5 Ways to Identify If Your Protein Bar Is Healthy

Protein bars are a great supplement to any person’s diet. They have many uses, such as weight loss, additional fibers and proteins and also, meal replacement solutions. They are a healthy addition to your daily nutritional value, considering you choose the right one. Sometimes, it’s necessary to scrutinize the labels as the protein bars often marketed to you are not always as healthy as they are made out to be. This article is going to give you some tips on how to avoid those other protein bars that are full of fillers and fat and give you some examples of healthy alternatives.

You will want to survey the nutritional facts in these protein bars before you buy. Flip the bar over and check out that panel, as well as the ingredients. Your first thought will typically be the caloric count of the bar and this is going to ultimately depend on your goals. If you’re focused on losing weight, you wouldn’t want to waste more than a few calories on a protein bar even if you’re using it for meal replacement. If you are trying to bulk up on protein and build muscle though it’s better to opt for those high caloric bars.

After taking calories into consideration, it’s time to think about your protein to carb ratio. It is a protien bar of course, that is why you’re purchasing it! The protein should always be higher than the carbs, and you’ll want to be sure you can tell where this protein is coming from, you want to check the ingredients to insure there is hydrolyzed whey, whey isolates and micellar casein should be in one of the first few things on the list of ingredients.

An obvious no-go in your protein bar is going to be too much sugar. Regardless of your goal, too much sugar is going to negatively impact your diet and health. Ironically, many protein bars do contain high amounts of sugar so watch that corn syrups and hidden additives that will be no better than a candy bar. Watch the sugar alcohol as well, many manufacturers have turned to those as it keeps the sweetness while avoiding tooth decay and impacting blood sugar but can cause indigestion when consumed.

Just like other foods in your diets, you will want to watch the fat content, especially the fat content. You’ll want to watch out for trans fat like palm oil. All the bars listen contain zero trans fat, and have small amounts of fat. Some fat is good, as it prevents the carbs from being absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly and overall create a healthier consumption.

Finally, take into consideration the ratio of carbs to protein. Depending on your goal, if you’re looking for fat loss you’ll want to stick to 2:1 protein to carbs, 1:1 is sufficient as well. If you’re using this as a post workout snack or trying to build muscles, you’re looking for a 1:2 ratio.

All in all, there are many choices and it is going to come down to the best tasting bar that fits your dietary needs the best. Remember the tips you’ve read and do some experimenting to find the healthiest choice for your life and most importantly, enjoy them.

Choosing the Right Nutrition Bar – A Few Simple Tips

Nutrition bars have become a “go to” snack for many health conscious individuals. They are convenient, require no preparation, and are easy to store in a desk or take along in a purse or backpack. They require no refrigeration and come in a wide variety of flavors to suit every taste and palate.

Depending on the bar, they can function as a snack or as a meal replacement. There are literally hundreds of brands, recipes and flavors on the market which makes it hard to choose the best one for you. They vary wildly in terms of caloric content, ingredients, and Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat ratios. And, some of them are not much more than expensive junk food bars. All of this leaves you wondering, just how healthy are these bars?

If you want to choose a healthy bar, and one that works for your particular needs, you have to understand that it is all about the ingredients. And, you have to learn to read labels. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack, a protein boost, a carbohydrate fix or a meal replacement, you need to understand what is in the bar if you want to get the benefits you desire.

A good place to start is with the ingredient list and the nutritional facts label. Every bar has one, and just reading these two labels will tell you everything you need to know.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a nutrition bar that is high protein, high carbohydrate or a combination, there are certain ingredients that are simply not healthy for you.

For a nutrition bar to be healthy, it should not contain a significant amount of added sugar. Dried fruit such as dates, cranberries, apple etc should provide enough sweetness. If however there is added sugar, it should not be among the first 3 or 4 ingredients and it should not contain corn syrup of any sort. Nor should it contain any “sugar” with a chemical sounding name. Natural sugars such as honey, agave or brown rice syrup are healthier as long as they are used in small amounts.

While you do not want a nutrition bar to contain a lot of fats, there are good fats and bad fats. The body needs fat to function properly. Nuts and seeds are high in fat but these are good fats. They are good for your body and regulating metabolism. Bad fats include any product that contains hydrogenated fats. These should be avoided.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide detailed nutritional counseling, certain basics apply. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and give a quick burst of energy. Protein takes longer to digest and thus helps one feel fuller longer. Fats slow down the digestive process of carbohydrates and help with metabolic and brain function. Fiber helps move waste and toxins through the body ad any calories not used are stored as fat.

Based on their specific needs, you should look at the amount of fiber, calories, protein and carbohydrates in a whichever nutrition bar you plan to choose. Each of these items serves a particular purpose. So the individual needs of each consumer come into play here.

Perfect for runners, bicyclists and other athletes, anyone needing a burst of energy should opt for a high carbohydrate nutrition bar.

Many people are following a high protein or zone diet should pay attention to the Carbohydrate to Protein ratio. If the goal is to use the bar as a meal replacement it should contain about 1/3 each of carbs, protein and fats.

Nutrition bars can be a great addition to a healthy eating program. They can curb cravings, help level out blood sugar, give you a quick burst of energy or, in a pinch, act as a meal replacement. Choosing wisely can help achieve weight loss and good health. However, if you don’t pay attention, you may be buying very expensive candy bars.