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.

Granola Gourmet

by Kyle Dodel
Food Review 101
February 9, 2012

We like to balance out the bad food we review with some healthier items like nutrition bars, and today that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing. While searching the internet for new products to try we stumbled across Granola Gourmet who produces “a delicious variety of 100% natural, low Glycemic energy bars”. While it might be difficult to find them at an actual store near you, you can purchase their bars online directly from them and receive them in about 2-3 days.  They make what they call original recipe bars and ultimate energy bars, and although were not really sure what the difference is we decided to try out the ultimate energy bars.  The ultimate energy bars come in four different flavors: Berry, Fudge Brownie, Mocha Fudge, and Cran-Orange.  If you want to learn more about Granola Gourmet, we suggest you check out their web-site and take a look at everything they have to offer.

First, we tried out the Berry bar, and our tasters thought the bar had an extremely strong strawberry flavor to it with hints of blueberries.  The berries are dotted throughout the bar, but the strawberry flavor comes in the form of an extract.  The texture of the bar is soft and chewy like a fresh-baked cookie, and we think a lot of people will certainly enjoy that aspect of these healthy bars.  Next, we tried out the Mocha Fudge bar, and our tasters thought this bar had just the right combination of chocolate and coffee.  The bar has bits of chocolate chips scattered throughout, and much like the first bar, this bar uses a coffee extract to get the strong mocha flavor that our tasters enjoyed so much.  Next, we tried out the Cran-Orange bar that has cranberries scattered throughout, and they decided to use orange extract to really give this bar a refreshing taste to it.  Lastly, we tried out the decadent sounding Fudge Brownie bar, and our tasters enjoyed this bar the most for several reasons.  Our tasters really enjoyed this bar because it had a really strong chocolate flavor to it that the other bars didn’t have.  Another reason we enjoyed this bar so much was because the texture of the bar actually reminded us of a brownie, hence why it’s called the ultimate fudge brownie.  Overall (4.5 out of 5).

The pros are that each of the four flavors taste like their namesake, they’re low in sodium, low on the glycemic index, and the texture is really soft and chewy.

The cons are that you have to order them from their web-site.

Diet Food Reviews

by Emily W.
June 14, 2010

I was very excited when my favorite guy, suited up in a UPS uniform, handed me a package from Granola Gourmet. Granola Gourmet Energy Bars are made with 100% natural and wholesome ingredients that are low or very low on the Glycemic Index. I picked up the Very Berry Energy Bars which has no sodium, no wheat, no dairy and no refined Sugar. Oh my.

Each 35 gram Granola Gourmet Very Berry Energy Bar is somewhat small, fitting into the palm of your hand; yet, Granola Gourmet’s creation is so dense and flavorful that it is just as satisfying as a bar that may appear to be twice its size. The base of this bar is extremely smooth and soft with a subtle flavor that evolves with every chew that you make. Although the bar is very soft, it does not fall apart in your hands.

The sweetness is pleasant, but does not overwhelm the all natural berry flavor. The smooth and flavorful base is accentuated by the densely packed nature of the bar, with organic oats, organic sunflower seeds, organic flaxseeds and almonds providing some welcomed chew and a level of nuttiness. The Very Berry flavor profile comes from dried blueberries and natural strawberry flavor; which meld with the honey and organic blue agave to create a thoroughly enjoyable, while still being subtle, sweetness.

Each Granola Gourmet Very Berry Energy Bar provides 140 calories, 8% of the daily value for total fat, no saturated fat or sodium, 11% of the DV for fiber, 10 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein.

I received these bars from the company, but you can buy a 10 bar package online at granola Gourmet for just $13.95 – SO WORTH IT

Review: Granola Gourmet Energy Bars

Energy Bar Reviews
April 4th, 2010

These are great tasting bars that are designed for diabetics, but are great for anyone. Granola Gourmet uses Agave and honey as sweeteners to keep these bars low on the Glycemic index, and while other bars use Agave that are not specifically marketed to diabetics, the Granola Gourmet bars are designed specifically to reduce their glycemic footprint.

This bar will surely please in the energy, taste and calorie departments. They are marketed as “Energy Bars,” and they do, in fact, deliver a boost of energy. Although these are not superfood nutrition or protein bars, you will get nutrients from the seeds, nuts and grains in most of these bars, plus antioxidants from cocoa powder and vitamins from the fruits in selected bars. The price is slightly above average at $0.04 cents per gram (since the bars are smaller than most, it’s difficult to compare price-per-bar).

