Bars With a Burst

by Rajiv Leventhal
Vitamin Retailer
June 2012

Alternative energy sources, such as energy bars, provide a convenient way to meet an individual’s nutritional needs on an occasional basis, according to A person with a busy lifestyle may decide to eat an energy bar instead of skipping a meal or eating fast food. Energy bars also make an appropriate snack for a long-distance walk, run or bicycle ride to help avoid an energy deficit. Since energy bars do not require utensils, preparation or refrigeration, people can store them in the car, gym bag or carry-on luggage for a quick snack or occasional meal replacement.

Aside from providing needed energy during a long workout, energy bars can suffice as an occasional meal-substitute. Most energy bars contain some vitamins and minerals, and they tend to be more nutritious than a candy bar, a bag of chips or nothing at all. Those that contain nuts, seeds and whole grains offer a healthy dose of protein and fiber.

And sales have been energized as well. According to Nutrition Business Journal, the value of the Sports Nutrition and Weight Loss (SNWL) market was up by nearly $2 billion in 2010, showing a sales increase of nine percent over the previous year. In the past 13 years, the SNWL market has seen a remarkable compound growth rate of 10.2 percent.

Further, a recent Packaged Facts report stated that in the energy/nutrition bar category, new flavor and ingredient introductions along with improvements in taste and mouth-feel have made the future of these products look a lot more interesting. Manufacturers are targeting broader consumer dietary needs, including new nutrient options, and leaving out problem ingredients. Among the functional ingredients that manufacturers are using to vary the nutrition bar formula are CoQ10, L-carnitine, omega-3, resveratrol and vitamin K2. Below are a few examples of energy bars that are available on the market today.

Low-Glycemic Energy Bars
Granola Gourmet (Santa Clarita, CA) 4Real Energy Bars are clinically proven to be low glycemic, and are therefore ideal for people with diabetes, athletes or anybody interested in stable, sustained blood-sugar levels, the company stated. They have been tested on people with type 2 diabetes to determine their glycemic index (GI) value by scientists at GI Labs, who developed the concept of the glycemic index. On a scale where a GI of 70 or more is considered high GI and 55 or less is low GI, Granola Gourmet’s Energy Bars had GI values of only 19 to 25. The bars come in four flavors (Ultimate Berry, Mocha Fudge, Fudge Brownie and Cran-Orange) and are free of wheat and dairy, are very low in sodium, and are kosher and vegan.

Dr. David Katz

Medical & Nutrition Expert
Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center

“Granola Gourmet beautifully demonstrates that those with, and at risk for diabetes, can have their snack bars and control their blood sugar, too! The low glycemic properties of these bars is highly commendable. Those with diabetes, like everyone else, should be able to love foods that love them back- and Granola Gourmet helps demonstrate that’s possible.”

Granola Gourmet – low glycemic energy bars

by Mariano Grinbank
October 14, 2011

Granola Gourmet sent along a sample of their various products for the purpose of review. Today we will consider their energy bars.

Granola Gourmet does not merely provide healthy products but are actively involved in treating health problems. Their products are endorsed by physicians as being low glycemic, diabetic friendly snacks with a portion of each sale going towards fighting diabetes. They contain no wheat, no dairy, very low sodium contain whole grains, are packed with healthy omega oils and are vegan, vegetarian and kosher—mazel tov!

In short, these snacks are perfect for diabetics and non-diabetic fitness enthusiasts in general as they provide circa 2-3 hours worth of energy sans a sugar spike.

Now, something which diabetics and non-diabetic fitness enthusiasts have in common is that occasionally they both need a sugar spike: diabetics when their blood sugar gets too low and fitness enthusiasts during post-workout. Of course, finding sugar spike educing foods is easier than shooting fish with a bazooka in a fish tank. The reason that Granola Gourmet’s snacks are so important is that is it much more difficult to find non-sugar spiking snacks. The energy bars come in these flavors:

Ultimate Berry
Ultimate Fudge Brownie
Ultimate Mocha Fudge
Ultimate Cran-Orange

Additionally, you can try their whole grain energy multi-packs. These are more akin to granola bars and come in Very Berry, Brownie, Spiced Orange Cranberry and Chocolate Espresso.

Due to their ease of use—easily packed into a gym bag, hiking backpack, etc. Granola Gourmet make for a great addition to a fitness / sports nutrition lifestyle.

Healthy Back To School Snack Idea: Granola Gourmet

August 12, 2010

Because of it’s low glycemic index and allergy-safe ingredients (No Wheat, No Dairy, No Refined Sugar and very Low Sodium), Granola Gourmet became a popular snack among weight-watchers and people with diabetes.

However, Granola Gourmet is good for practically everyone. It’s best for children and parents on the go, of course without ditching the delicious factor in a healthy snack.

