Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lunch :: Happy Healthy Snacks / Van's Foods Review

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Today I'm excited to bring you a review of four samples of products from Van's Foods! According to the company's press kit, Van's is "the leader in better-for-you, nutritious, delicious breakfasts and snacks. The entire line of treats is filled with nutrient-rich whole grains and fiber, and contains no artificial flavors, colorings or ingredients. They are also certified gluten-free." Sounds pretty good, right? Read on for my honest opinions about the taste and quality of Van's PB&J Sandwich Bars and Multigrain Chips.

Van's Gluten Free Snack Bars in Blueberry and Peanut Butter: Van's says that these are "a delicious, classic blend of real peanut butter and fruit jelly, sandwiched between two whole grain, gluten-free bars. This sweet, chewy delight is perfect for a quick, healthy breakfast, lunchtime treat, snack or dessert featuring 10 grams of whole grains." I should probably confess, before I go on, that I don't believe anything that comes in a package is truly healthy for you. Instead of eating something fruit flavored, it's always better to just eat the fruit. I also don't believe that you need grains to survive, which probably comes from the fact that I participated in Whole30 last year and read It Starts With Food. However, as far as taste goes, these bars are pretty good, and next I'm going to compare them to other leading brands of snack bars. If you're going to eat something processed, it's best to go with the one least bad for you, right? Let's see how these measure up. (160 cal, 2g fiber, 13g sugar, 3g protein)

Van's Gluten Free Snack Bars in Strawberry and Peanut Butter: I always prefer strawberry flavored stuff to blueberry, and this was no exception. As an experiment, I decided to look up the nutrition facts for Nutri-Grain bars and Fiber One bars too. Nutri-Grain contains less calories, sugar, and protein but more fiber. Fiber One also contains less calories, sugar, and protein but way more fiber (as you can imagine). I would personally go with Fiber One out of the three, because fiber tends to fill me up and the difference in protein is only 1g, but it really depends on what the word "health" means to you and what your body needs. If you can't have gluten, then Van's is the choice for you, but for someone like me who can -- these might just be empty calories. (160 cal, 2g fiber, 14g sugar, 3g protein)

Van's Multigrain Chips in Mighty Good BBQ: These are orgasmically delicious, and if you couldn't tell from the picture, I don't have much left. B almost finished the whole bag himself. I'm normally not into anything nacho flavored, so this was definitely my favorite out of the two. Also, the chips are baked, so you don't get that greasy, gross feeling after eating them. Just make sure you don't have too much, because they can get addicting -- and the serving size is only 15 chips. (130 cal, 1g fiber, 4g sugar, 2g protein)

Van's Multigrain Chips in Nacho, Nacho Man: Considering that these weren't my favorite flavor, they weren't bad tasting, and if they were my only option I'd probably still eat them because I don't have much self control and I don't like to waste food. I decided to compare the chips to Lay's and Doritos. Lay's has about the same fiber, sugar and protein content but more calories. Doritos contain the same amount of protein and fiber, but more calories and less sugar. Again, it depends on what's most important to you. Are you watching your calorie or sugar intake? Do you need more protein or fiber in your diet? But maybe you don't care about that stuff and just want something yummy, which is totally fine too. (130 cal, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein)

In conclusion, I really enjoyed these snacks (and I thought it was so sweet of Van's to send me a fun plate for my kitchen and some coupons, too). However, the "healthy" label is a little controversial, and as with anything I'd advise you to read the nutrition facts before eating. You can see which stores to purchase them at here or just order online here! Thanks to Van's for the generous gifts!

*This is a sponsored post. All views are my own.
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