PureFit Gluten and Dairy Free Nutrition Bars Review

“No Wheat, No Gluten, No Dairy”

Such is the tagline for PureFit Nutrition Bars.  I was contacted by Robb Dorf, owner and creator of the Pure Fit line, to take a look at the bars and give them a taste.  Robb graciously provided samples of the bars for this review.

First, a bit about what is in, and not in, these bars.

PureFit definitely gets points for being aware of food sensitive consumers.  The  bars are “kosher-certified and vegan-approved… do not contain dairy, wheat, or gluten, and will not melt in their packaging. PureFit works diligently to provide high-quality, award-winning nutrition bars without artificial ingredients, sugar alcohols or common allergens, including milk, wheat or gluten.”

However, they have one big ingredient which many are sensitive to-and that is (non-gmo) soy.

The ingredient list for the Berry Almond crunch Bar: Soy protein isolate, ground almonds, brown rice syrup, Energy Smart™ (fruit juice, natural grain dextrins), Energy Blend (fructose, natural extract of chicory, dextrose) soy crisp (soy protein isolate, rice flour, calcium carbonate), agave nectar, soynuts, soy flour, textured soy flour, natural raspberry flavored fruit [(sugar, raspberry juice, raspberry extract) cranberries], almonds, inulin, raspberries, natural flavors. Manufactured in a plant that ALSO processes milk, egg and peanuts.”

Not a horrific ingredient list, in fact, not bad at all.  However, I am concerned about the amount of concentrated soy products.  I personally am sensitive to concentrated soy.  (To complete this review I spared my stomach and simply took a couple small bites of each flavor, spreading the testing out over an extended period of time.) However, I can tolerate naturally occurring soy (think edamame, and gluten free tamari) just fine.  The amount of actual soy ingested from those items is significantly less that what you would find in a soy milk or soy protein product.  This is definitely an area where your mileage may vary.

Concentrated soy is quite the controversial ingredient.  You can find many instances of soy lovers and soy haters.

For a fairly unbiased look at soy in general, take a look at the “Nutrition Diva” and her take on soy, as well as her references.  The link to the FDA article she reference was broken in her list, so you can find it here. Also, my good friend Melissa, at Gluten Free For Good, has done an excellent review of soy pros and cons.

As was indicated in the allergen statement, the bars are processed on shared equipment, but not with gluten containing items.

Let’s move on to the taste.

Robb sent me a sample kit, which is also available for purchase if you want to give the flavors a try.  The flavors are: Granola Crunch, Peanut Butter Crunch, Berry Almond Crunch, Chocolate Brownie, and Almond Crunch.  Believe it or not, the one I liked the least was Brownie Crunch.  Shocking, I know, as I am a confessed chocoholic.  All the flavors were a bit chalky in texture.  The Peanut Butter Crunch was the one I liked the most, and the Almond Crunch and Granola shared a very close second.  The Berry and Brownie just had too much of an artificial flavor for me to really get around.  They all required a hefty sip of water to chew and swallow.  They did have a nice crunch and chew texture.

Overall, I think these are a decent option.  The fact that they do not melt makes them good for “emergency” stash, like in your car glove compartment or in a natural disaster preparedness kit.  For that same reason they would be good fuel for outdoor sports.

However, for me personally these will not become part of my ordinary rotation.  Soy protein does not have a place in my diet.  It’s certainly a personal opinion, preference, and tolerance level.  My friend Kim at Gluten Free is Life also reviewed these bars, and she and her family were fans.  Just goes to show, what will work for one of us will not work for all of us, so keep an open mind whenever reading reviews of products.

If there is a nutritional supplement company out there listening, here is my wish list for a protein bar:

  • Gluten free
  • Uses whey protein in some bars, and a gemma or rice protein in others for a dairy free option
  • Uses chicory root and/or stevia to sweeten
  • No sugar alcohols, no soy, no artificial sweeteners
  • At least 20 grams of protein per bar
  • Fat source of coconut
  • Low to moderate carbohydrate count

I know, a tall order.  So far the closest I’ve seen is in the Quest Bar. I’ll do a full review of them in the future.  I am very curious to see what their new flavor will be.  In the meantime, you can always make your own protein bars and control the ingredients and nutrition profile completely.

If you’re new here, and need some help planning an overall healthy gluten free diet, read my post on the easiest Gluten Free diet.

And if you want more, Gluten Free and Fit 101 has a lot more reading on living healthy and gluten free.

If you have tried the Pure Fit bars, I’d love to hear your feedback!  Also, if you’d like to weigh in on the soy controversy, feel free to comment below!


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  1. Maggie says:

    Seems like a lot of soy so I would definitely avoid them. I’m the same as you (can’t tolerate most soy products) – but I’m kind of glad because too much soy is just not a good thing! I reviewed PURE Bars – different company all together. They use rice protein and have far less ingredients. Like you said though, what works for some people doesn’t work for others!

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  3. Kim says:

    I loved the taste of these bars! :) I don’t eat them a lot due to soy, but they are nice to keep on hand!

  4. I like your wish list for protein bars, Erin! I’m not a fan of soy-based products as you know. I tried these bars ages ago after folks raved over them. I didn’t like them at all. We are all so different in our opinions it seems. Thanks for the review!

