Protein bars used to be looked at as something for hardcore body builders, but thanks to the popularity of protein diets in recent years, more and more people are incorporating them into their diets. While supplementing your diet with protein this way isn’t necessarily a bad thing; those looking to lose weight or at least cut back on fat and sugar could be working against their goal by buying the wrong protein bar.
What's in a Protein Bar?
We know that protein bars contain a high amount of protein, but few usually bother to give much thought to the other ingredients. Most protein bars contain between 20 and 28 grams of protein, which is actually around half of the recommended daily intake for an adult. What a lot of people fail to realize when buying protein bars is that they do still contain carbohydrates and sugar, not to mention several additives and preservatives. They also tend to be quite high in calories with most bars containing well over 250 calories and some as much as 400 calories. And, unless a protein bar is clearly labeled as being low in sugar or sweetened with artificial sweetener, most have on average between 15 to 20 grams of sugar which is quite a lot, especially when you consider that the recommended amount of sugar per day is 6 grams for a woman and 9 grams for a man.
What to Look for In a Protein Bar
Choosing the right protein bar for your needs requires reading the label very carefully and having some understanding of how much is too much of certain ingredients. What you want to look for are protein bars that are low in fat and sugar and high in protein, fiber, and other vitamins and nutrients. The purpose of a protein bar is to help boost your energy levels and help you build muscle mass. When trying to lose weight, a protein bar can also help keep you satisfied so you don’t overeat—as long as you don’t choose one that’s full of fat and sugar.
The Benefits of Protein Bars
Protein bars can have many great benefits when a little care is put into choosing the right one and you use them the right way. Protein bars offer a healthy convenient snack when you’re on the go as well as a healthy energy boost before or after a workout or even as a snack on a long day. Protein bars help your muscles to recover after a workout as well as help to build some muscle mass, which in turn can help you burn calories more efficiently by increasing your metabolism. They also make a convenient and often times tasty meal replacement for those looking to lose weight.
As long as you’re aware of exactly what you’re getting in your bar, these can be a great addition to your diet. Just remember to read the labels and resist the urge of eating too many of them because they taste like sweet treats!