First there were candy bars for energy. (Going on a hike? Take a peanut-filled Snickers.) Then, protein bars promised to be more nutritious than a peanut and chocolate candy bar. Next came energy bars, glamorized with nutrients and fancy flavors. Now, wellness bars have debuted, a new kind of functional food to cure ills. Attune probiotic bars, a standard-bearer, is packed with beneficial probiotic bacteria (a.k.a. active cultures).
While the labels herald that the bars contain five times the amount of beneficial probiotic bacteria as found in yogurt, this claim is disingenuous: It compares apples to oranges. The comparison is made to regular yogurt, not probiotic yogurt. The numbers are the same compared to probiotic yogurt, which is available in any supermarket. It bugs us that a company selling a wellness product couldn’t add one word to its marketing claim in the interest of clarity and education for the consumer. We hope the labels are reprinted, they’ll say “5X the live cultures in regular yogurt.”
But if you don’t choose to stand on principle, anyone in your family, age three years or older, who needs some digestive boost from probiotic bacteria, can nibble on an Attune bar instead of a yogurt. Probiotics have been proven in studies to help promote strong, healthy digestive and immune systems. (Note that if you have a specific digestive ailment, you should consult your healthcare practitioner before using any remedy.)
Attune wellness bars are found in the refrigerator case, in the dairy/yogurt aisle (you can also purchase them online—see the information at the end of this article). While it’s best to store them in the refrigerator, to preserve the life of the live probiotic bacteria, the probiotics still will be effective when stored for a couple of weeks at normal ambient temperatures.
We’ve got to disclose that nobody on the NIBBLE staff has digestive problems—that could be a career-ender for a food writer! So we can’t tell you whether, after 14 days, we saw any digestive benefits. But we did enjoy the taste, which is why we’re writing about Attune. With our morning coffee or as a snack during the day, Attune wellness bars were guilt-free nibbling compared to the normal list of temptations. (The chocolate bar has 100 calories, 60 from fat; the granola bars, 170 calories, 70 from fat—and all those probiotics.)
But for those who do want to see improved wellness, the company recommends a 14-day initial trial for digestive benefits, and, for optimal immunity benefits, a daily Attune bar for at least four weeks. The manufacturer underscores that each person has a unique digestive bacterial community, so the particular probiotic cultures in Attune bars may not be equally effective for everyone. But if you find “a feeling of vitality and overall health and wellness”—and a happier tummy—after two or four weeks, you’ll be very happily Attuned.
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