Quest Bar Conundrum

I previously was quite addicted to Quest Bars, my favourite being Cookies and Cream. However, I just went and purchased a new box and noticed that the calorie count printed on the nutritional info had jumped up. All the Macro's and ingredients were the same so I was quite perplexed. So of course I started googling this change and came across all this info on a lawsuit that was raised against Quest claiming that they grossly overstated the fibre content of the bars and underestimated the calories. I also read articles stating that people who tested there blood sugar after eating Quest bars actually had huge jumps and therefore Quest Bars do not have the low glycemic load they claim and are much higher in Net Carbs. It turns out the fibre used in the bars may be broken down and converted to calories and carbs in our bodies and therefore not negligible.
I calculated the calorie count based on the Macros (assuming all carbs are present) and the bars would average 230-270 calories based on the type of bar, not the 160-180 i had been assuming.
This may not be a big deal to some people but for me who has a maintenance range of 1500 cal/day and a cut/weight loss range of 1100 calories/day that etc 80 calories is a big deal...it's equivalent to 2 servings of yogurt or a large apple, which can be an entire snack to me. The reason I started eating quest bars was because of the low cal and carb count.
I'm thinking of switching to eating Simply Whey bars...they just are more the texture of a cereal bar and I like the dense chewiness of the quest bar. I feel like maybe i should just stick to foods in the natural state and have a chicken sandwich on whole grain bread (which would have equivalent carbs and protein) as I don't know if i can trust packaged foods.
Anybody have any insights??
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Replies

  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    Quite sure Quest's answer to the lawsuit is that it wasn't accurate.

    All I know is that I was losing more weight when I was eating Quest bars than now... lol.
  • abatonfan
    abatonfan Posts: 1,123 Member
    As for the glycemic response issue, did they consider that the spikes might be from glucogenesis due to the high-protein low-carb nature of the quest bar? I'm a type 1 diabetic, and I typically need to take insulin for some of the protein in my quest bar and deliver the insulin over 1.5-2 hours in order to account for it.

    I had a quest bar and some walnuts for lunch yesterday. I weighed out 64g of quest bar and 16g of walnuts. It came out to around 4g net carbs (24g total carbs and 20g fiber), 19g fat, and 24g protein. For a starting BG of 102, I programmed my pump to deliver one unit of insulin (for me, that covers 16g of carbs. I bolused for about 50% of the protein) and deliver half of the dose over a 2-hour wave bolus. I ate the quest bar over an hour, and after testing my BG at the 2-hour post-bolus mark, I was at 165 and had to take a small correction bolus (.12 units). At the 3.5 post-bolus mark, I was at 117, which verifies that I took the proper amount of insulin (I try to get to within 20mg of my starting BG by the four hour mark) but need to adjust my timing of the meal. Next time I have that meal, I will experiment with cutting my wave bolus to 1-1.5 hours.

    Long story short, for me, I notice that the high-protein low-carb nature of the quest bar causes me to spike because of glucogenesis and not because of the dietary fiber (I've experimented with low-protein high-fiber foods and tend to go really low if I take insulin for any fiber).
  • jeichelb83
    jeichelb83 Posts: 172 Member
    Anything within a hundred calories doesn't bother me. I still love their taste and will stick with them. I wasn't a fan of the cookies and cream one when they came out, but maybe they changed the recipe. I love the chocolate chip cookie dough and double chocolate chunk though.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,493 Member
    edited July 2015
    Hmm, I don't know I have been eating 3-5 a day for months and if they really have that many more calories I think I would be gaining weight.

