Attune Chocolate Bars ReviewJune 9, 2010 Written by JP [Font too small?]
One of my least favorite sayings is, “Everything in moderation”. I think it’s a problematic piece of advice for many people who think they need such guidance in the first place. You wouldn’t tell a mother to let her child eat lead-based paint in moderation. It would be foolhardy to suggest to an alcoholic or drug addict to indulge every once in awhile, provided that it’s done moderately. So why then do family, friends, nutritionists and physicians insist on passing along this ubiquitous adage when it comes to eating unhealthy food? In my opinion, it’s largely rooted in a belief that most people just aren’t capable of doing what’s right for themselves on a long term basis. But I think there’s a better solution.
I firmly believe that you cannot attain true wellness unless you approach your health care in a conscious manner. In my consulting work, I don’t recommend that my clients avoid treating themselves to delicious food. However, I most certainly ask them to look for options that satisfy their nutritional and sensory needs in equal proportions.
A line of products that matches my philosophy is made by a company named Attune Foods. I recently tried three of their probiotic dark chocolate bars and was pleasantly surprised by the composition and taste. Attune Foods manufactures several other related products, but I only endorse the use of three at this time: Coffee Bean Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bar, Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bar and Raspberry Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bar. All of these mini-bars contain: a) fewer than 100 calories; b) 3 or more grams of fiber; c) 68% cocoa content; d) under 5 grams of added sugar per serving.
What’s special about these chocolaty treats is that they’re fortified with over 6 billion healthy bacteria cultures per bar. In addition, they contain a prebiotic known as inulin which supports that the growth and proliferation of healthy bacteria in the digestive system. The three bars I’ve specifically mentioned are also free of common allergens such dairy and wheat.
While it’s true that each serving of Attune Probiotic Chocolate Bars yields between 3 to 4 grams of added sugar, this is a compromise that is well worth making for many health conscious consumers. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry determined that adding sugar to cocoa extracts may very well increase the absorption and retention of health promoting phytochemicals contained in dark chocolate. That same experiment found that adding milk to the mix had the opposite effect. Another current investigation surmised that adding high amounts of fat to a cocoa blend lowered the quantity of naturally occurring antioxidants such as flavonoids, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins. All together, this bodes well for this line of Attune products because they contain small amounts of sugar, no dairy and are relatively low in fat. (1,2)
The cocoa aspect of the Attune bars is really secondary to the probiotic content. These are, in effect, probiotic supplements masquerading as chocolate bars. That’s not to say that the cocoa content isn’t of value. It is. However most people who’d consider using this functional food will do so because it provides a large concentration of healthy bacteria that can benefit the body from head to toe. (3,4,5)
To be specific, the bars contain a blend of three carefully chosen strains of probiotics: Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophillus and Lactobacillus casei. According to the company, all three are certified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and Kosher. A cursory review of the recent medical literature indicates that combinations and the singular application of these probiotics may: 1) prevent “the development of eczema in infants at high risk of allergy during the first year of life”; 2) effectively manage antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea in hospitalized patients; 3) improve immune function and reduce the incidence of common respiratory infections in children and seniors alike. (6,7,8,9,10)
The bottom line is that I think these probiotic bars can be healthfully incorporated into most diet plans if needed or desired. I think they’re unlikely to cause a significant elevation in blood sugar or instigate a binge eating cycle in most people. But if you’re at risk for either of these conditions or others, experiment with caution. Make a conscious decision about whether or not to try them and, if you do, carefully evaluate how they affect your individual physiology and psychology. If you can enjoy them in good health, use them as directed. You could very well benefit from their therapeutic potential. However, if they trigger unwanted cravings or inappropriate spikes in your blood glucose readings, avoid them altogether. In the latter case, do not use moderation.
Note: I received no form of compensation or consideration for writing this review. Three single serving bars were sent to me free of charge for the sole purpose of writing this review.
Tags: Cocoa, Probiotics, Sugar
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews
June 10th, 2010 at 2:32 am
Good Morning, JP 🙂
a little off topic: i read recently that almond and raw almond butter have probiotic effects too, have you heard of that? Has something to do with the fats, but im not sure and haven’
June 10th, 2010 at 2:39 am
ooops, whats going on with my pc??
