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Member Forum >> Cureality Diet Health Forum >> Quest Bars
 Quest Bars
Bob Niland

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Posted: 5/24/2015 11:08:32 AM
Edited: 1/17/2017 9:55:51 AM (31)
 
Quest Bars

Quest Bars

Revised: 2017-01-17

Alternative bars that you might consider are discussed at: Adapt and Primal Kitchen Bars

I no longer recommend any Quest Protein bars. As of 2015-08-26, Quest has ceased using IMO, and switched to soluble corn fiber (which may still be an IMO). They provide no information on what adverse corn proteins (like zein) might make it into the bars. Because they don't claim “organic”, pesticide uptake is also a concern. They have also added calcium carbonate to at least two of the reformulated sucralose-free flavors, and some contain soy lecithin, an emulsifier. Supplementing calcium is discouraged on Wheat Belly and Cureality guidelines (with one possible emerging exception that is not calcium carbonate). Added emulsifiers are a recent new concern (gut biome antagonist), and common in junk food, which is what this product line seems to be turning into. New flavors added to the Quest line have been using sucralose.

Until we have some clarity on all this, I've stopped buying them entirely. As it turned out, the most recent carton I'd bought, of Double Chocolate Chunk, is the new formulation. In addition to the ingredient concerns raised above, the flavor has changed, toward cardboard.

Below is what this article used to say, revised to make the de-listing clear.
_______________

Largely by accident (in my opinion, and reinforced by recent Quest Nutrition bumbling around), some of these bars used to be acceptable as a snack, and as a source of prebiotic fiber, under Cureality and Wheat Belly guidelines. They are gluten-free and GMO-free, very low net carb, high prebiotic fiber, but alas also low fat. Quest Nutrition does not have the full picture.

If all the caveats seem discouraging, the sad truth is that these used to be the most benign snack bars on the market, and there are presently NO satisfactory packaged meal replacement bars on the market at all. There are a couple of candidate snack bars (Adapt & Primal) on which I may have more to say in the future.

Issues on Quest included:

  • All flavors now contain soluble corn fiber instead of IMO, raising a zein protein concern.
  • Over half the Quest flavors contain sucralose, an artificial sweetener no longer CR/WB approved due to being a likely gut biome antagonist (see lists below).
  • They contain whey protein, which provokes an non-trivial insulin response in many people, and may be a factor in weight loss stall.
  • The older high “dietary” (pre-biotic) IMO fiber content could cause gas (more below). I have no data on any corn fiber effects.
  • Emulsifiers.
  • These are protein bars, so they are probably not compatible with being in full time ketosis, if that's your intent.
  • Fat content is also too low to consider them to be meal replacement (more below).
  • Some people got a blood sugar response to the legacy bars. The reasons for this were not clear.
  • No claim is made for “organic”. This raises questions about pesticide uptake in the corn fiber.
  • Packaging quality control is inconsistent (more below).

These flavors do not contain sucralose:
+ Banana Nut Muffin (but does contain calcium carbonate)
+ Chocolate Peanut Butter
+ Cinnamon Roll
+ Coconut Cashew
+ Double Chocolate Chunk (but does contain calcium carbonate)
+ Lemon Cream Pie
+ Strawberry Cheesecake

These flavors contain sucralose:
- Apple Pie
- Chocolate Brownie
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Cookies & Cream
- Mint Chocolate Chunk
- Mixed Berry Bliss
- Peanut Butter & Jelly
- Peanut Butter Supreme
- Pumpkin Pie (seasonal)
- S'mores
- Vanilla Almond Crunch
- White Chocolate Raspberry

People have asked Quest to increase the fat*. They don't get it. “We don't want to add more fat simply to blunt responses in the people that seem to show higher readings, as maintaining good calorie control and macronutrient ratios are much more important in our opinion.” The FDA, still stuck on low fat, would probably also hassle them about the “perfect nutritional profile” claim if they increased the fat.

