What Makes A Protein Bar Healthy
If you’re looking to further your better-body goals, you may consider eating high protein bars. While it might sound beneficial, unfortunately, most of the protein bars in the market are loaded with sugar alcohols or saturated fat and lack fiber.
Registered dietitian Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, and owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition tells Eat This, Not That! that they key in selecting a clean and healthy protein bar is to “look for a nice balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber to help keep you satisfied. Choose a protein bar with between 200 to 400 calories and up to 20 grams of protein per serving.”
It’s not just macronutrients that matter when it comes to determining the best protein bar. Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, of To The Pointe Nutrition says ingredients are equally important. “Look at the ingredient list and identify transparent foods like nuts, whole grains, and fruit.”
Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition adds that she looks for good sources of protein, “like whey protein isolate, pea protein, brown rice protein, and eggs.”
Protein Is The Easiest Simplest And Most Delicious Way To Lose Weight
When it comes to fat loss and a better looking body, protein is the king of nutrients.
You dont need to restrict anything to benefit from a higher protein intake. It is all about adding to your diet.
This is particularly appealing because most high-protein foods also taste really good. Eating more of them is easy and satisfying.
A high-protein diet can also be an effective obesity prevention strategy, not something that you just use temporarily to lose fat.
Over months, years or decades, the difference in your waistline could be huge.
However, keep in mind that calories still count. Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism, but you wont lose weight if you dont eat fewer calories than you burn.
It is definitely possible to overeat and negate the calorie deficit caused by the higher protein intake, especially if you eat a lot of junk food.
For this reason, you should still base your diet mostly on whole, single ingredient foods.
Although this article focused only on weight loss, protein also has numerous other benefits for health.
How To Choose A Protein Powder
When choosing a protein powder, Harbstreet recommends paying particular attention to the products certification. There are no standards for labeling, she says, so seeking an item tested by a third party may offer peace of mind and make for a safer, healthier product.
To me, this is the best indication of high quality and lower/limited contamination or filler products, says Harbstreet. Its a red flag for me if a brand uses a term like proprietary blend without detailing what it contains. Thats a safety concern for things like heavy metals, botanicals and other ingredients that could potentially interact with other foods or medications.
Whether you choose a plant-based or animal-based protein source is a matter of personal preference, she adds.
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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.
What Is Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel bread is different for from most other breads for several reasons.
Whereas most types of bread contain added sugar, Ezekiel bread contains none. It is also made from organic, sprouted whole grains and legumes. Sprouting changes the nutrient composition of the grains and legumes significantly.
In contrast to most commercial breads, which consist primarily of refined wheat or pulverized whole wheat, Ezekiel bread contains several types of grains and legumes:
- 4 types of cereal grains: wheat, millet, barley, and spelt
- 2 types of legumes: soybeans and lentils
All the grains and legumes are organically grown and allowed to sprout before they are processed, combined, and baked to make the final product.
Ezekiel bread is made from whole sprouted wheat, barley, spelt, millet, soybeans, and lentils. It is marketed as a more nutrient-rich choice than conventional white bread.
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Boost The Taste Of Your Shakes
Each protein powder has a unique taste, depending on theingredients and protein source, says Patton. A lot of companies use fillersor flavor enhancers designed by food scientists to create flavors beyond thestandard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
To improve the taste of the protein shakes you make, mixyour protein powders with milk or a milk alternative toproduce a creamier milkshake-like texture.
Create your own flavor enhancers by mixing in one serving offruit or even a tablespoon of peanut butter.
How Much Protein Should I Eat
For most people a daily dose of around 0.8-1g of protein per 1kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes 1.4 2g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended per day, with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day for endurance athletes. After exercise, protein is particularly important since muscles need it to recover and grow. A portion of protein is recommended within 30 minutes of exercise, when your muscles are particularly receptive to protein synthesis.
