Who Should Buy Protein Bars
Protein bars are stereotypically connected with weightlifters and bodybuilders, and indeed they are very useful for adding on muscle mass if you are an athlete, but thats not the only kind of person who can benefit from a protein bar.
Protein has incredible benefits for weight loss, and if you want something more substantial than a meal replacement shake for a mid-day meal, a protein bar is a great way to go.
On top of that, even if you arent looking to lose weight, a protein bar can be an easy way to get a boost in energy while on the go, without dealing with the unhealthy sugars and refined carbohydrates that youd find other processed foods.
If you know you have a busy, unpredictable lifestyle, it never hurts to have a supply of protein bars in your office, your car, or your backpack. Watching out for your own wellbeing in this way in particularly important if you are trying to gain muscle or lose body fat, because both of these endeavours are reliant on your ability to consistently take in healthy food and avoid overindulging in processed carbohydrates, low-fiber foods, and sugary snacks.
The Rundown: What To Avoid In Nutrition And Food Bars
#1. Highly Processed, Artificial Ingredients and Fillers
Just because it claims to be natural or has a picture of fruit, nuts or a mountain climber on it doesnt mean that its healthy. A lot of food bars contain highly processed ingredients that are difficult to digest and can even be toxic to the body. For example, Balance bars contain an artificial flavor-enhancer, calcium caseinate, which is known to cause migraines and cognitive issues.
In addition to the processing and artificial ingredients, some bars even have added vitamins and minerals. So why is adding vitamins and minerals NOT the healthy choice? The forms of vitamins and minerals that are added into bars are synthetic and therefore difficult to absorb. In some cases synthetic forms of vitamins can even be toxic, acting as a pro-oxidant, damaging your very cells. Now, this is not what we want from a snack best to get the vitamins and minerals from whole foods.
Finally, I dare you to find more than 3 ingredients in each of these bars that resembles something that you could pick off a tree, pull out of the ground, or forage. Ya, I thought so. Do you not think its an issue that their ingredients are composed of things that can only be synthesized in a lab?
#2. Sugar, Sugar, and more Sugar
#3. High Calories Meal Replacement, not Snack
#3. Hexane Extracted Soy
So Heres A Thingare Protein Bars Healthy
Ok, well admit it, we kinda love protein bars. Protein bars, when done right are a convenient, healthy and blummin delicious snack whether youre a dieter or fitness-lover looking for your fix after hitting the gym.
Increasing the amount of protein in your diet has been shown to provide a wide range of benefits like increased muscle mass, faster recovery and increased fat burning .
However, not all protein bars are cut from the same cloth, or chocolate, and some of them are little better than glorified chocolate bars. Lets break down what makes the best protein barand what makes a bad one.
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Thinkthin White Chocolate Protein Nut Bar
190 calories, 12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 115 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 9 g protein
Perfect for: White chocolate fiends
Since white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, it’s isn’t technically chocolate. Which means it’s void of the antioxidants that make the dark variety so heart healthy. We’re a fan of this bar, though, because the white creamy chocolate you love and cherish joins together with filling, heart-protective nuts like almonds , pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and peanutsmaking it a snack we actually get behind.
Snag them online here.
Protein Puck Bar Dark Chocolate Almond
Whats cooler than a protein shaped like a puck? Nothing!
Each nutrition-packed puck has quality sources of almond butter, agave , flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, and gluten-free oats.
Dark chocolate contains cocoa which is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols. The flavanols show potential for improving heart health, nitric oxide, and insulin sensitivity.
Try this tasty protein puck and satisfy your protein needs.
Nutrition facts: 230 calories, 6g of protein, 20g of carbs, 14g of fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 4g of fiber, and 9g of natural sugar.
Protein Puck Bar
Protein Puck Bar is certified gluten-free, vegan, protein pack bar. Its loaded with fiber, iron, and vitamins. Its free of GMO, dairy, cholesterol and trans-fat.
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Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Crispy Bar
As you would expect, Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Crispy Bar has that crispiness and crunch, but caramel flavor was simply not there. Most reviews praise its appetite suppression effect, while some users complain about chalky texture.
As long as youre not hoping for your protein bar to taste like those creamy, rich homemade brownies your grandmother used to make, you wont get disappointed.
Like other healthy snack alternatives, these are trying to be just like your regular candy bar, only a hundred times healthier.
Delusion : Getting Protein In Your Food Plan Is A Problem
When lots of people take into consideration protein dietary supplements, their minds would possibly bounce to disagreeable horse drugs. Both that or large canisters of protein powder, with a blender mess as well.
Fortunately, getting protein in your food plan doesnt have to be so difficult. Its a lot simpler to top off on individually wrapped protein bars. With Excellent Bar, simply pop a field within the fridge and seize one whenever youre in want of a chunk or nutrient increase.
