7 things to consider when choosing a protein or energy bar
It can be seen as a meal substitute for those looking to lose weight, or as a quick energy replenishment snack for those working out intensely or simply on the go throughout the day, or it can be just because they like it!
The thing for you to consider is why you want to eat it? This will help determine which type of bar you buy.
Protein and energy bars are not all made equal. As mentioned above some are specifically for those wanting to lose weight which therefore will most likely consist of low carb / medium protein. If it’s for people who work out a lot and are looking for a quick energy boost, they’ll want a high-carbs bar with sufficient protein. Or if it’s for someone who wants to build muscle, they’ll be looking for a high protein / low carb combination.
Here’s our top 7 things to look for when choosing your protein or energy bar:
- Check the label. In order for a protein bar to live up to its name, it should have at least 15 grams of protein per bar.
- If you’re choosing an energy bar, look for one that contains 2-3 times as much carbohydrate as protein, but less than a total of 30 grams.
- Take a look at that all important nutritional information. Sweeteners should never be the first ingredients in a healthy protein bar. So avoid corn syrup, sugar syrup, glucose or sweeteners particularly if they’re list as the main ingredients. Sugars should be less than 15 grams in total.
- Check to see if the protein bar contains whey, casein or soya protein, rather than hydrolysed gelatine – you don’t want to know where that originates!
- Avoid any bars that list Palm Oil as an active ingredient. Whilst not all saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, palm oil is.
- Bars that are high in fibre are good. Fibre is great for your digestive system, as well as making you stay fuller for longer.
- Taste. Think about it – if you don’t like the taste then it doesn’t really matter what good it’s doing, you’ll never want to eat it again!
It goes without saying however, you should never use a protein or energy bar as a meal replacement. They should be used to support a healthy and balanced lifestyle.