Protein & Meal Replacement bars have flooded the fitness community overwhelmingly in the last few years. In 2016, Elivate Nutrition put the Quest Bar head to head against the Oh YEAH! One Bar and guess who came out on top? In 2017 though, Quest Bar is back with a vengeance by introducing an entire NEW line of protein packed products including the HERO Bars, the Beyond Cereal Bar, Protein Powders and even savory chips.
While arguably the biggest marketing and launch push we’ve seen from Quest, with features from professional and Olympic athletes like Gabby Douglas, Quest is #OnAQuest to change the protein bar game yet again with the Quest HERO bar. But what is so different and why are people so excited about them? Are they really THAT different from all the other options you can find on the market? Does Quest Nutrition still hold the number one title for the best protein bars in the biz? Let’s find out.
Many individuals, including athletes, everyday health enthusiasts, and everyone somewhere in between look to bars as supplemental food to their busy lifestyles. How do you choose which bar is right for you and your goals? Many of us have practically lived off of Quest bars (and others) for days or weeks at a time because they taste good and they’re easily accessible. Is the Quest HERO bar any different?
TASTE & TEXTURE
The taste of Quest bars just got leveled up – hard. You've got a medley of sweet, savory, gooey, creamy and even crunchy. Quest HERO bars come in 3 different flavors as of August 2017: Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Blueberry Cobbler, and Vanilla Caramel. With a smooth whey protein coating and an ooey-gooey filling sure to leave you more surprised than anything, the HERO bar is definitely not the usual and in really good way. “Ditch junk food, you’ve got a HERO in your corner”.
The Quest HERO bar weighs in with a pretty stacked nutrition label. With 1 serving size (1 total bar 60g) you’re looking at 170 Calories, 7g Total Fat (no trans), 30g Carbs and 17g Protein. There’s not much to offer in the way of micronutrients (20% Calcium, 10% Phosphorous, & only 2% Iron & Magnesium) these bars aim to leave you feeling satisfied and to crush cravings.
There IS a difference between total carbs and net carbs which are used a huge selling point for these bars. While it’s boasted that the Quest HERO bars only contain 4g Net Carbs, you’ll find on the nutritional label that there is over 30g of Total Carbs (10g Dietary Fiber, 13g Sugars, 4g Erythritol) which can be confusing if you rely on them for your diet.
Net Carbs vs Total Carbs – what’s the difference?
Net carbs are total carbs without fiber (net carbs = total carbs minus dietary fiber). When looking at a bar, most people will nutritionally value a bar depending on the net carb count because they believe dietary fiber does not affect blood sugar levels and our body cannot derive calories from it. While a strong argument, it’s not entirely the case. This view only applies to insoluble fiber which cannot be absorbed and therefore has no effect on blood sugar and ketosis.
Net carbs can be misleading to anyone who is counting carbs and using insulin to carb ratio to bolus for food. A good rule of thumb is:
- If a food has sugar alcohols, subtract half the total sugar alcohol from the total carb
- If a food has more than 5g of total Fiber, subtract half the total fiber from the total carb
In these terms, the Quest HERO bar, regardless of a high total carb count, aims to not affect blood sugar and even ketosis in consumption. The Net Carbs are calculated as 30g Carbs - 10g Fiber - 12g Allulose - 4g Erythritol = 4g Net Carbs
What is ALLULOSE?
What is allulose? Where does it come from? Why is it in your Quest HERO Bar? Per the Quest Nutrition Website, “Allulose is a low-calorie monosaccharide that contributes to 0.4 calories per gram. The FDA requires all monosaccharides to be listed in the ‘sugars’ section of the Nutrition Facts Panel even though Allulose isn’t metabolized like other sugars. There are 12g of Allulose in this product which contributes less than 5 calories per bar.” OK cool, that doesn’t mean anything to the layman and still leaves us with the question: why is Allulose in my Quest HERO bar?
Allulose is the newest low-calorie sweetener option that is making a name for itself in the food industry. It has the same taste and texture profile as sugar without the icky aftertaste that sugar leaves in your mouth. Allulose is found in processed foods, such as your Quest HERO bar, and it is ultimately derived from fermented corn. So it’s natural, right? Yeah, you could say that. Allulose is in very small amounts naturally found in figs, raisins, and maple syrup.
The tiny difference in the chemical makeup of Allulose is that it has different oxygen and hydrogen structures enabling the sugar substitute to contain only a tenth of the calories of table sugar while retaining over 70 percent of the sweetness. **FDA states that Allulose is ‘generally recognized as safe’ but in large consummation can lead to severe bloating, pain, and gas.** Good for you - companies like Quest Nutrition have made a promise to only contain small amounts to fulfill sweetness requirements without overloading the body.
Quest Bars from Quest Nutrition are the ultimate OG in the protein bar world. They revolutionized the game from day one. And in our opinion – they’ve done it again. We highly recommend the Quest HERO bar as a protein supplement, sweet craving buster, and for everything else few and far between. It’s an amazing alternative to the boring bars you’ve been consuming and the crap candy bars you’ve been sneaking. Talk about satisfaction. Quest Nutrition remains the leader and innovator in the protein bar world yet, again. Welcome back, Quest.