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The Nutritional Criteria For The Best Protein Bars
Not just any protein bar landed a spot on our list of best protein bars. We compiled a list of over 100 protein bars so we could compare their nutrition and ingredient information. With the help of dietitians, we came up with specifical nutritional and ingredient criteria we had to follow to select the best protein bars:
- 8 grams protein minimum: To qualify as a “protein bar,” each bar had to have no less than 8 grams of protein. Hillary Cecere, RDN of Eat Clean Bro, a meal delivery service, recommends aiming for 15-20 grams of protein if you’re looking to gain muscle and 7-12 grams of protein for a satiating snack.
- 13 grams sugar maximum: The best protein bars have no more than 13 grams of sugar.
- 3 grams fiber minimum: When it comes to fiber, Fine recommends opting for a protein bar with 3 or more grams per bar or serving. “However, caution with those boasting more than 10 grams of fiber as these are likely loaded with isolated fibers that can cause stomach discomfort,” says Fine.
Best Overall: Rxbar Chocolate Sea Salt
If you want to feel like you’re eating a decadent salted brownie while meeting all your protein needs, you’ve met your match with an RXBAR. Dubbed a favorite by many of the experts we spoke to, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian, particularly likes the simplicity of ingredients: “RXBAR does a nice job of making bars out of recognizable ingredients. They are very straightforward on their packaging and tell you that each bar contains dates, nuts, egg whites, and flavors. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Sea Salt, and I find that the 12 grams of protein really keeps me full.”
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Atkins Low Carb Protein Bars
I love the Atkins bars. There are a ton of them, including some that are low carb. So, I was excited when I found out about Atkins new line of snacks. While Atkins bars are vegan , most of the new protein bars are gluten-free, sugar-free, and only contain 3-4 grams of sugar in the 1/3 cup serving. They are available in three flavors: Chocolate earth-nut, earth-nut, and Cookies and Creme. I got the Chocolate groundnut Butter flavor. This slice really did taste like chocolate earth-nut butter. I like it better than the one that was in the box I bought, which was the earth-nut Butter Chocolate flavor. Ive never liked chocolate earth-nut butter in my groundnut butter. I thought the chocolate peanut butter one was really good, but just not my favorite. Im pretty sure its a variation of the Chocolate earth-nut Butter one from Sams Club. Im really digging the earth-nut butter flavor, so Id recommend this one if youre a fan. I was surprised when I ate it because I thought that the photo on the front of the box, which looks nothing like the slice in the bag, had exaggerated the amount of earth-nut. The earth-nut flavor is really there. It was probably 1/4 of the chocolate portion of the stick. So, maybe its not even that great of a trade-off. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Its not as good as the earth-nut Chocolate flavor, but still pretty tasty.
Low Carb Atkins Recipe
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Our Favorite Protein Bars For Womeniq Bar Peanut Butter Chip Protein Bar
IQ Bars Peanut Butter Chip protein bar is great for women because it contains calcium, iron and 11 grams of plant-based protein. There are also six brain nutrients MCTs, omega-3s, flavonoids, vitamin E, choline and lions mane and the bar has only 160 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar. Its ingredients include peanuts, chocolate chips, coconut oil and stevia. Soluble tapioca fiber and protein crisps give this bar a semi-sweet flavor with a satisfying texture. IQ Bars are also gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, kosher and non-GMO.
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Best Protein Bar #2 Larabars
I dont usually eat protein bars. For the most part, I try to opt for whole foods. However, when youre in a bind and dont have access to healthy food, a protein bar can help you stay away from less healthy options. Theyre also useful when traveling if you dont want to pack your own meals. Larabars are great because theyre made using only dried fruits and nuts. Most have only 2-5 ingredients so you know what youre putting into your body. Core Bars are also made with whole foods and recognizable ingredients. They use whey protein in their Warrior Meals, however their Defender Meals are vegan. Both contain organic grains, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds to provide healthy carbs and essential fats. When it comes to protein bars, opt for ones with whole foods, short ingredients lists, and ingredients you recognize.
The Simply Bar Reviewed
Good For You Review
Canadian consumers are increasingly searching for quick, grab-n-go snack options that will not derail their healthy eating habits. Sales of protein and energy bars have increased tenfold in the past decade and marketing experts expect them to reach a staggering $93 million in Canada by 2014. Fuelling this trend is the publics general perception that these snacks are genuinely healthy but ARE they? Not necessarily. Many of these bars are little better than candy bars when it comes to nutrition. Theyre full of refined sugars, low quality proteins and an assortment of taste-enhancing fillers.
Thats why I was intrigued when the kind folks at Wellness Foods Inc. sent me several samples of the Simply Bar, a bar touted to contain more protein and fibre and less fat, sugar and calories than similar bars on the market. The bars basic ingredient list: soy crisps tapioca starch, salt, organic brown rice syrup, inulin, , vegetable glycerine, and natural flavourings certainly sounds healthy enough doesnt it? The overall nutritional analysis of these bars reads very well too. They ARE lower in calories and sugar than most other protein bars and they DO contain very respectable amounts of protein and fibre.
So why did the Simply Bar not warrant a higher score?