    I am very curious about this though. I knew they had a lawsuit but didn't know what the final outcome was. Did they ever attempt to explain the discrepancies or anything?
  • amy_kee
    amy_kee Posts: 694 Member
    I have type 2 diabetes and Quest bars do raise my blood sugar more than they should, based on the listed carbs and fiber. I never did gain weight with the quest bars, as long as I ate a reasonable amount and didn't over do it. It very well could be that the carbs are different and break down differently like stated in the beginning original post.
  • RuNaRoUnDaFiEld
    RuNaRoUnDaFiEld Posts: 5,864 Member
    fernt21 wrote: »
    I previously was quite addicted to Quest Bars, my favourite being Cookies and Cream. However, I just went and purchased a new box and noticed that the calorie count printed on the nutritional info had jumped up. All the Macro's and ingredients were the same so I was quite perplexed. So of course I started googling this change and came across all this info on a lawsuit that was raised against Quest claiming that they grossly overstated the fibre content of the bars and underestimated the calories. I also read articles stating that people who tested there blood sugar after eating Quest bars actually had huge jumps and therefore Quest Bars do not have the low glycemic load they claim and are much higher in Net Carbs. It turns out the fibre used in the bars may be broken down and converted to calories and carbs in our bodies and therefore not negligible.
    I calculated the calorie count based on the Macros (assuming all carbs are present) and the bars would average 230-270 calories based on the type of bar, not the 160-180 i had been assuming.
    This may not be a big deal to some people but for me who has a maintenance range of 1500 cal/day and a cut/weight loss range of 1100 calories/day that etc 80 calories is a big deal...it's equivalent to 2 servings of yogurt or a large apple, which can be an entire snack to me. The reason I started eating quest bars was because of the low cal and carb count.
    I'm thinking of switching to eating Simply Whey bars...they just are more the texture of a cereal bar and I like the dense chewiness of the quest bar. I feel like maybe i should just stick to foods in the natural state and have a chicken sandwich on whole grain bread (which would have equivalent carbs and protein) as I don't know if i can trust packaged foods.
    Anybody have any insights??

    I'd be interested to read the info you read, do you have the links please?
  • ireadlabelsdammit
    ireadlabelsdammit Posts: 64 Member
    I tried one for the first time last night, cookie dough. Not impressed. Tasted like a Power Bar, which I haven't had in years but I remember the same fake sweet/bitter after taste. Which i cant seem to get rid of!! I usually have nature valley (or generic) protein bar, its lower protein per bar but also lower total carb count and tastes way better. Oh and much cheaper, too. Just my preference since I need to count carbs
  • hmrambling
    hmrambling Posts: 321 Member
    Oh Yeah! Victory bars.

    Cheaper, too. Probably just as addictive.
  • mathandcats
    mathandcats Posts: 786 Member
    How much did the calories "jump up"? Did you change how you purchased them? I know some things with high fibre counts are listed as higher calorie in Canada than in the US, so some Canadian-bound Quest bars have higher calories listed than if you buy direct from Quest. That's why you see some entries in the database with (Canada) in the name.
  • intruhvurt
    intruhvurt Posts: 21 Member
    Hmm, I don't know I have been eating 3-5 a day for months and if they really have that many more calories I think I would be gaining weight.

    I am very curious about this though. I knew they had a lawsuit but didn't know what the final outcome was. Did they ever attempt to explain the discrepancies or anything?

    Wow. That's a lot of Quest bars.
  • irishdancer214
    irishdancer214 Posts: 108 Member
    Hmm, I don't know I have been eating 3-5 a day for months and if they really have that many more calories I think I would be gaining weight.

    I am very curious about this though. I knew they had a lawsuit but didn't know what the final outcome was. Did they ever attempt to explain the discrepancies or anything?

    3-5 quest bars a day?
  • irishdancer214
    irishdancer214 Posts: 108 Member
    hmrambling wrote: »
    Oh Yeah! Victory bars.

    Cheaper, too. Probably just as addictive.

    Yes I love these! Natural sweeteners too
  • nickatine
    nickatine Posts: 451 Member
    I'm in canada and I noticed last saturday that cookies and cream has gone from 180 to 200 cal w/e no big deal I fit it in.
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    edited July 2015
    Found this snippet if anyone is interested:


    "The macros on the Quest Bar label clearly add up to more than the calories listed:

    Calories = g Protein x 4 + g Carbohydrates x 4 + g Fat x 9

    21 x 4 + 21 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 240 calories
    The calories listed on the label are 190. The reason for the discrepancy, in this case, is the dietary fiber. For foods with high fiber content, the carbs that “count” towards calories will be lower than the total carbs listed because insoluble fiber is not digested by the body and is therefore worth 0 calories. Soluble fiber is worth something, but not quite 4 calories per gram.

    So the effective grams of “4-calorie” carbs being counted in this case are something closer to 8.5:

    21 x 4 + 8.5 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 190 calories

    Quest calls the total carbs minus carbs from fiber “active carbs”. You may also see these referred to as “net carbs” in some MyFitnessPal entries.

    I know this is confusing because it seems like the all-mighty formula has been tainted. But for all practical purposes, there’s no need to overcomplicate things and subtract off the fiber from all the carbs you eat.

