Are No Cow Bars Ketogenic Friendly?

At the time of writing this post I’ve been on the ketogenic diet for over five years and logged over 250 blood ketone tests in an effort to estimate the effects of food and ingredients on my ketosis, including those in No Cow Bars.

I think keto dieters naturally gravitate towards protein bars like No Cow's looking for a convenient sweet treat that won’t kick them out of ketosis, but are protein bars the right place to look? In this post, I’ll evaluate No Cow protein bars, give them keto friendly grades, and see how they stack up to other low carb treats!

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Savage Fuel Keto Friendly Grades:

  • A: Completely compatible, positive or no impact on ketosis.
  • B: Highly compatible, but don't go too crazy.
  • C: Moderately compatible, be mindful and limit intelligently.
  • D: Barely compatible, detrimental to ketosis and not recommended.
  • F: Not compatible, overdo it just a little and kiss your ketosis goodbye.

Keto Friendly Grading Factors:

  • Net Carbs per Serving: How many carbs are in this thing?
  • Net Carbs per 100 calories: Since serving sizes often vary significantly, a net carb per 100 calorie ratio is a more consistent measure of keto-friendliness than net carbs per serving. Lower ratios are also an indicator of higher fat content because fat has more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates.
  • Sugar: Sugars have a higher glycemic index and larger negative impact on ketosis than other carbohydrates.
  • Hidden Carbs: Hidden carbohydrates are based on the caloric values and glycemic indexes of ingredients sometimes classified as fibers or sugar alcohols.
  • Easy to Overeat: Some foods are easy to over-eat and require extra willpower to limit overeating which is an important factor to consider.
  • Nutritional Density: Foods that are relatively high in net carbs per 100 calories but are high in nutrition per calorie can still be worth eating like broccoli and cauliflower.
  RULE of thumb for net carbs per 100 calorie ratio:  0-1 great, 1-2 ok, 2-3 caution, 3+ red alert

RULE of thumb for net carbs per 100 calorie ratio:
0-1 great, 1-2 ok, 2-3 caution, 3+ red alert

No Cow Protein Bars Keto Friendly Grades:

Overall factors: Counting 50% of fiber as net carbs because Isomalto-Oligosaccharides have half the calories of sugar and has a glycemic index of 35 which is more than half of table sugars glycemic index which is more than enough to raise your blood sugar. IMO's are hidden as fiber in the nutrition facts. I'm not going to bother estimating how much of each bars fiber comes from other sources since it's mostly Isomalto-Oligosaccharides. These bars are also low nutritional density and easy to overeat.

  • Lemon Meringue Pie: F-
    11.5g Net carbs per 200 calorie 60g bar
    5.8g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red+++)
    1g Sugar
     
  • Raspberry Truffle: F-
    12.5g Net carbs per 210 calorie 60g bar
    6g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red++++)
    1g Sugar
     
  • Carrot Cake: F-
    11g Net carbs per 200 calorie 60g bar
    5.5g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red+++)
    1g Sugar
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: F-
    12g Net carbs per 200 calorie 60g bar
    6g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red++++)
    1g Sugar
     
  • Mint Cacao Chip Bar: F-
    12g Net carbs per 200 calorie 60g bar
    6g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red++++)
    1g Sugar
     
  • Chunky Peanut Butter: F-
    12.5g Net carbs per 210 calorie 60g bar
    6g Net carbs per 100 calories (Red++++)
    1g Sugar

No Cow Protein Bars Keto Friendly Conclusion:

 
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No Cow bars would actually be pretty good if they just ditched Isomalto-Oligosaccharides and made the same move Quest and Kirkland signature to tapioca or corn fiber which isn't nearly as bad. Unfortunately No Cow bars are just not made with Keto or even low carb in mind. They'd rather hide net carbs under the guise of fiber and let you figure out why you're getting kicked out of ketosis.

They're also low fat so not satisfying at all on a keto diet. To illustrate how keto unfriendly these bars are let's compare them to some real keto friendly sweet treats:

 

No Cow Bars vs F-Bombs, ChocoPerfection, Nui Cookies, and Keto Bars

 

As you can see, when comparing No Cow bars to the best keto-friendly treats out there by net carbs per 100 calories, which is the most consistent indicator of keto friendliness, there is no contest. So in conclusion I recommend going with more keto friendly sweet treats, my personal favorite is ChocoPerfection, it gets an A- keto friendly grade and an A+ in taste from me.

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They have a lot of great flavors too, dark and dark mint are my favorites and Raspberry is the only flavor I don’t like. The dark mint with a handful of macadamia nuts tastes just like thin mint cookies. You get the classic mint chocolate flavor with the salty and crunchy macadamia nuts, it’s my favorite ultra low carb dessert.

If you’re interested in trying some I’d recommend getting the variety pack and a pack of the dark chocolate so you can try all their flavors and still have more of the dark which you’re going to like anyways. They have free shipping in the United States too which is sweet.

I also highly recommend Nui cookies, Keto Bars, and F-Bomb pouches, they're all ultra keto friendly and delicious. For more expertly curated and guaranteed keto friendly products check out the Keto Shop!

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