Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. Eating a nutritious breakfast helps provide energy, improves concentration, and sets the tone for healthy eating for the rest of the day. When mornings are busy, grabbing a quick breakfast bar can seem like an easy option. But are breakfast bars like Kind bars actually healthy?
What are Kind Bars?
Kind bars are snack bars made by the company Kind LLC. The bars contain nuts, oats, honey, and dried fruit as primary ingredients. Compared to other snack and breakfast bars, Kind bars tend to have higher amounts of nuts, less sugar, and no artificial ingredients. They come in a variety of flavors like peanut butter dark chocolate, banana nut, and blueberry pecan.
Kind positions their bars as both a snack and a meal replacement option. Their marketing highlights the bars as convenient breakfast options made from “ingredients you can see and pronounce”. While they are convenient, how healthy are Kind bars really?
Calories in Kind Bars
When evaluating the healthiness of a food, looking at the calorie content is a good place to start. Kind bars range from 180 to 220 calories per bar depending on the flavor. Here’s how the calorie content of some popular flavors compares:
|Kind Bar Flavor||Calories|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate||210|
|Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt||220|
For comparison, here are the calories for some other common breakfast bar options:
|Nature Valley Protein Bar||190|
|Belvita Breakfast Biscuit||120|
As you can see, Kind bars are moderate in calories compared to other breakfast bars. 190-220 calories is typical for most full sized cereal bars. The calorie content is not unusually high or low.
Sugar Content of Kind Bars
Next let’s look at the sugar content. High amounts of added sugars can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, increased calorie intake, and poor nutrition. Here is how the sugar content in Kind bars stacks up:
|Kind Bar Flavor||Grams of Sugar|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip||16g|
|Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt||11g|
|Fruit & Nut||12g|
|Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew||13g|
And here is the sugar content for some other popular breakfast bars:
|Breakfast Bar||Grams of Sugar|
|Nature Valley Bar||12g|
|Belvita Breakfast Biscuit||5g|
The sugar content in Kind bars is moderately high compared to other options. In general, nutrition experts recommend limiting added sugar intake to under 25g per day for women and under 38g for men. One Kind bar provides 11-16g, so it would use up a significant portion of that allowance.
Protein is important at breakfast time to help you feel full and focused. Here’s how Kind stacks up in the protein department:
|Kind Bar Flavor||Grams of Protein|
|Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt||10g|
|Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt||8g|
|Fruit & Nut||5g|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate||8g|
And protein content for other breakfast bar brands:
|Breakfast Bar||Grams of Protein|
|Nature Valley Protein Bar||10g|
|Belvita Breakfast Biscuits||4g|
With 5-10g of protein per bar, the protein in Kind bars is about mid-range. It provides a modest protein boost for breakfast time. But is lower than nutritionist recommendations of 20-30g of protein at each meal.
Carbohydrates in Kind Bars
The main sources of carbohydrates in Kind bars are oats, rice, quinoa and fruit. Here is the carb content:
|Kind Bar Flavor||Grams of Carbs|
|Fruit & Nut||39g|
|Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt||37g|
|Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt||37g|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate||29g|
And carbs in other bars:
|Breakfast Bar||Grams of Carbs|
|Nature Valley Bar||21g|
|Belvita Breakfast Biscuits||23g|
Kind bars are moderately high in carbs, providing 29-39g per bar. Some of this comes from nutritious whole grains like oats, but a portion is simple sugars as well.
Fiber Content of Kind Bars
Fiber helps maintain digestive health and reduces blood sugar spikes. Here’s the fiber content of Kind bars:
|Kind Bar Flavor||Grams of Fiber|
|Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate||4g|
|Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt||4g|
|Fruit & Nut||3g|
|Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt||4g|
And fiber counts for other popular bars:
|Breakfast Bar||Grams of Fiber|
|Nature Valley Bar||3g|
|Belvita Breakfast Biscuits||4g|
With around 3-4g of fiber per bar, Kind is comparable to other options. While helpful, the fiber content is still low compared to nutrition recommendations of 25-30g daily.
Micronutrients in Kind Bars
In addition to macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fat, bars can also provide important vitamins and minerals. Here is how the micronutrient content of Kind Bars compares to daily needs:
|Micronutrient||Amount in 1 Kind Bar||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin A||2% DV||2%|
|Vitamin C||2% DV||2%|
As you can see, Kind bars provide 2-6% of key vitamin and mineral needs. So while they offer a small nutrient boost, they don’t provide significant micronutrition compared to a complete meal.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
Based on the nutrition breakdown, here is a summary of the pros and cons of Kind bars:
- Contain nuts, oats, and fruit as main ingredients
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Moderate calorie count compared to other bars
- Provide a modest amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Moderately high in sugar
- Lower in protein than recommended for a complete breakfast
- Micronutrient content is low compared to a full meal
Are Kind Bars Healthy Overall?
When evaluating the big picture, Kind Bars have some positive nutrition attributes but also some limitations. Here are some key considerations when determining if Kind Bars are healthy:
- Ingredients: The whole food ingredients like nuts, oats, and fruit are nutritious. However, the bars are more processed than eating those foods in their whole form.
- Portion size: At 180-220 calories, a Kind Bar is meant to be a snack or part of a meal. Eating multiple bars to replace a full meal provides too many calories.
- Sugar content: The 11-16 grams of sugar is somewhat high for the serving size. The sugar adds extra calories without nutrition.
- Protein: With 5-10 grams of protein, Kind Bars offer a protein boost but not enough for a complete breakfast.
- Fiber: The 3-4 grams of fiber adds beneficial fiber but is low compared to nutrition recommendations.
- Micronutrients: Kind Bars provide 2-6% DV for key vitamins and minerals. This modest nutrient content is low compared to a complete meal.
Overall, Kind Bars can be a nutritious part of your breakfast or snack routine by providing portable nutrition from quality whole food ingredients. However, they should not replace eating a balanced breakfast with adequate protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Healthy Ways to Enjoy Kind Bars
Here are some examples of how you can incorporate Kind Bars into a healthy diet:
As a Snack
Enjoy a Kind Bar between meals as a pick-me-up hungry snack. Pair it with a piece of fruit and some nuts or yogurt for balanced nutrition.
Part of a Larger Breakfast
Have a Kind Bar alongside some scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for a more filling meal with sufficient protein and nutrients.
The carbohydrates in a Kind Bar can help fuel your body before exercise or help replenish glycogen stores after a workout.
When you’re short on time in the morning, a Kind Bar is an easy grab-and-go option to get some nutrition until you have time for a full breakfast.
Healthier Breakfast Bar Alternatives
If you want a breakfast bar with more protein, fiber, and nutrients, here are some options to consider:
- RXBARs – Contain eggs, nuts, and dates with 12g protein and 5g fiber per bar
- Clif Nut Butter Filled Bars – Have nut butter centers for 8-10g protein and 6-8g fiber
- NuGo Slim Bars – Higher protein bars with 15g protein and 10g fiber
- Labrada Lean Body Bars – Use whey protein and add just 1g sugar
- No Cow Bars – Made from plant-based protein for 21g protein and 13g fiber
The Bottom Line
Overall, Kind Bars can be a better-for-you part of your daily eating habits thanks to their whole food ingredients and lack of artificial additives. But they lack the protein, fiber, and nutrients necessary to be considered a complete balanced breakfast on their own. Enjoy Kind Bars in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, and aim for more filling and nutritious breakfast options when you have the time.