Not Getting Enough Protein In Your Diet? Try A Protein Bar
Protein bars are an excellent way to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet and can serve as either a between-meal snack or as a healthy meal replacement. There are several factors that you should look at to make sure that you are getting the right protein bars. Some of them are loaded with artificial ingredients, added sugars, and fats and may have more calories than you need or want.
According to recent research, the average person consumes about 60 pounds of sugar each year and the average woman gets almost 335 more calories every day than she did only a few decades ago because of it. New guidelines suggest that total intake of sugars be no more than 25 grams per day.
When reading labels on your protein bars, watch for words that end with -ose, which indicates sugar. Other ingredients to watch out for include cane juice, corn syrup, and molasses. All are likely to cause spikes in blood sugar and are also likely to drive the calorie count for the protein bars up higher and higher. Sugar content can be counteracted by having both protein and fiber content, so protein bars that have nuts and fruit may be a good choice. Both additions will slow the absorption rate of the sugar in the body.
We all know that some fat is necessary in many food products for them to bake correctly and more importantly, for them to taste good. However, fat content for the sake of fat and flavor is not healthy and can also damage the nutritional value of the best intentioned supplements like snickers protein bars. Fat grams should not be higher than the amount of protein, for instance. Protein should also not be listed as saturated fats or any of the sneaky code words that are used to slip the dangerous types of fat past the most vigilant people.
There is a little bit of confusion that may accompany a search for protein bars, mainly because there are those that are technically protein bars and then those that are energy bars that happen to have some protein content in them. If you are looking to use a bar to supplement protein intake during the day, it should be one of the first items that are mentioned on the label and it should say “protein bar” rather than energy bar.
Most energy bars have as little as two grams of protein per serving and may have as much as six grams, depending on the ingredients and the size of the bar. Protein bars on the other hand may have as much as 12 to 20 grams of protein per serving.
Most protein bars come in two sizes. One is meant to be a snack and may have less than 100 calories and the larger is meant to be a meal replacement and may have close to 200 calories per serving. Once you reach that level of calorie, however, you should consider if the other ingredients are worth it because you are reaching the levels of most candy bars at this point. If you can eat a candy bar and get the same level of protein and other ingredients for the same number of calories and roughly half the cost, it might not be a valid trade-off to suggest that someone buy the “protein bar” just because of the label. If the label cannot back up what it has promised, then look for a different brand.
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