Protein Bars That Make You Gain A Lot Of Weight The Key to Finding the Best Protein Bars

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The Key to Finding the Best Protein Bars

Protein bars are an excellent way to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet and can serve as either a between-meal snack or as a meal replacement. There are several factors that you should look at to make sure that you are getting the right protein bars. Some of them are loaded with artificial ingredients, added sugars, and fats and may have more calories than you need or want. Before buying any protein bar, look at its content and carefully evaluate these factors before making a decision:

– Sugar content

– Fat content

– Protein content

– Calories

– Added ingredients

– Price and availability

Sugar Content

According to recent research, the average person consumes about 60 pounds of sugar each year and the average woman gets almost 335 more calories every day than she did only a few decades ago because of it. New guidelines suggest that total intake of sugars (other than those found in fruits) be no more than 25 grams per day. (Source: Glamour Magazine, August 2010.)

When reading labels on your protein bars, watch for words that end with -ose, which indicates sugar. Other ingredients to watch out for include cane juice, corn syrup, and molasses. All are likely to cause spikes in blood sugar and are also likely to drive the calorie count for the protein bars up higher and higher. Sugar content can be counteracted by having both protein and fiber content, so protein bars that have nuts and fruit may be a good choice. Both additions will slow the absorption rate of the sugar in the body.

Fat Content

We all know that some fat is necessary in many food products for them to bake correctly and more importantly, for them to taste good. However, fat content for the sake of fat and flavor is not healthy and can also damage the nutritional value of the best intentioned protein bars. Fat grams should not be higher than the amount of protein, for instance. Protein should also not be listed as saturated fats or any of the sneaky code words that are used to slip the dangerous types of fat past the most vigilant people.

Protein Content

There is a little bit of confusion that may accompany a search for protein bars, mainly because there are those that are technically protein bars and then those that are energy bars that happen to have some protein content in them. If you are looking to use a bar to supplement protein intake during the day, it should be one of the first items that are mentioned on the label and it should say “protein bar” rather than energy bar.

Most energy bars have as little as two grams of protein per serving and may have as much as six grams, depending on the ingredients and the size of the bar. Protein bars on the other hand may have as much as 12 to 20 grams of protein per serving.

Calories

Most protein bars come in two sizes. One is meant to be a snack and may have less than 100 calories and the larger is meant to be a meal replacement and may have close to 200 calories per serving. Once you reach that level of calorie, however, you should consider if the other ingredients are worth it because you are reaching the levels of most candy bars at this point. If you can eat a candy bar and get the same level of protein and other ingredients for the same number of calories and roughly half the cost, it might not be a valid trade-off to suggest that someone buy the “protein bar” just because of the label. If the label cannot back up what it has promised, then look for a different brand.

Added Ingredients

Raisins, dried fruits, nuts, and even chia seeds (high in Omega 3 fatty acids) are good additional ingredients for protein bars, but added ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are not. Read the labels carefully until you find a brand that you know and trust. Even then, read the label from time to time to make sure that they have not added to the formulation of the bar that you have come to know and love. Protein bars often tweak ingredients and recipes from time to time so that they can make sure that they are creating the best flavor and longest lasting product that still gives them the right profit.

Price and Availability

The average candy bar costs just under a dollar these days. The average protein bar can range from $1.50 to $4 and more for a single unit. Buying protein bars in multi packs from online sources may drop the price down considerably; however, there are some exceptions to doing this. First, make sure that you have found the right protein bars before buying several of them. Not only do you have to make sure that it has all of the right ingredients but that it also has the most important factor of all: good taste. If you can’t tolerate the flavor, you will not eat it and it won’t matter what it is made of.

In addition, you have to make sure that you will be able to find the brand that you are interested in. Some new companies come and go before the expiration date on their protein bars. Some have been in business for a very long time but often phase out flavors in some stores or in entire regions. It is important to have a favorite bar along with several back-up brands that you can fall back on if you need to.

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