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Are Clif Bars Rxbars Lara Bars Kind Perfect Or Quest Bars Low
Monash Universitys analysis is great but it does not include Kind Bars, Perfect Bars, Quest Bars, RX Bars or Lara Bars, which a lot of people with IBS are wondering about.
I dug into the ingredient lists of them all to evaluate their FODMAP friendliness, looking at well over a dozen different flavors across brands. Youll find my analysis further below, including a detailed breakdown of which types of FODMAPs each bar contains. Ive also included my top recommended bar, MariGold Bars, which I will go into detail on later.
As you can see, there are no Clif Bars, RXBars, Lara Bars, Kind or Quest Bars that are FODMAP-freindly. Not a single flavor is safe, unless you happen to know that you have issues with only some of the six categories of FODMAPs.
Whats more, these bars are not all that healthy to begin withfor anyone, IBS or not. They tend to have poor macronutrient profiles, being high in sugar and other carbs and lower in protein and healthy fats. Quest Bars may be an exception but theyre laden with preservatives .
Improve Your Ibs Symptoms With Low
IBS is a curse most sufferers wouldnt wish on their worst enemy. Finding low-FODMAP protein bars that wont aggravate your symptoms can be a problem because the majority contain range of random fibers, dried fruits, nuts, artificial sweeteners, and preservativesall of which can spell big trouble.
In this article Ill explain how I approached evaluating various popular bars, including a detailed FODMAPs comparison chart I put together on all of them. Then Ill provide an in-depth review of my #1 recommended bar, and tell you where to get it and how to save. If youre unfamiliar with the low-FODMAP diet, youll find an explanation at the very end.
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The Type Of Protein Can Make A Difference
Proteins are made up of amino acids. Altogether there are 22 amino acids that the body needs for most of its processes, the best protein sources are made up of all 22 and are referred to as complete proteins. Whey protein is an excellent example of a complete protein, which is why its the main protein source in our protein flapjacks and bars.
If you follow a plant-based diet, finding complete sources of protein is difficult. Whey is produced from cows milk and therefore isnt suitable. Many vegan protein bars are made using pea protein or soy protein. Soy is one of the only plant-based complete proteins, which is why we use it in our Millionaire Crunch.
Best For Fiber: Exo Bar Chocolate Fudge Brownie
It might remind you of Fear Factor, but eating insects is the next big thing. And did we mention that they pack a nutritional wallop? In terms of high-protein snacks, crickets have about as much protein as chicken breast but with three times the calcium. And in this bar, they provide a big chunk of the protein in this bar.
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Q: Are Protein Bars Healthy
A: You already probably know the answer to this one! There is never a better substitute than a real plate of home cooked, clean, nutritious food but protein bars are convenient, and if you choose the right one, they can still have health benefits. You need to very carefully check the list of ingredients to make sure that you protein bar is not full of added sugar, additives, trans-fats, sweeteners or other nasties that you couldnt possibly pronounce. If you dont know what it is and its not a real, clean food source, then chances are its not going to be that good for you.
Simply Protein Chocolate Caramel
150 calories, 5.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 210 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15 g protein
Perfect for: Twix & 100 Grand lovers
Digging into this bar instead of a Twix will save you 100 calories and 23 grams of sugar that’s the equivalent of nearly six sugar cubes! The only downside is that this bar contains soy protein isolate, which when consumed in excess can expose you to potentially dangerous things like hexane and aluminum. For that reason, think of this protein bar as a “sometimes” treat that can help you overcome an intense candy bar craving and not an everyday go-to.
Snag them online here.
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What To Look For In A Protein Bar
Look for protein bars that are high in protein with moderate fiber and low sugars and carbs. Before you make a purchase, compare protein bar nutrition facts to check for synthetic ingredients and added sugar. Consider your budget as well protein bar prices range from less than $1 to $4 or more per bar. You should also pick a taste profile you enjoy.
The role of protein in your diet is a significant factor when deciding which protein bar is right for you. If youre trying to gain lean body mass, for example, look for protein bars with creatine. Keep in mind that many protein bars are high in calories and carbohydrates. For weight loss, look for bars with a 2:1 ratio of protein to carbohydrates. Some diets require you to count net carbs, which is the number of carbs minus the amount of fiber and a portion of sugar alcohols, instead of total carbs. Companies also sell vegan or animal protein bars with supplemental vitamins or minerals for those with special dietary needs.
|What to look for|
Theyre Filled With Sweeteners
Most low sugar or zero sugar protein bars contain artificial sweeteners such as maltitol or Xylitol.
Artificial Sweeteners taste a lot of sugar, but not dont cause the excessive rise in blood sugar levels that sugars do. They dont rot your teeth either.
We use sweeteners in our own Low Sugar Protein Bars and this allows us to keep our bars down to around 200 calories and avoid those spikes in blood-sugar levels which is important for weight loss.
Despite years of hysteria regarding sweeteners, they simply arent dangerous with hundreds of studies in the various common sweeteners demonstrating their safety.
For some people over-eating artificial sweeteners can result in stomach discomfort so you might need to limit how much consume.
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