Here are a few reasons why Granola Gourmet is a good back-to-school snack:

  • Instead of sugary cereals, grab a Granola Gourmet Energy Bar made with 100% natural ingredients, including 391mg Omega 3′s and 13 grams of whole grains per bar
  • If you have food allergies and need to stay away from wheat or dairy (these do contain almonds)
  • When at school you are looking for satisfying snack, that also keeps your kids going, energy foods that hold up well in a locker
  • Your kids come home from school and are hungry before dinner and need something to satisfy their sweet tooth, but you want your kids to avoid the high fat, sugar and sodium content of some popular protein bars and snacks

Carb alert No. 2: Sugar-free may not be low glycemic

by Cary Castagna
Edmonton Sun
February 18, 2010

Here’s the second of three carb alerts from the folks at Granola Gourmet and staff at the Mayo Clinic:

Sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. Sugar-free foods may play a role in your diabetes diet — but sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. When you’re choosing between standard products and their sugar-free counterparts, compare the food labels side by side. If the sugar-free product has noticeably fewer carbohydrates, the sugar-free product might be the better choice. But if there’s little difference in carbohydrate grams between the two foods, let taste — or price — be your guide.

No sugar added, but not necessarily no carbohydrates. The same caveat applies to products sporting a “no sugar added” label. Although these foods don’t contain high-sugar ingredients and no sugar is added during processing or packaging, foods without added sugar may still be high in carbohydrates.

Sugar alcohols contain carbohydrates and calories, too. Likewise, products that contain sugar alcohols — such as sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol — aren’t necessarily low in carbohydrates or calories

If you are concerned about your intake of sugars, make sure that added sugars are not listed as one of the first few ingredients. Other names for added sugars include: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, and maple syrup.

Granola Gourmet ( makes gourmet energy bars for diabetics and their families. gives users access to the expertise and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic.

Here and There: Olympic Eating During The Winter Olympics

by Andrea Rademan
Sushi and Sake Magazine
November 20, 2009

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Over 60 million people in the U.S. have this disease or blood sugar issues. The Glycemic index rates carbohydrates according to their affect on blood glucose levels. Low GI carbs which produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels are the secret to reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes and are key to sustainable weight loss. GRANOLA GOURMET is made with ingredients that are not hydrated, making it harder on your body to digest them. Founder, Jeff Cohen who himself is diabetic, created these bars himself with no dairy, wheat or the high sugar fat and sodium found in some popular protein bars. They are the only product of this type that I had to keep myself from overeating. And that’s a mouthful.

Alternative Energy: SCV man finds success with granola bars

by Joshua Premako
Santa Clarita Valley Signal
September 14, 2009

Jeff Cohen didn’t intend to go into the business of producing granola bars. He was simply looking for something to snack on.

But in nearly three years, Cohen has gone from whipping up snacks to helming Granola Gourmet, a company that produces low-glycemic energy bars.

Cohen, 47, was diagnosed with diabetes about 15 years ago.

One of the biggest feathers in the cap of the Stevenson Ranch resident has been having 24 Whole Foods Markets in Southern California carry his bars.

“My goal is to make Granola Gourmet a national brand that’s widely accepted by everybody, and just happens to be good for you,” Cohen said.

Cohen’s is a story with simple beginnings – he got the idea while his wife was baking muffins.

It was late 2006 and, Cohen said, “I was looking for a snack that tasted good but wouldn’t cause my blood sugar to spike.”

One of his sons got the ball rolling, he said, by urging Cohen to come up with something he’d like that his father could eat.

“I’m not a cook. I don’t know the first thing about food,” Cohen said.

As he researched the glycemic index, Cohen said, he eventually settled on trying out granola bars.

He started preparing more and more batches, as he found his sons were frequently taking them to school to share with friends.

In spring 2008, he began selling his energy bars at the weekly farmers’ market held in downtown Newhall.

“One thing led to another,” he said Monday, standing next to shelves full of colorfully packaged energy bars in Valencia’s Whole Foods store. “It’s been a pretty interesting ride.”

When Cohen started setting up shop at the farmers’ market, he was making about 1,000 bars a month.

Now, he said, Granola Gourmet is producing about 20,000 bars monthly.

The bars are available in four flavors: Spiced orange cranberry, very berry, brownie and chocolate espresso.

The base ingredients in each bar are organic oats, blue agave, flax and sunflower seeds, almonds and honey.

A key to success, Cohen said, has been maintaining a broad appeal, reflected in his motto: “Energy bars for athletes, diabetics and you.”

Gaining the support of Whole Foods was a matter of finding someone interested in the product, which Cohen said was hard work.

The first store to start carrying Granola Gourmet bars was the Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena. Within two weeks, 10 more stores added the bars, with another 10 over the following month.

Now, Cohen is selling Granola Gourmet bars in 24 Whole Foods markets, through and at, and he said he is negotiating a deal with a major California grocery store chain.

In a year, Cohen said he’d like to be on track to becoming a million-dollar-a-year business.

With Granola Gourmet, Cohen came up with more than a solution for snack-time cravings.