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Research On Protein And Health
Available evidence indicates that its the source of protein , rather than the amount of protein, that likely makes a difference for our health. You can explore the research related to each disease in the tabs below, but heres the evidence-based takeaway: eating healthy protein sources like beans, nuts, fish, or poultry in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of several diseases and premature death.
Research conducted at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health has found that eating even small amounts of red meatespecially processed red meaton a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause. Conversely, replacing red and processed red meat with healthy protein sources such as beans, soy foods, nuts, fish, or poultry seems to reduce these risks. One of the reasons why plant sources of protein are related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to protein from red meat and dairy is because of the different types of fat in these protein packages. Plant-based protein sources are more unsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterolan established risk factor for heart disease. Also, plant sources contain no cholesterol. Other factors are likely to contribute to the lower risk, but this is a key factor.
When it comes to cancer, once again, the seems to matter more than quantity.
How Sprouting Increases Nutrients
As a result of sprouting, Ezekiel bread may contain more of some vital nutrients. Studies show that sprouting grains increases their lysine content .
Lysine is an amino acid that many plants contain in only small amounts. Increasing its levels through sprouting boosts the nutritional value of grains and seeds.
Studies also show that sprouting wheat may lead to significant increases in protein, soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin C .
Because it contains sprouted seeds, Ezekiel bread should be more nutritious than most other types of bread.
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Here’s The Latest Research On When To Eat Protein
The study at Waseda, led by Professor Shigenobu Shibata, set out to investigate the effect of your inner biological clockor circadian rhythmon food metabolism and found that protein digestion and absorption fluctuate throughout a normal 24 hour period. While prior studies have indicated that protein intake at breakfast and lunch promotes muscle growth, the exact reason and mechanism remained unknown.
In the study, laboratory mice were fed two meals per day containing either high protein or low protein . The mice that ate more protein at breakfast showed increased muscle growth, compared with the mice that ate higher levels of protein for dinner. Even mice fed a lower protein portion at breakfast had 17.5 percent more muscle growth than mice fed a higher ratio of protein at dinner. Additionally, the mice fed branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, at breakfast had even more muscle growth.
The researchers figured out that the driver of this was the animals’ circadian clock, since they tried the exact same experiment on mice with no such body clock, and the protein intake in the morning did not lead to the same results. So our circadian rhythm is in control of our muscle growth and is the reason our muscles get stronger in response to what time we eat.
Eating more protein early in the day could also help older people maintain muscle mass with advancing agebut most people eat proteins fairly unevenly throughout the day, another recent study has found.
Questbar Protein Bar Cookies & Cream Flavor
Don’t believe everything you read. QuestBar describes this bar as being made “with real cookie crumbles and delicious white chocolate cream,” but according to the ingredients, the only place that cream could be lurking is in “natural flavors.” Not to mention, the bar may be almost sugar-free, but it’s made with a laundry list of additives and chemicals, including artificial sweetener sucralose, and the only whole food is almonds.
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Effects Of Whey Supplementation On Muscle Mass And Strength
The best-known use of whey protein supplements is for the purpose of increasing muscle mass and strength.
Whey protein is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, as well as people looking to improve their performance in the gym.
The ways by which whey protein promotes muscle/strength gain include:
Also, keep in mind that unless your diet is already lacking in protein, supplementing with whey protein is unlikely to have a significant effect on your results.
In a 12-week study in older adults with adequate protein intake, who did resistance training, there was no difference in muscle growth when supplementing with whey protein or carbohydrates .
Therefore, the evidence of whey protein on muscle and strength is mixed, and the results may vary greatly between individuals.
There is a lot of evidence that whey protein is effective at increasing muscle and strength gains, though some studies find no effect.
In one study, eating 25% of the daily calories in protein cut cravings by 60% and reduced the desire for late-time snacking by half .
Get The Most From Your Protein Powder
Here are a few things to consider:
- To recover after exercise, an athlete or avid exerciser should consume protein within 60 minutes of a workout. Thats when your muscles are most responsive to the use of protein for the repair and growth process.
