The story behind Oatmega protein bars is a sad one. The founder of the company, Trevor Ross, lost his sister to breast cancer. This traumatic event in his life made him look at food differently and was determined to eat healthier and couldn’t find a protein bar healthy enough to meet his expectations. So, he made his own recipe and shared with his friends and family but soon the demand grew beyond his close circle and that is how Oatmega bars were born.
Part of Oatmega Bars’ slogan in the sales pitch is grass fed whey protein. This is the highest standard of whey and it gives you a little sneak peek into how important quality is to this company. These protein bars also boost their health benefits by including marine sourced omega 3’s to help keep the brain and heart healthy while getting your protein.
These protein bars are created for every man and woman. They will help all who are looking to boost their protein intake without any GMO’s or sketchy ingredients. They do contain milk, nuts, soy, and fish so obviously, it isn’t for every man and woman if they are allergic to these foods.
These bars contain many surprising but innovative ingredients that most other bars lack. It is refreshing to see a protein bar try to deliver more than just protein. Read on and you’ll understand what I mean.
Responsibly-Caught Fish Oil (Anchovy, Sardine, Tilapia) is known for so many health benefits including benefits for the heart, brain, and immune system. The powerful medicine in fish oil is the omega 3 fatty acids, the DHA and the EPA.
These acids have been linked to many more health benefits but unfortunately, no health benefit from these oils have been proven. Scientist can’t seem to come to an agreement. Many say that fish oil is great for the heart due to a study done on Eskimos and their incredible heart health. They eat a lot of fish!
Another study linked fish oil supplementation to aiding in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Claims of fish oil helping to treat ADHD and ADD, and aid in brain development in babies are also numerous. However, no studies have been conclusive.
In fact, too much supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids could be detrimental. Check out this information published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute four years ago.
Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate) is a complete protein that is popular because it is easily absorbed and used by the body. Whey protein comes from cow’s milk. Whey is separated from the rest of the milk during the process of making cheese. This whey is then turned into a powder that can be used in smoothies and protein bar recipes such as these.
Whey protein is a good choice of protein because it has many added benefits. For one thing, it has been proven to reduce blood pressure by 4% in 12 weeks. Check out this study for further proof.
Chicory Root Fiber is a surprising ingredient in Oatmega protein bars is chicory root fiber. This was probably added to improve the taste but it comes with a dose of healthy side effects. This fiber contains inulin, which helps to lower any bad fats like cholesterol or triglycerides from the consumer. It also improves digestion and blocks the production of certain fats, making weight loss easier as well.
It does this in a remarkable way. It isn’t a nutrient that the body can absorb. What it does is get eaten by the good bacteria in our gut. This bacteria is our friend and increases the health of our bowels and evens out our blood sugar levels, helping to combat diabetes. Inulin does all this and even tastes good! The only possible bad side effect of inulin is that some people may feel stomach cramps. This journal talks about everything I’ve discussed and more.
Organic Brown Rice Syrup is a different story. In order to get sugar from brown rice, you basically strip away any nutritious part of the rice until you are left with 100% glucose. Glucose is a better sugar than fructose, so it has that going for it but brown rice syrup has a higher Glycemic Index than any other sweetener, according to the University of Sydney.
This high GI in brown rice syrup will make your blood sugar skyrocket and then crash. This will leave you with crazy cravings, lack of energy, and hunger. Since these are supposed to be “healthy bars” it seems to be a bad choice for a sweetener.
When I see the word glycerin, I think of explosives in the Old West. But, this glycerin doesn’t blow anything up, don’t worry. Vegetable glycerin is the result of a purified vegetable oil. The oil is put through a process called hydrolysis which separates the glycerin from the oil.
Vegetable glycerin is a syrupy liquid that is used as a sugar substitute. It is a good choice for protein bars because it is low carb and isn’t metabolized like sugar in the body so it won’t cause a rise in blood sugar levels. It does, however, contain more calories than sugar.
Glycerin also has a water retaining quality. It acts like a sponge and soaks up any moisture around it. This helps to keep the bars nice and moist instead of dry.
Monk Fruit Extract is another sugar substitute that comes with a range of different benefits. Unlike other artificial sweeteners that contain harmful chemicals, monk fruit extract is a natural sweetener that contains no calories.
This fruit isn’t sweet because it contains sugar, it is sweet because it contains antioxidants called mogrosides. They have virtually no aftertaste like other sweeteners and are very powerful sweeteners. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, there’s even more.
The very thing that makes monk fruit a perfect sugar substitute also makes it a powerful disease fighting food. The antioxidants, mogrosides, help to reduce the oxidative stress that free radicals put on our bodies, specifically on the pancreas. This is very helpful to those who suffer from diabetes. Here is a study that shows proof.
And of course, like most foods that contain antioxidants, monk fruit has been proven to fight against cancer and inflammation.
