“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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