Extend Bars ReviewLofty Claims, Limited Science (Nutritionist Reacts!)
Are you dealing with a chronic condition, such as type II diabetes?
Maybe you’re keen on weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Glycemic control is the key. It is also the foundation of Extend Nutrition’s protein bars.
Glycemic control refers to blood sugar control, an important tool for those seeking:
- Healthy, long-lasting energy levels
- Hunger control
- Reduction of unhealthy binge sessions and cravings
Can Extend Bars deliver on their bold claims of blood sugar control and weight management?
Later on, we delve into the science and performance of Extend Bar. But first, what is Extend Bar?
The Story Behind Extend Protein Bars
The Extend Bar is a protein bar that capitalizes on clinically proven 6+ hours of blood sugar control to deliver long-lasting energy.
It’s based on the research by metabolic expert Dr. Francine Kaufman, MD, who started Extend Nutrition in the 1990s.
With a combination of resistant starch, a lean protein blend, and healthy fat, Extend Bar claim to be the only protein bar on the market to give 6+ hours of energy and blood sugar control.
“I’ve been eating lower calorie meals for several months, and I get low blood sugar mid-morning or mid-afternoon. These totally keep me from feeling shaky, weak, or tired from eating small. Highly recommend.”
Each 1.48 oz Extend Bar is gluten-free and sugar-free. They currently come in six flavors :
- Chocolate and caramel
- Yogurt and berry
- Yogurt and lemon
- Chocolate peanut butter
- Rich chocolate
- Peanut butter
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.
Let’s look deeper into the ingredients in Extend Bars.
Nutritional Macros of Extend Bar
Nutritional macronutrients help you choose foods that boost appetite control and energy.
The macros in Extend Bar vary depending on the flavor of Anytime Bars you choose, which we summarize in the table below:
|Macro||Amount||% Daily Recommended Allowance|
|Protein||9–12 g||16–26% **|
|Total fat||2.5–5 g||6%|
|Saturated fats||0.5–3.5 g||3–18%|
|Trans fats||0 g||0|
|Total carbohydrate||20–25 g||7–9%|
|Dietary fiber||5–7 g||18–25%|
|Total sugars||0–1 g||–|
|Sugar alcohols||5–9 g||–|
Pros and Cons of Extend Bar
HFB’s Rating of Extend Bars
Extend Nutrition Bar makes a bold claim as the only protein bar in the market that can control blood sugar for up to 9 hours.
How does the bar measure up to our rating criteria? Below we rate from 1 to 5 the nutritional macros, texture and taste, fiber content, sugar content, ingredients, and value of Extend Bar.
Texture and Taste
Dry and difficult to choke down seems to be the consensus on the texture and taste of Extend Nutrition bars.
The sugar substitutes and natural flavors fail to make the Extend Bar tasty, whether or not you have a sweet tooth.
“Terrible experience! Tasted awful. Dry and chalky. Tastes like fuel. Sorry. I purchased them for a road trip for my Dad and I. Not a good buy.”
“Some things have fiber & taste fine…other things have fiber & taste like chewing on sawdust….this is the latter. My bad for not checking ingredients better.”
Psst! Got a moment?
If you're reading this, you came here for one my many protein bar reviews, which means you're a fellow bar eater.
If you found my article helpful, I hope you'll take a look at Human Food Bar, which I created after testing over 100 bars.
The bar's unique formulation can help you cut cravings, lose weight, sleep better, have more energy, regulate digestion, and more. It does this by balancing your gut biome.
Human Food Bar comes recommended by New York Times best-selling author Dr. Steven Gundry, MD.
Scroll through the gallery to learn more!
At 12 grams, the Extend Nutrition Anytime Bar offers almost a third of the daily protein allowance.
On average, the daily protein intake for men is approximately 56 grams and 46 grams for women.
It’s ideal for blood sugar control for diabetics, fitness training, and weight loss.
The 20–25 grams of carbohydrates are mainly low glycemic index nutrients. Net carbs are listed to be as low as 1g. However, because the bars contain IMO, these claims are misleading (more on that later).
The low carb content will keep you well within the 130 grams daily carb recommendation.
At 2.5–5 grams, the fat macros are far below the daily limit of 70 grams. So, don’t bank on it to give you your daily dose of healthy fats.
Protein Quality 2/5
Extend Nutrition Anytime Bars contain a protein blend of:
- Soy Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Concentrate
Soy protein is a complete protein, unlike other plant-based proteins. This, coupled with its heart-positive, weight loss, and anti-cancer properties, make soy protein an excellent source of plant protein.
