People who are looking for great-tasting snacks to fuel their workout or curb their appetite often turn to protein bars. After all, they pack the carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals you need in one convenient bar.
However, because of the hundreds of various choices in the market today, it can be quite tricky to find the best protein bar for you. Some present themselves as “natural” or “sugar-free” products but are actually far from it.
To protect yourself from these marketing tricks and ensure that you are making a healthy choice, always read the label. Here are three things that you must look out for.
It is a smart practice to look at these two factors in relation to each other, and then with regards to your daily requirements. This is especially true if the bar you are eyeing contains more than 15 grams of protein.
Carbs are still a must-have to recharge your body, but if you are using protein bars as your source of lean refuel, it’s best to find one with an equal carbs to protein ratio. Slight differences are also still acceptable. However, if the bar in question has more than 30 grams of carbs and just 15 grams of protein, you might be better off with another choice.
Higher carbs are the general consideration in energy bars and not protein bars.
You must be vigilant when it comes to the sugar content of protein bars that look promising. There are a lot of bars out there that claim they have lots of protein with less carbs and a lot of fiber—only to turn the tables with sugar content more than twice of all of them!
Some protein bars can contain as much as 25 grams of sugar, which is the same amount you will find in famous chocolate bars like Kitkat (21 grams) and Almond Joy (24 grams).
To get the best results, you want something with 10 grams of sugar or less. However, if it contains natural whole or dried fruits, you don’t have to worry about the high sugar content as it is from a natural source.
If you’re not quite familiar with the term, here’s a simple explanation:
This refers to the amount of carbs in the bar that the body actually processes into energy. The general way to calculate net carbs is to take the total number of carbohydrates in the product and subtract fiber content and sugar alcohols from it. This is because these carbohydrates have minimal impact on sugar levels in the blood.
For this reason, it is better to look at the net carbohydrates rather than the total carb content. This gives you a more accurate figure of the amount of carbs that your body will process.
The best way to enhance your health is maintaining regular physical activity and, most importantly, carefully picking your food items. If you’re considering including protein bars into your diet, you need to read your labels closely to find the right product. Be careful of misleading titles and always study the nutritional facts to make sure that it will help you achieve your fitness goals.
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