Nutritious snacks are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
When we’re busy, many of us prefer to grab a quick snack instead of preparing something. That’s why many people turn to snack bars like Luna Bars.
In this comprehensive Luna Bars review, we discuss if Luna Bars are healthy.
- Are Luna Bars healthy?
- Can Luna Bars be a meal replacement?
- If Luna Bars are good for weight loss
Let’s get started.
About Luna Bars
Luna Bars are products of the Clif Bar brand.
Like most snack bars, Clif Bars pack a lot of nutrients and minerals into their bars. But they also pack a lot of other ingredients too. One Clif Bar (specifically the Chocolate Chip flavor), has a whopping 21 grams of added sugar.
It’s best to contextualize that number. According to the American Heart Association, women should consume a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar per day.
So, if women eat one Clif Bar, they should only consume four more grams of added sugar during that day. For reference, that’s the amount of added sugar in two Hershey’s Kisses.
That being said, Luna Bars are made for women specifically, so the amount of added sugar is lower (there are nine grams of added sugar in the Lemon Zest flavor). Still, one Luna Bar should be around 40% of a woman’s daily added sugar intake.
But along with sugar, Luna Bars are also high in saturated fat. Unlike unsaturated fats, saturated fats have been linked to heart disease (although these findings are up for debate in the scientific community).
Regardless, the American Heart Association recommends that we eat no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Lemon Zest Luna Bars have two grams of saturated fat. So although this number seems small, it’s still a substantial percentage of a healthy daily intake of saturated fats.
So Are Luna Bars Healthy?
Like most foods, Luna Bars are fine to consume in moderation. Due to their high added sugar and moderate saturated fat counts, it’s best not to consume them too regularly.
Luna Bars Nutrition Facts
Nutrition facts taken from the Lemonzest Blueberry Mashup Luna Bar on clifbar.com.
Luna Bars contain Potassium, Phosphorus, Vitamin D, Calcium (75% of your daily intake), Iron, and Vitamin E. Although the percentages of daily intake for these ingredients aren’t high (excluding calcium), some of these vitamins and minerals are hard to find in daily multivitamins.
Like most nutrition bars, Luna Bars do have high amounts of protein. Across flavors, there is about 16-18% of your daily intake of protein in each bar.
Clearly Luna Bars have healthy ingredients, but as we discussed above, Luna Bars should be eaten in moderation.
A well-balanced diet shouldn’t rely on any single food regardless, and Luna Bars have enough added sugars and saturated fats to make you think twice before grabbing one every day.
Luna Bars Ingredients
In most flavors, you’ll notice the following ingredients in Luna Bars:
- Brown rice
- Cane sugar
- Whole grain blends
- Cocoa powder
- Cocoa butter
- Protein powder
Note that Luna Bars ingredients vary across flavors.
Are Luna Protein Bars Healthy?
We’ve discussed standard Luna Bars. But are Luna Protein Bars healthy?
As you might have guessed, Luna Protein Bars are just like Luna Bars but with more protein powder. Luna Bars typically contain nine grams of protein while Luna Protein Bars contain 12 grams of protein.
The amounts of added sugar and saturated fats are virtually the same between the two bars. So once again, we recommend occasionally eating Luna Protein Bars. They have some nutritional value, but the added sugar and saturated fats are still a little high for regular consumption.
Are Luna Bars Good for Weight Loss?
Many people wonder if Luna Bars are good for weight loss.
To lose weight, all you need to do is burn more calories than you consume. So technically, you could eat Luna Bars and lose weight.
However, since there is a lot of added sugar in Luna Bars, they’re not a great choice for losing weight. When losing weight, it’s best to consume nutrient-rich foods.
Foods high in added sugars are often referred to as “empty calories” since they offer no nutritional value for the amount of calories that you consume.
Additionally, since Luna Bars are small, they may not be filling for all women. When losing weight, it’s best to eat foods that don’t leave you hungry.
For example, a 140-gram chicken breast has around 230 calories and 26 grams of protein. A typical Luna Bar is just under 200 calories and has around 9 grams of protein. If you are keeping track of your caloric intake, you get way more out of a chicken breast than you do a Luna Bar.
Can Luna Bars Be a Meal Replacement?
Technically, yes. But if you’re hoping to feel full and consume more nutrients, Luna Bars may not be a suitable meal replacement.
You should aim to consume as many different nutrients per day as possible. A meal of lean protein and leafy greens consists of more nutrients (and protein) than a Luna Bar.
If you’re simply looking to fill up and aren’t as concerned about rounding out your diet, Luna Bars can technically replace a meal.
The Store Can Wait, Check Luna Bar Pricing Online
Why battle through the grocery store aisles with a bunch of people? Check Luna Bar pricing online to get an idea of what you’re paying for.
Healthy Snack Alternatives to Luna Bars
A Luna Bar is an easy snack to grab, but here, we recommend a few healthier alternatives.
Apple Slices and Almond Butter
Apple slices and almond butter is an excellent healthy snack. Almond butter is rich in healthy fats and protein and pairs well with fruit like an apple. Feel free to substitute your favorite fruit (or vegetable) to snack on with almond butter.
If you want to incorporate almond butter into your diet, we wrote a full review on Costco almond butter’s pricing, nutrition, and ingredients.
Lowfat Yogurt and Fruit
Lowfat yogurt and your choice of fruit is an excellent way to maintain energy throughout the day. You can even add some granola (preferably a kind with little added sugar) to make a parfait.
Lowfat Cottage Cheese and Fruit
If you’re in the mood for a more savory snack, you can whip up a bowl of lowfat cottage cheese and fruit. Cottage cheese tastes greats and is filling for its low calorie count. It pairs well with fruit like peaches or pineapple.
You can pack a lot of fruits, vegetables, and supplements into a smoothie. We recommend adding your favorite frozen fruits, a healthy protein powder, and some greens.
If you are interested in increasing your daily intake of greens, juicing is a great option. You can check out our post on the best juicers for greens if you’re interested.
DIY Snack Bars
You can make delicious and healthy snack bars on your own.
Mix granola, oats, almond butter, and dried fruit for a nutritious snack bar with no added sugar. You can also moderate your fat intake by adding natural peanut or almond butters. If you’re looking for a snack bar on the sweeter side, add raw, unfiltered honey.
So are Luna Bars actually good for you?
Luna Bars can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. But because of the high amounts of added sugar and saturated fats, we recommend consuming Luna Bars in moderation.
At The Healthy Patron, we aim to provide honest reviews that hold foods to a high standard of nutrition. If you’re looking for more information, read our nutrition news and reviews.