of mainly whole foods and have a bar as a treat once in a while, that you’d be going in a positive direction for your overall health. I wouldn’t say that they are necessarily for weight loss and I would recommend that you eat a protein with them since they are high in natural sugar, but again they are definitely a healthier option for a sweet treat when you don’t have fresh fruit readily available.
You can learn more about Lärabars on their site, see what all of their flavors are (they have new cocoa chocolate bars without any refined sugar added) and also check out the Lärabar blog while you’re at it!
If you’ve tried Lärabars already, please leave a comment to tell us how you like them!