    For most foods, fiber content will not be that high and even with Quest Bars which are quite high in fiber, there are only 50 calories in question. Unless you’re eating a few of these per day (which you probably shouldn’t be), it’s really not worth the hassle."
  • rushbabe0214
    rushbabe0214 Posts: 105 Member
    Hmm, I don't know I have been eating 3-5 a day for months and if they really have that many more calories I think I would be gaining weight.

    I am very curious about this though. I knew they had a lawsuit but didn't know what the final outcome was. Did they ever attempt to explain the discrepancies or anything?

    3-5 quest bars a day?

    Yeah, wow.
  • mathandcats
    mathandcats Posts: 786 Member
    edited July 2015
    kami3006 wrote: »
    Found this snippet if anyone is interested:


    "The macros on the Quest Bar label clearly add up to more than the calories listed:

    Calories = g Protein x 4 + g Carbohydrates x 4 + g Fat x 9

    21 x 4 + 21 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 240 calories
    The calories listed on the label are 190. The reason for the discrepancy, in this case, is the dietary fiber. For foods with high fiber content, the carbs that “count” towards calories will be lower than the total carbs listed because insoluble fiber is not digested by the body and is therefore worth 0 calories. Soluble fiber is worth something, but not quite 4 calories per gram.

    So the effective grams of “4-calorie” carbs being counted in this case are something closer to 8.5:

    21 x 4 + 8.5 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 190 calories

    Quest calls the total carbs minus carbs from fiber “active carbs”. You may also see these referred to as “net carbs” in some MyFitnessPal entries.

    I know this is confusing because it seems like the all-mighty formula has been tainted. But for all practical purposes, there’s no need to overcomplicate things and subtract off the fiber from all the carbs you eat.

    For most foods, fiber content will not be that high and even with Quest Bars which are quite high in fiber, there are only 50 calories in question. Unless you’re eating a few of these per day (which you probably shouldn’t be), it’s really not worth the hassle."

    There's so much round off error in this calculation though. The integer calories per gram of each macro is rounded as is the grams of each macro on the label.
    nickatine wrote: »
    I'm in canada and I noticed last saturday that cookies and cream has gone from 180 to 200 cal w/e no big deal I fit it in.

    Apple Pie are listed as 200 cal in Canada and 180 in the US as well. I don't stress about it.
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    kami3006 wrote: »
    Found this snippet if anyone is interested:


    "The macros on the Quest Bar label clearly add up to more than the calories listed:

    Calories = g Protein x 4 + g Carbohydrates x 4 + g Fat x 9

    21 x 4 + 21 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 240 calories
    The calories listed on the label are 190. The reason for the discrepancy, in this case, is the dietary fiber. For foods with high fiber content, the carbs that “count” towards calories will be lower than the total carbs listed because insoluble fiber is not digested by the body and is therefore worth 0 calories. Soluble fiber is worth something, but not quite 4 calories per gram.

    So the effective grams of “4-calorie” carbs being counted in this case are something closer to 8.5:

    21 x 4 + 8.5 x 4 + 8 x 9 = 190 calories

    Quest calls the total carbs minus carbs from fiber “active carbs”. You may also see these referred to as “net carbs” in some MyFitnessPal entries.

    I know this is confusing because it seems like the all-mighty formula has been tainted. But for all practical purposes, there’s no need to overcomplicate things and subtract off the fiber from all the carbs you eat.

    For most foods, fiber content will not be that high and even with Quest Bars which are quite high in fiber, there are only 50 calories in question. Unless you’re eating a few of these per day (which you probably shouldn’t be), it’s really not worth the hassle."

    There's so much round off error in this calculation though. The integer calories per gram of each macro is rounded as is the grams of each macro on the label.
    nickatine wrote: »
    I'm in canada and I noticed last saturday that cookies and cream has gone from 180 to 200 cal w/e no big deal I fit it in.

    Apple Pie are listed as 200 cal in Canada and 180 in the US as well. I don't stress about it.

    I agree. Was just providing general info on why the calorie difference.
  • professionalHobbyist
    professionalHobbyist Posts: 1,316 Member
    Heroin is addictive.

    It seems a bit far reaching to say addicted to Quest bars!

    I do love them myself. I was happy to see Optimum Nutrition released a thermogenic protein drink that is honey bun flavored. Like a quest bar drink...

  • carolemack
    carolemack Posts: 1,276 Member
    I love my Quest bars...I have one or sometimes two every day. I will check the calorie count again to see if it has changed but 50 calories one way or another would not stop me from eating them.