These bars have pretty impressive nutritional data. Each bar contains 14 grams of protein and 190 calories. Along with this protein, these bars deliver 7 grams of fiber to help keep you full longer and keep your hunger in check.
If you are looking for a low carb bar, this bar isn’t a great choice with 21 grams of carbs. The sugar content is relatively low, however, with only 5 grams of sugar. This amount won’t spike your sugar levels for a crash later and it won’t turn into fat to settle around your midsection.
Speaking of fat, these bars contain 7 grams of fat with only 2 grams of saturated and no trans fat, which is good. Some fat is essential for a palatable bar. When we see fat we are programmed to be turned off but healthy fats are good for you and these bars contain healthy fats from fish oils.
These bars contain a little bonus with vitamin C at 40% the recommended daily value and calcium at 20% the recommended daily value.
Taste and Texture
Another aspect to consider when choosing Oatmega protein bars is whether or not you’ll be able to swallow it down. Let’s see how these bars measure up.
Oatmega has eight different flavors of bars to choose from. Somehow, these bars don’t have much of the chalky protein texture which is the first thing I check for with protein bars. Their flavors don’t taste artificial either.
Chocolate Brownie Crisp
This bar has a malt chocolate flavor. It is reminiscent of chocolate oatmeal cookies. It’s not too sweet but also not bitter.
Chocolate Coconut Crisp
This chewy coconut and chocolate bar tastes exactly like its name. For those of you who love sweet coconut, this bar is for you.
Chocolate Mint Crisp
This bar tastes like thin mints. It is refreshing and chocolaty but not too sweet.
Chocolate Peanut Crisp
Unlike other protein bars whose chocolate peanut butter bars taste like Reese’s this bar tastes more like chocolate covered peanuts. The organic peanut butter and chocolate make for a more authentic flavor and is a little salty.
Lemon Chia Crisp
This one is probably tailored to the ladies but it is still delicious and the chia seeds add nice extra fiber and antioxidants. Think of a lemon poppy seed muffin but with a bit more crunch.
Vanilla Almond Crisp
This bar tastes like white chocolate. It will be a perfect choice for a healthy dessert when you are having cravings because it is one of the sweetest flavors available.
White Chocolate Raspberry Crisp
This bar tastes like vanilla yogurt with fresh raspberries and granola. It is moist but also has a nice crispy crunch to it. The ingredients are in good enough chunks to be able to taste each ingredient individually but also enjoy them together.
Wild Blueberry Crisp
This has a nice genuine blueberry flavor as opposed to the artificial one that tastes like a scented candle. Like all the rest of the flavors, it’s nice and crispy but not too dry.
Oatmega has also created cookies with 12 grams of protein with peanut butter, chocolate chip, and white chocolate macadamia nut flavors. These cookies have much more sugar than the bars. Keep that in mind if you think you would rather eat a cookie than a bar.
Pricing and Where to Buy Oatmega Protein Bars
Oatmega protein bars are very reasonably priced at less than two dollars per bar or less than twenty dollars for a twelve pack. They offer variety packs if you are looking to try first to decide which flavors to buy.
This pricing is a bargain since most organic products are in the much higher price range.Check price on Amazon
Pros and Cons
These bars tip the scales in favor of the pros without a doubt. Here is a visual idea of what I mean.[review-pros]
- Great source of grass fed whey for 14 grams of quality protein in every bar.
- Fish oil provides healthy omega 3’s for extra health benefits
- Chicory root fiber contains inulin which aids in weight loss and digestive health.
- Vegetable glycerin helps to keep the bars moist.
- Monk fruit extract makes bars sweet without extra calories, aftertaste, or harmful chemicals and adds powerful antioxidants to the bars.
- Fiber helps to keep you full.
- Less than 200 calories per bar won’t put you over your daily caloric needs.
- Low amounts of sugar and fats
- Delivers extra vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and calcium.
- Virtually no chalky protein texture.
- A variety of flavors to choose from.
- Very affordable and offers a variety pack to sample each flavor.
- Brown rice syrup isn’t a good choice as a sweetener.
- Cannot be eaten by lactose intolerant people.
- Not low carb with 21 grams of carbohydrates.
Overall these bars are impressively healthy and have integrity. When the founder said he looked at food like medicine, he wasn’t kidding. I especially like the use of monk fruit extract.
I also appreciate how not only did they focus on quality protein from whey, but they chose grass fed cows to get the whey from. Grass fed cows have shown to provide a much higher quality of nutritional meat and milk instead of the cows fed with low-quality feed.
They are also humble bars. Most bars with this quality of ingredients are much higher up in the price range but these bars are affordable to the average consumer. I respect that.
They are delicious as well. The combination of crunch and chew make these bars pleasant to the palate and a good texture overall. The flavors live up to their name instead of having artificial tastes.
These bars are one of the best bars in terms of taste, nutrition, ingredients, and price overall.