Unfortunately, the antinutrient content in soy can affect absorption of minerals, which you can counter with a diverse, balanced diet.
The production process of soy protein isolate eliminates most of its phytoestrogen content, which could disrupt natural hormones.
Whey forms 20% of milk protein. As a complete protein, it’s ideal for those looking to improve performance and gain muscle mass. Whey powder is easier to manufacture and digest than other dairy proteins, like casein.
However, it is unsuitable for those on a plant-based diet.
Some bar flavors contain milk solids from full fat milk and non-fat milk. If you’re watching your cholesterol, steer clear of these.
Extend Nutrition Rich Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter Anytime Bars have higher protein content thanks to almond butter and peanut butter.
Certain additives intended to make snack bars taste better can have the opposite effect on your gut.
Sugar alcohols such as maltitol and erythritol, deliver the same sweetness as sugar at a fraction of the calories. It’s a win-win for every sweet tooth out there, but too much sugar alcohol can cause bloating, diarrhea, and weight gain.
Vegetable glycerin, a type of sugar alcohol added for moistness, can have a laxative effect and cause bloating when ingested.
Extend Nutrition bars also contain palm kernel oil. Palm oil lends stability and consistency to food. Unfortunately, it also has a high saturated fat content which can lead to liver and heart disease.
The Yogurt and Chocolate Caramel Anytime Bars all contain carrageenan, a thickener, and gelling agent. Though more conclusive studies are necessary, studies on gut cells have shown an increase in inflammation when exposed to carrageenan.
Cocoa powder and chocolate liquor save the day as rich sources of polyphenols—supporting heart, brain, metabolic, and mental health.
For a gluten-free product with a decent amount of protein, low sugar, and a few red flag ingredients, you get some bang for your buck.
- 15 pack Yogurt & Berry, Yogurt & Lemon, Chocolate & Caramel Anytime Bars — $27.99
- 15 pack Rich Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter Anytime Bars — $24.49
Each Extend Nutrition Anytime Bar is 1.48 oz., which breaks down to $1.60–1.80 per bar.
Sugar Content: 2/5
The combination of sugar alcohols and resistant starches means that each bar contains 1 g of sugar or less.
Anytime Bars should be ideal for fitness buffs looking for a low-carb snack.
However, the sugar alcohols and synthesized IMO (isomalto-oligosaccharides) increase the net carbs and glycemic index of the protein bars.
Comparison Between Extend Nutrition Anytime Bar and the Human Food Bar
The table below shows how Human Food Bar compares to Extend bar:
|Characteristic||Extend Nutrition Bar||Human Food Bar|
|Calories per serving||140||200|
|Dietary Fiber (grams)||5–7||8|
|Sugar alcohols (grams)||5–9||0|
|Resistant Starch (grams)||8–9||6|
|Artificial ingredients and flavors||Yes||No|
Why You Should Try the Human Food Bar
The Human Food Bar, based on the hunter-gatherer diet, has no added sugar, no lectins, prebiotic fibers (tiger nuts, chicory root, baobab, flax), superfoods (baobab and cacao), and resistant starch (green banana flour).
Together, these ingredients deliver:
- Diverse gut microbiome
- Improved digestion
- Reduced inflammation and insulin sensitivity
- Increased satiety
- Better appetite control
- Reduced cravings
- Increased energy levels
- Weight loss
- Better mood and sense of wellbeing
The Human Food Bar is keto-friendly, vegan, kosher, and follows the Plant Paradox Diet.
The Human Food Bar is a premium fiber bar that ticks all the right boxes for weight loss while ensuring a healthy gut. That it’s a delicious bar is the cherry on top.
Grab yourself the Human Food Bar and your whole body will thank you.
Still not sure? Check out these reviews of other fiber rich bars we tested:
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Extend Bars healthy?
If you're a diabetic and these bars actually work to balance your blood sugar, they may be healthy for you. But you need to run some very careful tests to be sure. For everyone else there are healthier and better tasting bars.
What is resistant starch?
Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists breakdown in the small intestine. Therefore, it’s not absorbed into the blood but moves to the colon, where it ferments and feeds good gut bacteria.
Are Extend Bars keto friendly?
Yes, with only 1g of net carbs, Extend Bars are an option for the keto diet. However, they are not that high in fat or fiber and may not keep you full for long.