I don’t do many product reviews. Most of you don’t want to read them and I don’t use many of the product types that are pitched to me. In general I am quick to share my strong opinions about the pumps, CGM’s, and meters that I use and I am comfortable with my stance of not reviewing products just for the sake of getting something free.
In mid-May I received an email from a marketing rep at NuGo Nutrition. She wrote that NuGo Slim “is a delicious snack to help effectively manage blood sugar levels. It has been tested and proven to be the lowest Glycemic Index protein bar on the market with a GI score of 24! It’s also gluten-free, non-GMO, contains no maltitol….” Blah, blah, blah. Usually that is not enough to impress me. What hooked me was: “is coated with REAL dark chocolate.”
Nutrition bars have never been part of my life although I carry Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars when I hike. I rarely eat them but pack them because they are full of sugar, taste good, and hold up well in the heat. Although I hike long distances (10-13 miles), I have never once sampled a Cliff bar, a Kind bar, or any other high-protein bar. In general I have my steadiest blood sugars when I use temporary basals and don’t eat. Obviously on an all-day hike I need food and do my best to bolus correctly for a cheese sandwich and an apple at lunch. Frankly I have no idea whether there would be a benefit of adding low-glycemic high-protein bars to my trail food. Maybe there would be.
So I said yes to the NuGo promotion and received a large box that included the five flavors of NuGo Slim bars. I told my husband that he was allowed to eat them but he must leave a note with a taste review. He started with the Espresso bar and indicated it tasted good but was a bit dry. My first sample was Brownie Crunch bar (the more chocolate the better!) and I thought it was quite good. Both of us liked the other bars. After Brownie Crunch, my favorite was Roasted Peanut. The Raspberry Truffle was tasty and a good texture, but I personally like my chocolate without other flavors. The dark chocolate coating on all of the bars was delicious and definitely tasted like “REAL dark chocolate.”
So how did they work with blood sugar? The first time I monitored my BG, I subtracted the 7 grams of Fiber and bolused for 12 grams of carb. Amazingly I did not get a huge spike and my BG reading at 1 hour was level. At 2 hours however, my BG had climbed about 35 points. I will need more bars to keep the experiment going, but I think the best bolus profile for me might be to pre-bolus for 12 grams of carb and then use an extended bolus of 1 hour for the additional 7 grams. (Somehow subtracting out fiber has never worked great for me.) But I definitely did not get the huge spike that I would have seen with a traditional brownie.
One plus was that the “heavy” texture of the bars helped me be satisfied with just one bar. With regular brownies and cookies, one bite usually makes me crave more and I
rarely never stop at one bar or cookie. So are these bars a good choice to satisfy my sweet tooth without totally wrecking my blood sugar? Maybe. Am I better off continuing to try (not always successfully) to avoid most sweets? Maybe. But I decided to invest in another box of Slim bars to see if they make sense as a long-lasting addition to my diet. I’ll definitely be interested in my blood sugar patterns as I try more bars.
Although NuGo Nutrition Slim bars are available in many markets, I did not have much luck finding them locally. My closest “premium” grocery store does not stock them. A nearby Whole Foods carries the regular bars, but not the Slim variety. I was in Annapolis, MD last week and the Whole Foods there did carry two Slim flavors as did Fresh Market. Fortunately the Where to Buy tab on the NuGo website indicates which varieties of bars are carried at each store.
Today I ordered a 12-pack box of Slim Brownie Crunch bars online. The cheapest option I found was at iHerb.com where the price was $20.86 for a box of 12. I received a $5 credit for my first order and then paid $4 shipping. The final cost was $19.86 or $1.66 per bar. (Amazon was much higher.) A box of 12 is available on the NuGo website for $21 + $5.95 shipping ($100 order required for free shipping).
Are the NuGo Nutrition Slim bars as good as advertised? Actually I think that their claims are credible and if you are looking for a “blood sugar-friendly” nutrition bar, you should check out the NuGo website. All Slim bars are certified to be Gluten-free and 2 of the flavors are Vegan. Detailed nutrition information is available here by clicking on each flavor of bar. If you’d like to read another review of NuGo bars and diabetes, check out Tarra’s review at My Crazy Life With My Diabetic Service Dog.
I received a complimentary sample box of NuGo Nutrition Slim bars, but as always, my opinions are my own and not available for sale.