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Food Fight: Vega One Bar vs. Balance Bar Dark

vega-one-vs-balance-bar-darkAre you ready to rummmble? Vega One Bar and Balance Bar Dark are, so let’s get to this very protein-y, gluten-free-y and chocolaty Food Fight!

Taste and Texture

Vega One Bar: It’s hard to hate on these because they’re covered in chocolate. And not the overly powdery or chalky kind, like real chocolate. So the outside chocolate coating? Awesome. So rich. On the inside, these are sweet but not too sweet and a touch dry and crumbly. Oh, and you can straight up see chia seeds in these bars, which we love! The Double Chocolate tastes the best and reminds us of a Little Debbie Brownie. (Really!) The Chocolate Almond is driest and least sweet of all. And the Chocolate Cherry Vega One Bar is mostly chocolate with just a hint of tangy cherry at the end.
Balance Bar Dark: These do not — we repeat do NOT — taste or have the texture of your usual protein bar. No siree, these are decadent, rich, chewy, filling and seem more like a dessert you’d order at a restaurant than something you’d stuff in your gym bag. Really, our jaw kind of just dropped at the taste of these. They are crave-worthy, give-it-to-me-now good. The Dark Chocolate Crunch tastes like a real fudge brownie. The Dark Chocolate Peanut has real peanuts in it. And the Dark Chocolate Coconut is heavy on the coconut with a whole layer of it on the top. Good God these are good.
Winner: Balance Bar Dark, hands down. It’s not that the Vega One Bars taste bad. In fact, they taste awesome. But Balance Bar Dark just tastes awesomer. And, yes, we know that’s not a word.

Nutritional Facts

Vega One Bar: One Vega One Bar has about 250 calories, 11 grams of fat (3 saturated), 6 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein, along with 25 vitamins and minerals, an antioxidant blend, a full serving of greens and 1 billion dairy-free probiotics. Holy nutrition!
Balance Bar Dark: Following the 40-30-30 breakdown of carbs, protein and fat that’s said to stabilize blood sugar levels so that you have lasting balanced energy and don’t feel hungry for longer, each Balance Bar Dark has about 180 calories, 6 grams of fat (4 saturated), 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar and 13 grams of protein, along with seven key vitamins and minerals.
Winner: We do like that Balance Bar Dark has fewer calories and has a great mix of macronutrients, making it a more appropriate snack for those looking to lose weight or maintain their weight, but we can’t deny that Vega One has SO MUCH nutrition and extras in it. The antioxidants! The greens! The probiotics! The extra protein and fiber, without any more sugar than Balance Bar Dark. This is a super close one, but Vega One Bar nabs it!

Ingredient List

Vega One Bar: The Vega One Bar doesn’t have a short ingredient list, but it’s not a scary one at all. The vegan protein they use comes from brown rice and peas, and there are tons of superfoods — chia, almonds, dates — in there that make us say yummy! Plus, that full serving of greens and those probiotics? You can see exactly what it is. A few fun ingredients we love: kale, pomegranate and spinach! As such, these bars are gluten-free, vegan and contain no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It’s a dang clean and plant-based ingredient list that we’ve come to expect from Vega.
Balance Bar Dark: The ingredient list for Balance Bar Dark isn’t quite as friendly, although it’s not terrible. There’s soy protein isolate, fractionated palm kernel oil and soy lecithin, but there is also dutch cocoa, sugar (no HFCS) and peanuts. Gluten-free and kosher, these bars also feature Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, which is wicked cool.
Winner: Vega One Bar takes this one again! Just a cleaner and simpler ingredient list, although, really, the Balance Bar is pretty dang good compared to many of your commercial protein bars.

And the Food Fight Champion Is…

Guys, both of these bars are good choices. We do LOVE the Balance Bar Dark’s taste and like that it has fewer calories. However, when it comes to which product will make you feel the most “fit bottomed,” we have to declare Vega One Bar as the winner! Congrats! It was a valiant effort, Balance Bar Dark, and we have no doubt that we’ll continue to crave and eat you (especially Dark Chocolate Crunch) for a long to come. But this time, Vega One Bar wins it all!
This one came down to ingredients and nutrition over straight taste for us. Which one would you declare the winner? Would taste or overall nutrition win out? —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!