Some days, eating healthy can seem confusing. There are too many products out there. Some of those are worse than they seem, others are better. And sure, the ideal is to make your own food. But, sometimes you may just want a shortcut.
So, what about the brand Goodness Knows? They produce bars made of individual snack squares. And, for the most part, Goodness Knows bars reviews are positive.
The items are also promoted as being healthy. But, are they really?
This post considers the good, the bad and the ugly with these bars, along with what you might want to choose instead.
What Are They?
The marketing for Goodness Knows is all about health, as the image below shows.
The snack squares also heavily rely on whole ingredients, including nuts, fruit and dark chocolate. There are also six flavors and these vary in what they contain.
Additionally, the various fruit choices will come with their own advantages, especially as berries are a good source of antioxidants.
And, of course, dark chocolate is very healthy and is something that you should be including in your diet. In fact, the company even focuses on retaining cocoa flavanols.
So, there is considerable potential with the bars.
It’s also nice to see bars that don’t just rely on oats or granola as their base. But, as you can probably guess, there are some limitations too.
Goodness Knows Bars Reviews
For the most part, the Goodness Knows bars get positive reviews. Many people love the balance of flavor and ingredients, including the blogger Frugal Beautiful. The bars do come from Mars (the company, not the planet), so this aspect isn’t so surprising.
However, the balance of reviews depends on what people are looking for.
For example, people who want a tasty snack or a candy bar alternative, tend to rate Goodness Knows highly.
In contrast, people who want something healthy often have a lower opinion.
The site Fooducate is one example of this, ranking the bars at either a C+ or a B-, depending on the listing. Fooducate often makes good points about food and the site can be a useful place to turn for initial health information.
Goodness Knows Bars Ingredients
The ingredients label for the cranberry flavor looks like this:
There is a strong reliance on natural ingredients, with the company avoiding artificial flavors and additives. Nevertheless, there are still some concerning patterns.
The image below highlights the main sugar sources in yellow, and other potentially concerning aspects in blue.
All of these ingredients are officially considered safe – and they’re common in our food. Still, they create a more processed product than many people would want.
Plus, ingredients like raisin juice concentrate and natural flavors are concerning because there is no way of knowing precisely what is in them.
Are the Snacks Healthy?
The best health outcomes will always come from making your own items for lunches and snacks. There are also plenty of options for doing so. For example, the site My Whole Food Life offers a list of 22 snack bar recipes, while Spoonful of Flavor has a tasty mango coconut snack bars recipe.
When you make your own products, you have exact control of the ingredients. You can also avoid the various concerning additions and decrease the sugar content overall.
In contrast, many snack bars are just candy in disguise. Some of them even have more calories than eating a similar sized bar of chocolate. Luna bars are one example of this pattern and they are often in posts about ‘worst snack bars’ (like this list from Well and Good).
The options from Goodness Knows fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Problems with Goodness Knows Bars
On the negative side, one serving does contain 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein (for the cranberry & almond flavor), so they wouldn’t be particularly satisfying. And, you’re getting 150 calories from a serving. That’s on the high side for a snack – although the calorie count alone isn’t a deal breaker.
Some of those sugars and calories will come from natural ingredients, including dried cranberries and almonds. But, the ingredients list does also contain sugar, brown sugar, brown rice syrup, raw cane sugar and honey. So, there is a fair amount of added sugar in there as well.
For comparison, the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bar from KIND contains more calories (200 per serving) but only has 5 grams of sugar. The same bar also has 6 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Of the two, the KIND bar clearly wins out, even with the higher calorie count. So, there are better options out there and many recipes would have less sugar as well.
Positive Aspects to Consider
But, despite those downsides, there are some beneficial elements as well.
For one thing, the serving is for four squares. You could easily have just two squares per snack instead. Additionally, the bars do heavily focus on whole ingredients, including fruit and nuts.
The nutrient composition may not be ideal but it is still better than many of the other bars on the market. Plus, if you’re looking for an infrequent snack, the balance may be fine for your needs.
There is also taste and attractiveness to consider.
The reviews for these bars tend to be positive and the sweet nature would make them appealing to both kids and adults. In contrast, many kids may not be interested in more savory items.
Finally, the bars are convenient. For some people and situations, this would be important, such as having a bar close by as a backup.
Where to Buy Goodness Knows Bars
These bars are readily available in many grocery stores and this would be the easiest place to buy them. Nevertheless, Amazon often works better.
The main reason is the selection.
I’ve seen Goodness Knows products at many stores. But, most stores do not carry all of the flavors. In contrast, Amazon has the six different flavors and they’re inexpensive as well.
Through Amazon, you can also buy the bars as a 12-count box or you can purchase multiple 5-count boxes. Either way, the selection and convenience make Amazon a good choice, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member.
Should You Choose These Bars?
Compared to other snack bars, these products are fairly average. They are certainly better than some brands and worse than others.
But, even then, snack bars aren’t an amazing choice – even if you’re making your own.
For one thing, they are a dense source of energy. Most will also contain sugar, salt and various additives, which can make them fairly addictive. Even the best bars on the market have some extra sweeteners and they’re never going to be particularly filling.
As such, the bars are best considered as a snack when you want something sweet. But, you shouldn’t use them as a meal replacement or a way to stave off hunger.
If you really do want a healthy snack bar, then there are better alternatives. For example, the brand Primal Kitchen offers various protein bars.
These are much higher in protein and they don’t contain added sugar, which makes them much better for health overall. Plus, they use collagen protein. This can potentially improve joint health and your skin. The bars are also free from many allergens, including gluten, dairy and soy.
The catch is that the reviews aren’t as positive, with some people not being as happy about the taste.
That aspect isn’t too surprising. After all, the added sugar is partly what makes the Goodness Knows bars taste so good.
You’re still better off focusing on food you make yourself. But, if you do want a snack bar, look for something similar to Primal Kitchen. That way, you’re getting the benefits from the ingredients, without an excessive amount of added sugar.
Want to Improve Your Health?
Better health starts in the kitchen, with the food that you eat and the meals you prepare. Getting the best outcomes involves making good choices about the food and the ingredients that you use.
Check out my recommended products to see where you can get started.