Manufacturer’s Description

Granola Gourmet has created a unique and much needed product that will appeal to everyone. Finally, a substantial energy bar that is tasty, chewy and crunchy and portion controlled. Satisfying your hunger and fulfilling your sweet tooth. Granola Gourmet uses ingredients that are low or very low on the Glycemic Index, because of this Granola Gourmet Energy Bars convert to sugar more slowly.

Products in This Line

Chocolate Espresso
Very Berry
Spiced Orange Cranberry


These are delicious bars…among the best tasting on the market. They are nutty with pieces of nuts and grains that make them slightly chewy, but on the dry and flaky side. They are quite sweet but the chocolate, berry, and other flavors really come out strong!

Where to Buy

Online at manufacturer’s site
Whole Foods Markets in Southwest USA
Selected natural foods stores

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.

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!!!

Insulin the Miracle Cure

No matter if you are a type 1 or type 2 Diabetic, or if you have Gestational Diabetes, Insulin is the miracle cure.  Sure there are many different types of pills that you can take to manage your Diabetes, but none matter if there is no Insulin present.

When I was originally diagnosed with sugar readings over 4 times normal, I knew nothing about Insulin and all the different treatment options available.  My Dr. put me on Insulin and right away my blood glucose readings were under control within a week.  It was amazing and today I am grateful that in 1921 scientists at the University of Toronto discovered insulin.

In 1923 when insulin production began the lives of millions of people were changed.  We finally had a treatment which enabled us to live longer and improved the quality of our lives.  The life expectancy of a person with diabetes increased from 1 year to years.  I think that many of us take for granted the scientific research and investments made that have impacted the lives of people with diabetes.

Frankly, I’m glad we can take it for granted but we need to remember that since 20% of our population is either diabetic or at risk this is a problem we must face head on!

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.

Back to Basics

Every so often we all need to get back to basics.  Simple blocking and tackling is really what I’m referring to.  If you are Diabetic (20% of us are Prediabetic or Diabetic, 7% of us are Diabetic) than that means thinking about how to reduce sugar intake.

Is it really that simple…NO, it’s not.  Sugar is only one part of the equation.  Anything you eat impacts your blood sugar.  Even things you would not expect like celery sticks!  So, how do you keep it simple when this is a complex problem to manage?

You do what most diets tell you to do.  You eat lean meats (chicken and fish), you eat plenty of veggies and as many of them raw as possible.  Now I know you are thinking raw, why raw?  Simple (again with simple) yes it is simple, you derive more benefit from the vegetables when they still have all the enzymes and over 118 degrees you lose much of those benefits.  Another simple reason is that your body must work harder to digest raw vegetables than cooked soft veggies.  This means that they convert to sugar in your blood slower.

Let’s face it, it does not matter what you want (once in a while) if you do what you need to do to stay healthy EVERY DAY.  Sure it’s challenging, but you can do it.  Eat smart and enjoy your longer healthier life.

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.

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs – Simple Carbs

Just because something is simple, is that reason enough to use it? In my last post, I discussed Complex Carbs and we found that not all complex carbs are desirable for a diabetic. Now it’s time to take a look at Simple Carbs.

Simple Carbs are basically simple sugars. These sugars are easy to break down in your body and turn to sugar in your blood quickly. The simple answer to this is don’t eat them. That’s not always easy. After all it’s summer and my favorite fruits are ripe, sweet and delicious. Peaches, Nectarines, Cherries…

All are delicious and all have simple sugars that break down quickly. Not that I don’t enjoy my share of complex carbs in the summer but broccoli and other veggies just don’t give me the same joy of summer. So what do we do when we are tempted by summer fruits. After all our whole lives everyone has told us to eat our fruits and veggies. Aren’t all of these “healthy” foods good for us?

I wish! Clearly we are back to moderation and intake management. Since fruits contain simple sugars that convert to blood sugar quickly, how can I reduce the impact. This is not as difficult as it seems. Go ahead and PLAN to have a sweet juicy peach, just eat some protein and fat first and eat that peach right after. Remember by eating foods that take longer to convert to sugar along with foods that convert quickly you MAY be able to reduce the impact of simple sugars on your body.

How will you know? Test your blood! Always remember to test your blood and you’ll know if you can enjoy these delicious summer fruits.

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.