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Paleo Bars and The Primal Blueprint

20‐05‐15

Paleo bars are everywhere, but are they all really paleo?

paleo friendlyWhat better way to look at this than to go back to basics and measure them against the basic key nutrition principles of The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson. If you’re new to paleo, Mark Sisson is one of the most respected proponents of a paleo / primal lifestyle who runs a hugely popular blog at Mark's Daily Apple.

Paleo Macronutrient Principles

Protein takes priority

From quality sources such as meat, fowl and fish, pasture-raised, free-range, wild-caught. Plant based proteins from nuts etc have a place as well.

Carbohydrates

Limit carbohydrate intake to what is needed to provide glucose for the brain and for anaerobic exercise. Depending on your activity level, this means around 100-150 grams of carbohydates per day, sourced from vegetables and fruits.

Fat

Learn to love good fats such as from nuts, avocado's, coconut and olive oil.

Paleo Bar Ingredients

Here’s an outline of some of the common paleo bar ingredient groups and how they fit into The Primal Blueprint.

Nuts

Such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias. Virtually all nuts are considered to be excellent sources of fibre, essential fatty acids and minerals, as well as being great for weight-loss given the fullness feeling they create. Over-consumption can lead to high intakes of omega-6 fatty acids as well as excess phytate consumption, so best to be sensible and not eat handful after handful of your favourite nut.

Fruits

berries paleo dietConsidered beneficial in moderation, particularly fruits lower in sugar and high in antioxidants. Berries such as blueberries, strawberries and incaberries, cherries, apricots for vitamin c and fibre, are all considered by Sisson to be fine to consume in moderation. Sweeter fruits such as bananas, pears, dates and figs do have higher levels of carbohydrates, but are still considered to be fine in smaller quantities.

Seeds

Similar to nuts, popular seeds like chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are nutrient-packed powerhouses. However, they can also contain high levels of phytic acid and omega-6. So like nuts, seeds are fine under The Primal Blueprint if enjoyed in moderation.

Cacao

Dark chocolate (and in particular, raw cacao) is great, ‘the perfect storm of flavor, flavonoids, and fat’, according to Sisson. ‘It tastes really good, comes loaded with polyphenols, and cocoa butter is a great source of saturated and monounsaturated fat.’ Raw cacao improves your mood, is jam-packed with antioxidants, lowers blood pressure and helps fight cardiovascular disease.

Meats

There are a few meat based bar snacks starting to hit the market, particularly in the US. These are normally made with dried meats, often flavoured with fruits. Meat can be eaten freely under The Primal Blueprint.

Choosing a Paleo Bar

So, how do you choose the right paleo bar? Of course it all comes down to the ingredients. Here’s some guidelines to help you choose the right bar:
  • Look for bars that have minimally processed ingredients.
  • Although there is an emphasis on protein, avoid bars that have protein isolates, which are often heavily processed using chemical extraction methods. 
  • Also be careful of added sugars such as agave syrup, maple syrup, glucose and so on.
  • Seek bars that have a higher nut to fruit ratio.
  • Avoid bars with preservatives such as sulfur dioxide (preservative 220), which is commonly used in some dried fruits. Also be aware of vegetable oils, which are added to some dried berries.
  • Raw cacao and berries are high antioxidant ingredients and taste great, so look out for bars that include these.
At One produces a range of all-natural snack bars that are paleo, gluten-free and vegan.  Click the OUR BARS ARE BETTER button on the right to learn more about our products.

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