…haven’t saved the link. Also do bananas, they enhance some positive short chain fatty acids in the large intestine.
Another question: do you have any idea to make icecream without milk and egg, do you think i can use coconutmilk or a nutcream instead?
Today is question day ;-): the eu will allow steviaproducts here soon. I have no experience with stevia yet. Does it boost insulin release because of its sweet taste like artificial sweetner? That would mean that blood suger is droping to fast/stron after eating stevia causing sugar cravings.
Greetings from the faaaar side 🙂 ☼
June 10th, 2010 at 12:50 pm
Good day, Nina! 🙂
It’s true. Almonds do possess prebiotic properties. Some of the evidence:
June 10th, 2010 at 1:07 pm
It appears that purified stevia does not negatively affect blood sugar, insulin or satiety.
Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels
Apparent lack of pharmacological effect of steviol glycosides used as sweeteners in humans
re: dairy and egg-free ice cream
It seems like it’s possible – though I’ve never tried it. Here’s a proposed recipe:
I don’t approve of agave syrup but it could be quite healthful if you used a different sweetener instead, IMO. Also, I’d probably opt for unsweetened almond milk rather than hemp milk.
June 10th, 2010 at 4:33 pm
Looks like a great product! What the prize on those little things?
June 10th, 2010 at 7:54 pm
Would the probiotics in these bars actually be beneficial? I would think the heat of making the bars would be kill or reduce the amount available.
If one would add cinnamon to their daily routine, would that not help to reduce any insulin spike caused by the sugar??
June 10th, 2010 at 8:17 pm
I like that figure of speech, about lead-based paint….
It is now my favourite saying!
June 11th, 2010 at 2:50 am
Thank you JP, you’re a sweetheart ♥, so much work done to answer my questions, thx.
…going to read your links 🙂
June 11th, 2010 at 2:01 pm
Good day, Vadim! 🙂
It seems like the bars cost about $1.50 each – sometimes a little less.
I’ve seen them in the refrigerated section of my local health food store – in the dairy section, even though they’re dairy-free.
June 11th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
The bars are shipped with a cold-pack and sold in the refrigerated section of health food stores.
The manufacturer claims that, under reasonable conditions, they will retain at least 6 billion healthy bacteria though their expiration date.
Cinnamon might help. I add some to my daily coffee drink in the form of organic pumpkin spice. Here are a few of my columns on cinnamon:
June 11th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
Thanks, Anne! 🙂
The words just pop into my head and I type ’em. 🙂
I’m happy to know they’re appreciated!
June 11th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
You’re most welcome, Nina! 🙂
I hope the information addresses your questions well.
July 11th, 2010 at 6:21 pm
I am very specific with the foods I eat. I have become more interested in probiotics and I came across the Attune bars in my local HEB. I tried them out and not only do they fulfill my probiotic needs, they also taste great! They have become my treat after lunch or dinner. Only 80-100 calories is perfect for me and my diet needs. I am very excited to try their new granola.
July 11th, 2010 at 6:44 pm
Excellent news, Sara. 🙂
Thanks for the feedback!
March 30th, 2011 at 9:10 pm
Hi there JP – I’m 74, retired, and enjoy a glass of red wine (Merlot)with a Dove dark chocolate (8 grams) every day. It’s my 4 pm treat. 🙂 I’ve just recently discovered Attune chocolate bars, and I’m wondering if it’s okay to have the Attune bar with red wine. IE, will the wine alcohol disrupt the benefits of the Attune bar?
Love the bars… great taste! But I’m only on my second bar, so I can’t really testify yet to it’s health benefits.
March 30th, 2011 at 11:46 pm
There isn’t a lot of data to work with on this subject matter. But this item, from 2007, suggests that it would be fine to combine the two.
March 31st, 2011 at 7:31 am
Thanks for the link JP… very informative. And great news for me BTW!
March 29th, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Thank you, Don!
June 2nd, 2015 at 9:36 pm