Nutrition bars

When you’re on the go and need a delicious, nutritious, and most importantly, quick snack, nutrition bars are a great option. They come in a variety of brands, flavors (anything from iced oatmeal or apple cinnamon to peanut butter or cookies and cream), and prices, with a selection for everyone. While they can be slightly pricey, they are great to have on hand for those days where you just don’t have enough time. The ultimate on-the-go snack pack. Also, many people find them useful as a meal replacement after a workout or before a workout; this is an attempt at weight loss. It can work if you know what you’re doing. As a consumer of these nutrition bars, you may have a hard time knowing which bars to eat and which ones to avoid. It’s all about the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label, my friends! As you read, you will find that many of the brands make both protein and carbohydrate (energy) bars.

Protein Bars
Protein bars, also known as meal replacement bars, are good for when you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. Although not the perfect substitute for a well-rounded meal, they do provide a significant amount of protein (depending on the brand), to keep you feeling full until you have a chance to sit down and eat. The thing to look out for: always, always, always check the fat and sugar content. Manufacturers seem to get a kick out of tricking us; just because it says “protein bar” on the label (or some other ludicrous catch-phrase) doesn’t mean that they are healthy. When buying a protein bar, the ratio of protein to fat to sugar (carbohydrate) should be 2:1:1. Basically, you want to look for a high protein content, a low fat content, and low carbohydrate content. We call this a good nutritional profile. Some popular brands include:

  • Detour Deluxe Whey Protein Energy Bar
  • MET-Rx
  • Pure Protein
  • Atkins
  • Balance Gold Bars
  • Power Bar Protein Bars
  • Pro Max Protein Bars
  • Clif Builder’s

Carbohydrate (Energy) Bars
When it comes to needing energy, carbohydrate bars are the food to turn to. They don’t provide the long feeling of fullness that protein bars do, but if extra fiber is added, they can help somewhat in that department. They work very well as snacks for those who are very physically active, lending that extra boost of energy that is often needed. There are certain brands that are good for adding on extra calories for weight gain and there are brands that are good for those watching caloric intake. Again, you need to look for bars that are low in fat; keep in mind that energy bars will not have as high a protein content as protein bars will. Energy bars usually contain between 200-300 calories and between 20-40 grams of carbohydrates.

  • Luna Bars
  • LaraBars
  • Balance Bars
  • Power Bar Energy Bar
  • Clif Bar
  • ZonePerfect
  • Kashi

Word to the Wise
For an individual trying to lose weight, it is important to not get too caught up in the ease of nutrition bars. They do provide a good amount of healthy nutrients, but they can’t make up for a diet that needs to be nutritionally balanced. Nutrition bars don’t contain vegetables, and only a handful of them contain fruit. They don’t provide adequate dairy, nor do they have sufficient vitamins and minerals. Just remember that they are okay in moderation, but don’t go overboard. You still need to eat real nutritious foods every day.

Take Home Advice
Did you know that you can make your own nutrition bars in the comfort of your home? I know, some of you are probably thinking that the only reason you’re buying them is for convenience, but making them at home is beneficial too: you can control the ingredients, in the end they will be cheaper, and you can make large batches at once and have them made for a few weeks ahead of time!

Last updated on Nov 28th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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