“These are the granola bars that saved my life,” he said.

Granola Gourmet designs diabetic-safe energy bar

Dee Long
May 20, 2009

We enjoyed reading Mary Tyler Moore’s latest autobiography, ” Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” ( and were amazed to discover the amount of discipline and strategy that goes into choosing when and what to eat when you are diabetic.

A nice example of synchronicity, then, to discover Santa Clarita-based Granola Gourmet (, a company that’s created “Energy Bars for Athletes, Diabetics and YOU”.

Sweetened with raw organic blue agave and honey, four varieties of bars are offered: brownie, chocolate espresso, spiced orange cranberry (pictured above) and very berry. The bars we sampled were sweet, chewy and very satisfying and although we don’t need them for dietary reasons, we’d rather opt for a Granola Gourmet bar than any of the other packaged energy bars currently on the market. Granola Gourmet Energy Bars contain antioxidants, omega 3′s and fiber and are chock full of such natural healthy ingredients as organic oats, dried cranberries, olive oil, almonds and cinnamon.

Grab a four-pack to keep handy in the car during the summer when traveling with the kids. Granola Gourmet Energy Bars are great for hiking and camping. Keep a carton in your desk drawer to satisfy those 3 o’clock munchie cravings rather than heading to a vending machine. And a portion of all sales supports the American Diabetes Association.

Until our next food find…may all your food finds be fabulous!

Looking for a diabetic-friendly snack?

by Jenna Phillips – Nutrition/Fitness Expert
Mission Possible with Jenna Phillips
September 2009

I honestly believe that everyone would be better off if he or she ate like a person diagnosed with diabetes “should” eat. As much as I don’t like the word “should” (because “should” is so subjective), there’s no reason why people can’t eat foods to nourish their bodies instead of those that DEGENERATE them.  We hear so much about low-glycemic index foods but what does that really mean?

The glycemic index of food is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. Eating these foods typically require a BUNCH of insulin (blehhhh!). Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes and don’t require as much insulin. I’m all about eating foods that don’t SPIKE my blood sugar so I don’t have to take a beyond-crazy load of insulin.

And why am I a huge fan of low GI stuff?

  • Low GI means a smaller rise in blood sugar and can help control established diabetes (yay!)
  • Low GI diets can help people lose weight and lower blood lipids (woo hoo!)
  • Low GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin (yessssss!)

DUH! So, WHY ON EARTH would you NOT eat more low GI foods?! Oh, because high GI foods are soooo tasty? Um, really? Ok, fine. Let me give you a few suggestions:

  • sweet potato french fries instead of regular French fries
  • dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • Granola Gourmet™ energy bars instead of ANY OTHER “pretending to be healthy” energy bars!

I discovered these yummy treats at the WHOLE FOODS on Wilshire and 6th street in Santa Monica. I fell in love at 1st taste and my blood sugar was SO happy with me when I munched on a few pieces of my new healthy find. With my high-intensity fitness regimen, this is a perfect source of sustainable energy for my multiple workouts throughout the week.

As a person diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I’m delighted that my sweet tooth can be satisfied with such a healthy treat! I honestly feel like I’m cheating when I eat them! Haha! But I’m so NOT cheating. With a nice dosage of fiber and ingredients like: Organic Whole Grain Oats, Organic Agave Syrup, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Honey, Almonds, Organic Flaxseeds,Organic Sunflower Seeds, Olive Oil, Alkalized Cocoa & Natural Vanilla Flavoring how can I possibly be cheating? My taste buds are fully confused when I nourish my body with the yumminess of Granola Gourmet™. So quit messin’ around with “pretending to be healthy” energy bars and GO GET SOME!!!

Sugar is EVIL

Of all the foods in the world that we eat none makes us happier than sugar.  It’s in almost everything that is sweet and tastes good.  Often we eat it because it’s there and once eaten it finds it way to all the happy cells in our bodies.  None is happier to be nourished by sugar than Cancer cells.  I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s true.  Cancer loves sugar and while I am NOT a Cancer expert I’ve recently become associated with the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education (CACE).

The recent quarterly that CACE puts out discusses a fermented wheat germ extract called Avemar.  The premise behind Avemar is that it chokes off the energy supply of cancer cells which reduces their ability to proliferate and eventually causes cancer cell death.  I was not aware that cancer cells utilize glucose (sugar) at a rate of 10-50 times higher than normal cells, however based on this information it’s easy to conclude that sugar is BAD for people who have Cancer as well as those of us with Diabetes.

This week I’d like to dedicate a moment to a close friend of my wife’s that was just diagnosed with stage 4 Breast Cancer.  It’s a tough topic and much more shocking when diagnosis is not done until this stage.  On a more positive note, I’ve recently met someone that was diagnosed as stage 4, three years ago and today is in complete remission.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for general informational purposes only. Granola Gourmet does not treat, cure or prevent diabetes or any disease, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.