Protein Bar Ingredients To Watch Out For
Looking for a quick snack on the go? If so, you might be considering one of the many different protein bars now out on the market.
Protein bars have become a popular option because first, they provide more satiety than drinking a protein shake would, and second, they can be quite tasty.
The right bar can taste very similar to one of your favorite chocolate bars, so it’s a quick way to satisfy cravings.
But, you do need to be careful because if you choose the wrong bar, you won’t be getting much more nutrition than what you’d get in that chocolate bar.
Let’s go over what you need to look for in any protein bar you’re considering eating…
The very first thing to check out is the calorie content. How many calories are in this bar?
You should aim to find one with around 200-250 calories. Leave the higher calorie ones for those who are looking to gain weight.
If that’s your goal, go for it, but if you are aiming to maintain or lose body fat, you don’t want to go above this.
Next, consider the protein content. A good protein bar should contain around 20 grams of protein for every 200 calories in the bar.
If you are aiming to gain weight and eating a bar that contains 300-400 calories, you’ll now want it to come in at around 25-30 grams of protein instead.
Protein is your sole purpose for eating this bar, so make sure it’s not falling low.
If the bar only contains 5-10 grams, it’s more of an energy bar than it is a protein bar.
This might be fine if you’re gearing up for a very intense cardiovascular training session, but for all other times, you simply need more protein.
Next, also consider the sugar content. How many grams of sugar are in the entire bar?
Make sure that the ingredient panel does mention the entire bar as well – not just half.
Unless you plan on only eating half that bar, you need to consider the whole thing.
Ideally, keep your sugar intake to fewer than 5 grams total. If it contains more, you are verging on eating something that will spike insulin levels and potentially cause fat gain.
Too many protein bars are full of sugar and will have very similar impacts on your body composition as that chocolate bar. This must be avoided.
Sugar Alcohol Content
The sugar alcohol content is also something to look at. Sometimes you will see that the bar contains very little sugar, so it seems great, but the sugar alcohol content is sky-high.
For some people, this may be no problem as they tolerate sugar alcohols well. For others, it can lead to a serious case of diarrhea.
Try and keep the sugar alcohol content as low as possible.
Finally, you’ll also want to consider the dietary fibre content.
Dietary fibre is important for slowing down the digestion process and ensuring that any carbohydrate in the bar do release more slowly in the body.
You should aim for a total dietary fibre content of at least 5 grams per bar, preferably higher.
Just do be careful as some bars on the market will contain up to 20 grams of fibre, which is fine, but if you already eat a high fibre diet, could potentially lead to some gastrointestinal issues.
See how you react and cut back as necessary.
So keep these quick points in mind when searching for your own protein bars.
When you choose the right bar, these can make for an excellent option to fill your nutritional needs.