Zone Perfect bars are marketed under the Zone diet, which aims to help people eat the perfect balance of protein and other nutrients to support good health and maintain high energy levels. The Zone Perfect bars certainly do deliver a good dose of many vitamins and minerals, but that doesn't mean that they're healthy. Get all the facts before deciding if you'll include the bars in your regular diet.
Get in the Zone
Zone Perfect bars come in a variety of flavors, and while each bar supplies roughly the same amount of vitamins and minerals, the calorie and fat content can vary among flavors. A blueberry pomegranate, chocolate almond raisin, fudge graham or chocolate peanut butter Zone Perfect bar each contains 210 calories and between 6 and 7 grams of fat, of which between 3 and 4 grams are saturated. That's quite a bit of saturated fat for such a small snack, and too much saturated fat can raise your risk of heart disease.
Protein and Fiber
Most Zone Perfect bars weigh in at about 14 grams of protein, which is 30 percent of the 46 grams women should have each day and 25 percent of the 56 grams men need every day. Most Zone Perfect bars supply 3 grams of fiber as well. That translates to 12 percent of the 25 grams women should have in their daily diet and 8 percent of the 38 grams men require each day. Other Zone Perfect bars, such as the dark chocolate strawberry, contain just 1 gram of fiber.
Sadly, There's a Lot of Sugar
Zone Perfect bars contain between 15 and 18 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor you choose. A chocolate chip cookie dough bar has 18 grams of sugar, which is equal to about 4.5 teaspoons. Because the American Heart Association recommends that women limit their daily intake of sugar to 6 teaspoons and men to 9 teaspoons, that one bar is a significant amount of that limit. Too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain, and being overweight raises your risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Vitamin and Mineral Boosts
You'll get between 90 percent and 100 percent of the vitamin E you need each day from one Zone Perfect bar. Vitamin E helps protect your tissues from damage and keeps your immune system strong, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Zone Perfect bars supply a good amount of the vitamin C, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and folate that you need each day, too, but the exact amount can vary from flavor to flavor.
To Indulge or Not
The occasional Zone Perfect bar can have a place in your healthy eating plan, but their sugar content makes them more of a dessert than an everyday indulgence. The nutrients they supply are a plus, but you can get the same vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat. The advantage to eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods over the Zone Perfect bar is that you'll also consume less added sugar.
- Zone Perfect: Find Your Flavor
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out With the Bad, in With the Good
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- American Heart Association: Sugars and Carbohydrates
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E