Careful How You Choose Your Protein Bar
You’ve probably heard eating five or six small meals a day is one way to maintain a healthy weight and keep your energy levels high, particularly if you work out regularly. But let’s face it: it’s hard enough to find time to cook one meal a day, never mind six. When you’re on the go and looking for a quick, healthy small meal, a nutrition bar can be a good option.
However, there are so many different brands and types of bars on the market — meal replacement/diet bars, energy bars, protein bars — that choosing one that’s healthy and suits your goals can be quite confusing. Let’s try and make some sense of it for you.
What Protein Bar is Best for You?
The different types of bars all contain varying levels of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and sugar, depending on their intended goal. Energy bars are generally designed to give a boost of energy to endurance athletes, such as marathoners and cyclists. Therefore, their main ingredient is carbs, which provide the “fuel” necessary to make it through a competition. Meal replacement bars are essentially “diet” bars; they contain the least amount of calories and more carbs than protein.
They are meant to replace a meal for dieters, or as a healthy, low-calorie pre or post-workout snack. Finally, protein bars are designed with weightlifters in mind. With high levels of protein, they are meant to help you build muscle and lose fat when you’re training.
Always Read the Label
While a nutrition bar can be a healthy choice once in a while, you should always read the labels carefully. Many bars are packed with sugar, which can make them just as bad as a regular chocolate bar. You should always choose one that contains little refined sugars and saturated fats. Also, don’t make the mistake of eating too many of these, or you might end up packing on the pounds. And be aware many bars tested by ConsumerLab didn’t meet its labeling claims, which means they may contain more fat and sugar than you think.
Like all foods you consume, read the label and make wise decisions to fit your lifestyle and activity levels.
Your Active4 Less Team x