    Shirley

  5. Erin says:

    Hey Maggie!
    I’ve actually had one of the PURE bars-the cherry something or other. It was good, reminded of a Larabar type vibe. Just not enough protein if I remember correctly. If I am going to be eating one of these bars, it’s going to be in a situation where additional food would be unavailable or impractical. With Larabar type macronutrient breakdown, I would need to add a couple eggs or a hunk of chicken or something ;)

  6. Erin says:

    I know you did Kim! That’s exactly why I linked to your review-different strokes for different folks!

  7. Erin says:

    Hey Shirley!
    Tastebuds are certainly an individual thing for sure :)
    If I was in charge, my make believe bar would already exist, and taste like rainbows and sunshine ;) And a hot fudge sundae.
    But, until that day, the Quest bars come pretty darn close, in a pinch.

  8. Robb Dorf says:

    Hey everyone, thank you for the feedback. I take some offense to the soy bashing. PureFit’s philosophy is to make the healthiest bars we can, loaded with protein, and still have great taste and great shelf-life. I’ve done extensive research on soy as outlined here: http://purefitblog.com/busting-common-soy-related-myths-claims/

    The amount of soy protein found in our bars is far from extensive. I respect that some of you may have been told to avoid soy for various reasons, but millions of American’s do very well on soy. I would go on to add that the majority of people do well on soy as indicated by it’s massive world-wide consumption.

    Our bars accommodate avast majority of fitness enthusiasts. They can’t be everything for everyone. Please take that in to account when posting potentially negative feedback and biased information on soy.

    Robb Dorf
    Founder and CEO
    PureFit Nutrition Bars

  9. dots says:

    I tried PureFits berry almond and peanut butter crunch and liked both, but the berry almond most. I’m trying to stay away from legumes, so I try to not have peanuts or soy. I’m celiac, and mostly paleo. I recently gave up dairy because of heart palpitations, but retried it after 7-8 months and no palpitations. So, I’m more open to whey now.

    I’m just glad there are options out there, so THANK YOU PUREFIT! I have some in my stash because I like variety.

    I just ordered my own bar here: http://www.youbars.com/buildabar.

  10. Erin says:

    Thanks for coming by Robb!
    Please do not take the commentary as “soy bashing.” In fact, the idea is to promote education so people can then make independent and informed decisions. It is very common for those with celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance to also have an intolerance to soy. (And dairy, for that matter.) You and your company certainly are providing an excellent option for those who can tolerate and choose to consume concentrated soy.
    As far as worldwide soy consumption, I agree. However, I would also state that the observations are primarily on soy as it occurs in whole and fermented foods. Soy protein in it’s isolated form is a fairly new item. And again, the readers of this blog are gluten intolerant. Many with gluten intolerance are also intolerant to soy, so it is appropriate to our discussion here.
    You are absolutely right that no one product can be everything for everyone, and you are certainly providing an excellent product and service for some people.
    Again, thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts. Intelligent debate is always welcome here!

  11. Erin says:

    Hey Dots!
    Thanks for piping up! I’m glad you enjoyed the PureFit bars. You are absolutely correct, having options and variety is incredibly nice.
    Seems that many people are beginning to avoid legumes now, I’m curious to hear if you noticed a difference in how you looked/felt with and without them in your diet?
    Also, let us know how you like the You Bars! I love the concept.

  12. MJ says:

    Nice review – I avoid soy due to particular health situations. I’ve eaten Zing bars, but they wouldn’t meet your low-carb and higher protein requirements. I occasionally eat Muscle Milk light bars, but don’t love all the gunk in them. I will check out Quest bars – I hadn’t heard of them, thanks! Question though…I am very lactose intolerant, but I seem to be ok with whey protein isolate. I’m not sure about “milk protein isolate”, haven’t had that before. Do you (or any other readers) have any thoughts or experience on whether I’d be able to tolerate it?

    thanks again

  13. Erin says:

    Hi MJ!
    Good question. Milk is composed of two proteins, whey and casein, and lactose is a naturally occurring sugar (carbohydrate.) Whey protein isolate is lactose free, (and generally extremely low in carbohydrate since the lactose is removed) which is why you can tolerate it. It is also essentially devoid of casein protein, which is why some who are intolerant to dairy can tolerate whey protein isolate. Milk protein isolate contains both the whey and casein proteins, but lactose has been removed. There is still some lactose remaining though, although very little as I understand it.
    So…you “should” be able to tolerate it, but as always these reactions are very individual. I’d definitely try to get a sample or four from whatever manufacturer you are considering purchasing from so you can try it first.

  14. MJ says:

    Thanks for the explanation Erin!

  15. The PURE Bar says:

    [...] the way, if you’re interested in energy bars check out Erin’s review of PUREFIT bars over at Gluten-Free Fitness  Print This [...]

  16. Chuck Rose says:

    Aloha, Erin – thanks for the info on these bars. I seem to have a reaction (gas) when eating the granola crunch, and was wondering if the “certified” gluten free oats is legit.

    I also wanted to see if you have ever tried Perfect Food Bars? They have to be refrigerated, and you need to like Peanut Butter, but they are really good:

    http://www.perfectfoodsbar.com/

    chuck

  17. Erin says:

    Hi Chuck!
    If it says certified gluten free oats on the ingredient list, which it does, then that should be correct. Do you tolerate oats well normally? There is a small percentage of celiacs who cannot tolerate even certified gluten free oats.
    Thanks for the heads up on the Perfect Foods Bars, I’ve never seen those. The sugars are a bit high for my taste though-2nd ingredient being honey will do that. ;) I’m sure they taste amazing though!

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