Friday, April 18, 2014

Atkins Bars – Changes to my favorites, but still edible …

One of the many secrets to dieting is to find a “go to” food that is tasty, nutritious, and not all that caloric – all at the same time. It does not hurt if the go to food is capable to staunching a craving as well … for me, the chocolate craving is something I need to kill off every single day.

What I have found is that a small few of the Meal Advantage and Advantage series of bars from Atkins fill the bill very well. I recently bought about a half dozen of the series that showed the most promise – by promise I mean high amounts of protein and fiber – and after living with them for several weeks, I have decided to go back to the two that I have settled on for the last 6 months – Double Chocolate Caramel Crunch and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

The problem, though, is that Atkins recently revamped the whole lineup and now claims “More Chocolate Chips” and “New Great Taste” and ever since the demise of Coke Classic :-) we are all rather skeptical of such claims. Coke stomped on their own genitals with that moronic play and they very quickly rushed a version of the classic flavour back into the market in order to staunch the bleeding. New Coke just plain sucked. This, of course, shows the value of ignoring “focus groups” …

So, back on point … the new flavours are nice, but they are a small step down from the previous flavours – for me.

The Caramel Crunch bar has a bit of an after taste now – maybe that’s the caramel asserting itself more strongly – but it is still a pleasant enough bar. The texture has remained the same although there is a tad more bite (a bit harder, which is good.) The nutrition remains the same at 160 cals, 3g net carbs, 11g fiber and 9g protein. A very decent light meal.

The Cookie Dough bar changed much more significantly. The old one was 240 cals and had a very chewy texture. Pretty amazing and a treat that I found very hard to resist :-) … but the new one has dropped 20 cals (a good thing) and adopted the texture of actual cookie dough. I like it well enough, but it feels more like eating a chocolate chip cookie than a rich brownie, and that’s a bit of a bummer. Still, it remains my favourite bar. The nutrition has also changed dramatically, with a large increase in fiber, which is terrific. It comes in at 220 cals, 3g net carbs, 14g fiber (up from 11) and 14g protein (down from 15) … all in all and excellent and filling meal.

Now, both bars have fairly high fat at 9 and 10 grams respectively, but this is fine within the framework of an Atkins or South Beach diet. And note that I do not subscribe to eating unlimited amounts of fat and protein, as some people seem to believe is the Atkins diet. Just limiting net carbs and sugars is all that matters when trying to control carb intake.

So, just thought I might pass this along for those who are looking for decent “go to” foods to staunch the chocolate craving and to support a weight control program …