Digestive Health

Healthy Snacks Review: CLIF Bars For On-The-Go Eats

Is gluten a particularly tough pill to swallow for you? 


When you suffer with IBS, you’re given a handful of foods you can eat – these are foods you might not normally eat, may not even like, and you might think “well, how many ways can I actually eat oats without getting fed up of them?!”

I had that same dilemma. I was fed up of food. Food didn’t’ like me, even when I thought it was good. And I was bored of the bizarre food combinations I was throwing together in a bid to curb my IBS (try egg and houmous on crispbread… sounded good in theory, but is incredibly bitty and isn’t more-ish for a reason).

But the good thing was – I loved oats. So I started being a breakfast bunny – overnight oats, oatmeal pancakes, oat smoothies, and of course heaps and heaps of creamy porridge. Which was all well and good, but then I was flummoxed when it came to lunchtime.

I couldn’t double-breakfast, that’s nonsensical.

I didn’t want to feel stuffed, I wanted something satisfying that might get me through my day.

I was also craving confectionary that wouldn’t send my gut into a spin – I’m talking the good bad things, cookies, biscuits, anything and I mean anything that I could dunk in my tea.CLIF

And then, a beacon of hope came in the form of CLIF bars.

My cookie is healthier than your cookie!

What might look like a traditional cookie – which you would normally associate with bad ingredients and unhappy tums – is an incredible oxymoron. Looks like a cookie, can be eaten like a cookie – at ‘cookie-craving hours’, but gives you more energy than a cookie and keeps your intestines well in line… ready for another 😉

Those who suffer with IBS know that getting your vitamins in is a difficult task as any, especially if some of your trigger foods are items which are naturally high in vitamins and minerals, such as raw veg and fresh fruits. It makes getting the good stuff in incredibly hard.

Rather than simply containing traditional cookie ingredients, these CLIF bars come packed full of Vitamin B6 and B12 and, the best part, they maintain their ‘health benefits’ with no high fructose corn syrup. I mean, they take a look at traditional cookie ingredients (most IBS-unfriendly foods highlighted) –

Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Sugar, Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunks (Sugar, Dried Whole Milk, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins), Vanilla), Palm Oil, Fructose-Glucose Syrup, Rapeseed Oil, Glucose Syrup, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Disodium Diphosphate, Calcium Dihydrogen Diphosphate, Calcium Phosphate), Wheat Fibre, Whey Powder (Milk), Flavouring, Salt.cookies

And now you can see why you might feel uncomfortable after eating a cookie.

Why are high levels of sugar bad for IBS?

We all know high amounts of sugar are bad nutritionally anyway, you don’t need me to tell you that. But IBS sufferers might find that foods containing particularly high levels of sugar – and most prominently high fructose corn syrup, the strongest form of sugar – affect the bowel rapidly. Foods like cakes, sweets and even some cereals can be laden with high fructose corn syrup and, although these might be difficult to digest, you struggle to avoid them in daily life.

But you need to be headstrong and search for foods typically associated with high fructose which don’t contain this terrible ingredient.

The refined sugar in fructose syrup absorbs quickly into the pancreas, drawing on your current nutrients reserve. This can lead to chronic mineral deficits, overgrowth of bacteria fighting off the harsh metabolising effects in the large intestine, which then encourages great degrees of constipation, bloating, gas, cramps and diarrhoea. All symptoms sufferers of IBS know all too well…

Love the gym? You’ll adore CLIF!

Although these CLIF bars prove to be perfect dunker, I wouldn’t recommend them for daily consumption without being somewhat active.

These are great for pre- and post-gym snacks and are one of the most recommended bars for energy endurance activities.

You can sit at your desk and eat these every day if you so wish, but I can guarantee you’ll see the greatest health benefits when they’re taken as part of an exercise regime.health

I’m a regular gym-goer and found that these were the best go-to when I was on the move and perhaps didn’t have the chance to go home and make myself up a small meal.

It actually motivated me to go more as I knew I wouldn’t be starved afterwards and didn’t have to do a panicked superstore buy, leaving me to stare scrupulously at the back of the pack for the list of unhelpful ingredients.

So, whilst these bars are great for IBS anyway on the face of it, they’re also a great alliance in doing additional exercise – something nutritionists recommend as a great, natural way to curb IBS symptoms!

At the same time, eat them in moderation … like you would a cookie … yeah right, good tasting food bears no limits!

So get off your hands and grab a pack!

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