If you hadn't already been consuming sufficient prebiotic fiber and/or have suboptimal gut flora, you might have initially experienced gas with the former IMO-based bars. One bar was close to the CR/WB target for daily prebiotic fiber. You may get gas in any case if you eat more than 2 bars per day. The older bars use IMO (isomalto oligosaccharides). The newest flavor (Mint) switched to “Soluble Corn Fiber” (which raises issues, and the fact that the recent new flavors have sucralose suggests that Quest is not likely to intentionally release a more optimal product anytime soon). Unfortunately, Quest decided to reformulate all the bars to use corn.

The protein is milk- and/or whey-based, which is a concern for those sensitive to bovine (cow) dairy. Note for those outside North America: the dairy content is almost certainly from N.A. herds with beta casein A1 genetics, and not your A2 cows. You might do fine on A2 dairy, but perhaps not A1.

Some people get a blood sugar response to the older bars that is not understood (it was apparently not glucogenesis of the whey protein or heating of the IMO). These bars are not labeled for diabetics. I have seen no reports on how the reformulation might affect this response.

If you buy this product by the carton, be sure to check the air seal on every bar before putting the box in the cupboard. In my experience, about 5% of the bars are not well sealed, and will be dried out rocks by the time you discover the problem. Only one of the two Quest sampler boxes is sucralose-free.

This article is only about the protein bars. The newer Beyond Cereal bars, and other Quest products are left as an exercise for the reader.
______
* They are sort of starting to listen on the fat issue, and lately introduced MCT Oil Powder. In addition to the cognitive dissonance of "oil powder", this product also contains soluble corn fiber and sodium caseinate (aka MSG), and no specific claims of organic or non-GMO.

___________
Bob Niland [disclosures] [topics]

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Posted: 5/24/2015 12:24:39 PM
 
Watch your BG on Quest bars - I love them but they don't love me.  I get a 20+ percent BG bump with them...

Steve




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psweath

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Posted: 5/24/2015 6:01:09 PM
 
I use Quest bars. I haven't price-checked lately, but I did once, and Vitacost's price was good. Since I order so many supps from them, it's easy just to include my Quest bars on the same order.

Pete


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Posted: 6/10/2015 7:17:39 PM
 
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Posted: 6/10/2015 7:26:00 PM
 
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Posted: 6/11/2015 11:54:32 AM
 
What a terrific discussion and update, Bob!

Thanks for posting.




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Posted: 9/16/2015 1:18:17 PM
 
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Posted: 9/16/2015 4:06:43 PM
 
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Posted: 9/16/2015 4:48:39 PM
 
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Posted: 9/17/2015 7:37:15 AM
 
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Posted: 9/17/2015 2:44:10 PM
 
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Posted: 10/17/2015 4:32:58 PM
 
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 10/17/2015 6:39:45 PM
 
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Posted: 12/14/2015 11:09:14 AM
Edited: 12/14/2015 11:10:04 AM (1)
 
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Posted: 12/14/2015 1:06:46 PM
 
Bob, man do I appreciate your research on this stuff!

Pete


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Posted: 12/14/2015 3:36:04 PM
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Posted: 12/22/2015 1:23:02 PM
 
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Posted: 12/22/2015 1:47:15 PM
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Posted: 12/28/2015 10:14:06 AM
 
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Posted: 1/19/2016 7:51:06 PM
 
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Posted: 2/19/2016 3:12:58 PM
 
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/19/2016 5:10:47 PM
 
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Posted: 2/20/2016 8:14:41 AM
 
"Nutty Crunch" - I'll have a look. Thanks Bob!

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Posted: 2/20/2016 12:46:08 PM
 
What about the Designs For Health Paleo Bars?




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Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/20/2016 2:12:09 PM
 
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/22/2016 4:44:09 PM
 
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Posted: 2/23/2016 11:59:21 AM
 
"jerky-type meat bars" - not feelin' it




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Posted: 2/24/2016 11:21:00 AM
 
Bruce Ames
Will they ever come out with this bar?
http://www.bruceames.org/CHORIBar.php


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Posted: 7/17/2017 5:49:49 PM
 
I’ve looked at so many of these bars, Quest and many others. Even with my limited knowledge, once I look at th ingredients list, THT is nothing I’d be willing to touch, at least when I’m in a compliant frame of mind.


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Bob Niland

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