Monday, February 19, 2007

Jigsaw Bars Complete The Puzzle To Your Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle

Jigsaw energy bars are worth a second look from low-carbers

There's a relatively new company out there making products for people desiring to live a better, healthier life. They are Jigsaw Health and you may have heard their radio ads for Jigsaw Magnesium on "The Neal Boortz Show" or "The Mike Gallagher Show." I even highlighted company founder Pat Sullivan in this recent blog post.

Of all the products that Jigsaw Health manufactures, one stood out from the rest as something that people who are livin' la vida low-carb could fit into their healthy low-carb lifestyle--Jigsaw Bars. These brownie-like bars are absolutely loaded with wholesome and nutritious ingredients, including a whopping 12g protein, omega-3 fatty acids, cocoa powder (which we learned today has been found in this new study to be good for brain health), vitamin C, pantothenic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, biotin, and so much more!

These Jigsaw Bars SHOULD taste good since they are the result of 23 different test phases. Yep, they wanted to create the best possible energy bar for people to try and they think they have the "perfect" one now. People with celiac disease will appreciate that these bars are gluten-free and low-carbers will be pleased to know there is absolutely ZERO sugar in these bars.

However, there are 8g net carbs in these bars, so they should be consumed by those in the later phases of livin' la vida low-carb. Of course, if you want to get creative and cut the Jigsaw Bar in half, even those who are losing weight in the early stages of their low-carb journey can have a healthy and tasty treat with only 4g net carbs and 6g protein. EXCELLENT!

Jigsaw Bars come in two distinct flavors--Chocolate and Almond Coconut. Chocolate is one of my favorite flavors, but coconut doesn't thrill me very much. Therefore, my expectations for each were predicated on this before I even had a chance to eat them. When the time came to bite into a Jigsaw Bar for the very first time, I have to be honest: I HATED IT!

Yep, my intial experience eating one of the Chocolate Jigsaw Bars was a bit disappointing. It wasn't the taste so much as it was the texture--a bit gritty like there was sand mixed in with it. After reading the ingredients label, I realized what that was. They used whey protein crisps that were kinda like Rice Krispies in the center of the bar. Well, that explains the crunchiness.

The next time I tried the Jigsaw Bar, I will admit it was MUCH better than the first time because I didn't notice as much grit this time. I especially liked the fact that it was a high-protein bar that actually tasted somewhat like real food for a change. If you've ever bitten into a typical protein bar that's loaded with sugar, then you know what I'm talking about. Jigsaw Bars are different and thankfully so.

On a whim, I decided to play around with the Chocolate Jigsaw Bar by microwaving it for about 20 seconds. WOW, that was REALLY good! Then I spread a little bit of Sugar-Free Smucker's Raspberry Jam and a dollop of whipped cream on top for a dessert one night. Holy cow, this tastes JUST like a brownie now and the texture is WAY better! These bars are so versatile that they can be consumed hot or right out of the package (although hot is better to me!).

How about that Coconut flavor? Well, it should come as no surprise that it just wasn't my cup of tea. But I'm sure coconut lovers will appreciate it a lot more than I did. I just don't like the texture of coconut...never have, never will!

I do want to make you aware of one thing that the Jigsaw people are actually working on right now. These Jigsaw Bars have the sugar alcohol maltitol in them. GASP! But, but, but...I know, let me stop you before you even ask. Yes, this is the ingredient that I encourage people on low-carb to avoid if at all possible because of the stomach-busting properties it can cause in higher quantities.

But you will be pleased to know that maltitol is not the top ingredient which means it is not as heavily infused in these bars as some of the other products you have tried. In fact, Jigsaw supplements the maltitol with another more pleasant sugar alcohol called Xylitol for a sweet blend of sugar alternatives that substitute well for sugar. After eating one of these bars, I was bracing to have the typical gas and stomach cramps that come from maltitol consumption. It didn't happen and I was happy about that!

Wanna try these Jigsaw Bars for yourself? They have a special BUY ONE GET ONE FREE offer right now and a 100% full-refund satisfaction guarantee. In other words, there's NO risk to try these bars for yourself and see if you agree they are a great-tasting way to supplement your diet with healthy vitamins and minerals as well as hunger-busting protein. Let me know what you think!

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Blogger Patrick Sullivan Jr. said...

I'm the co-founder and president of Jigsaw Health, the makers of Jigsaw Bars. I just wanted to add a few comments.

First, thanks for your kind words Jimmy, and especially your honesty. (Seriously!) Yes, you are not the only one who has said "Yuck!" Taste and texture are very subjective things. But that's why we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. (And to put things in context, so far the overall rating from our product reviews is 4.6 out of 5, and 23 of 25 (92%) of customers said they would recommend this product to a friend. Read more reviews on the Jigsaw Bars page.)

Second, great idea on microwaving the chocolate bars and turning them into a sundae! Yum! (Btw, we decided a few weeks ago that we needed to rename the "Chocolate" to "Chocolate-Brownie". LOL! Thanks for the validation. :)

Third, I must stress that the buy 1 get 1 free offer is an introductory offer that is only for a limited time. When you actually use the right ingredients, these are not cheap to manufacturer.

Last, I wanted to add a few comments about maltitol syrup, or really sugar alcohols in general. I'll try to be as succinct and jargon-free as possible.

(1) Sugar alchohols are "low digestible carbohydrates" or polyols. (So much for "jargon-free" ;) They aren't counted in the net carb equation because they aren't absorbed by body, just like fiber. However, they do ferment in the small and large intestines, which may cause gas or worse.

(2) As usual, the dose is the key. But the "ouch" dose is different for everyone and in the same person, higher or lower at different times because the GI tract is a dynamic environment.

(3) Maltitol syrup is a sweet "bulking agent" that helps hold everything together and makes them chewy. It has the lowest "laxation" point of all sugar alcohols. Maltitol syrup has a lower laxation point than maltitol. (Livesey 2001)

(4) THIS IS USUALLY OVERLOOKED: Chronic negative effects -- gas, bloating, diarrhea -- from sugar alcohols may be a sign of bad things going on in the GI tract. For one, an imbalance of the instestinal flora where the good bacteria (probiotics like acidophilus) have been overrun by the bad guys. Lots more about this at:

(5) If your experience has been that you really can't stomach ANY sugar alcohols, then stay away from the Jigsaw Bars. It's cliche to say that I care about customers, but we all try very hard at Jigsaw Health to make the customer experience delightful. Diarrhea is not delightful.

We have used the least amount and most tolerable sugar alcohols to achieve the right taste and texture so people wouldn't say either "yuck" or "ugh." But...we're perfectionists! And we're already looking at new ways to tweak the formula and decrease or drop the maltitol syrup. Expensive for us, but the right thing to do for you guys!

2/20/2007 8:03 PM  

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