- To control your weight, its best to consume a steady supply of protein at each meal and snack to help keep you full.
Although theres no magic number for how much protein toconsume at one time, its best to aim for at least 3 ounces or 20 grams ofprotein per meal.
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High Protein Meal Prep Toolkit
Emphasizing more protein dense options can help make hitting your daily protein goals easier, however, it won’t solve all your nutrition needs.
Learning how to meal plan and prep your food choices is one of the best ways to take control over your diet and make sure you get plenty of protein and good nutrition regularly.
Learn exactly how to stick to your calorie and protein goals with this free meal prep toolkit for weight loss. An RD-written guide complete with macro meal planner, food lists, and expert advice to help you lose weight quickly.
Beef Pork Veal And Lamb
Its best to limit your intake of red meat which is often higher in saturated fat and processed meats like ham, bacon and hot dogs which are often higher in saturated fat and sodium. If you decide to have these, choose the leanest options, which are:
- Select or Choice grades of beef trimmed of fat including: chuck, rib, rump roast, round, sirloin, cubed, flank, porterhouse, T-bone steak or tenderloin
- Lamb: chop, leg or roast
- Veal: loin chop or roast
- Pork: Canadian bacon, center loin chop, ham or tenderloin
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Protein Foods And The Planet
To give you an idea, this scorecard from the World Resources Institute illustrates the differing GHG emissions per gram of protein from both animal and plant-based protein foods. Making just one pound of lamb generates five times more GHGs than making a pound of chicken and around 30 times more than making a pound of lentils. In the U.S. alone, beef accounts for 36% of all food-related GHG emissions. Beyond emissions, its also important to note that food production places an enormous demand upon our natural resources, as agriculture is a major contributor to deforestation, species extinction, and freshwater depletion and contamination.
Whey Protein Can Boost Fullness Quickly
Whey is a milk-based protein. It contains all the essential amino acids and is absorbed quickly in the body .
Whey protein has been linked to some impressive benefits, including greater weight loss, improved satiety and better body composition (
Whey protein is linked to weight loss, increased satiety and improved body composition. It may be superior in its effect on satiety compared to other protein sources.
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Nutritional Value Of Protein
The nutritional value of a protein is measured by the quantity of essential amino acids it contains.
Different foods contain different amounts of essential amino acids. Generally:
- Animal products have all of the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein .
- Soy products, quinoa and the seed of a leafy green called amaranth also have all of the essential amino acids.
- Plant proteins usually lack at least one of the essential amino acids and are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from a combination of plant foods every day to make sure they get an adequate mix of essential amino acids. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually get the protein you need. For example, a meal containing cereals and legumes, such as baked beans on toast, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish.
Casein Can Keep You Fuller For Longer
Similar to whey protein, casein is milk-based and contains all the essential amino acids. However, it is absorbed slowly in the body .
Casein has also been linked to improved body composition and increased feelings of fullness.
Among male athletes, taking 70 grams of casein in the morning and evening over 8 weeks increased lean muscle mass by an average of 2.4 pounds .
Compared to whey protein, casein does not seem to be as effective at increasing muscle mass. However, it does appear more effective than other protein supplement sources, such as soy and wheat protein .
When it comes to satiety, whey protein is absorbed quickly and can enhance feelings of fullness. Casein is digested more slowly and may keep you fuller over a longer period of time .
One study followed overweight men on a weight loss diet that included either whey or casein supplements. After 12 weeks, those taking casein supplements lost an average of 8% of their body weight. Those taking whey lost an average of 4% .
However, this study was small and the evidence is mixed.
Other studies comparing the effects of casein and whey found no significant difference in weight loss or body composition in the long-term, making them equally as good for weight loss .
Casein is absorbed slowly, so may be more satiating in the long-term. Taking it regularly has been linked to weight loss and improved body composition.
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Matching A Powder To Your Needs
Here are some general guidelines, based on the outcomesyoure looking for: