I always prefer whole real food. There are certainly times when we all need convenience, however.
Protein bars have been a booming industry in the field of athletics however many individuals are relying on them more and more for quick snacks and meals.
Unfortunately, as with everything, there is a lot of junk out there.
So how do you pick a good one?
Depending on what my client is using them for, I will vary my recommendations however there are some good basic rules that can be used for every situation.
First, seek out clean varieties by choosing ones with the fewest number of ingredients possible. Organic is going to be preferred as well.
Next pay attention to the ingredient lists. Omit any options with artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. Most individuals should also avoid options with sugar alcohols such as maltitol as it is a gut disruptor and can cause gas and bloating. Likewise steer clear of the ingredient maltodextrin which can spike blood sugars. Other processed ingredients to keep an eye out for include any form of highly processed corn, wheat or soy. Along those lines, avoid the options that have multiple forms of added processed sugar. Sugar can be disguised as many names such as high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, corn syrup solids, maltose, invert sugar……
In general, bars with real foods in the ingredient list are going to be preferred over ones with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Power ingredients include items such as nut butters, dates, egg whites, grass-fed organic whey protein, pea protein, chia seeds, ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal. MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil is also a great add is it provides a good source or sustained energy.
Next, take a peek at the Nutrition Facts Label. Generally speaking, you will want a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates and fiber. Again, this can be situational depending on what you are using the bars for, but a good balance is to aim for around 12-18 grams of protein, 6-10 grams of fat and 15-30 grams of carbohydrates with at least 3 grams of fiber. Monitor grams of added sugar too. Try to choose brands with as close to zero grams of added sugar (doesn’t include sugar from fruit) as possible.
Some brands that I like include RxBar, Aloha, R.E.D.D and Rawr bars to name a few. I’d love to hear what good brands you’re finding out there or possibly your favorite recipes for homemade protein bars. Let me know at email@example.com
3 thoughts on “What makes a good protein bar?”
This article provides excellent tips on how to select a healthy protein bar by paying attention to ingredients, nutrition facts label, and avoiding processed items. It is essential to choose bars with clean varieties and real foods. The article also suggests some reliable brands for protein bars. Great read!
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Thank you for the wonderful comment Vika!