As you go about making positive changes to your diet in an attempt to eat healthier and manage your body weight, you may be on the hunt for some smart snacks to fuel your day.
While preparing healthy meals is relatively simple provided you have time and the right recipes, snacks can be a bit more trying. With so many unhealthy options available to you, it’s hard to choose right.
You need a snack that’s well balanced, easy to take on the go, and that can be eaten in mere seconds.
A protein bar might seem like a good solution. But, if you aren’t choosing carefully, that protein bar can do your diet more harm than good. Let’s look at the main things that you should be looking for when selecting a protein bar.
Total Calorie Content
The first thing you’ll want to look at is at how many calories are in the bar that you plan to eat. A good bar should contain around 200-250 calories – no more than that. If you are eating a 350 calorie protein bar, chances are you will go over your total daily calorie targets.
Unless you are very active and have a high daily calorie requirement so that you can afford that sort of intake, keep it to around the 200 calorie mark.
Total Sugar Content
Next, also be sure to factor in how much sugar is in the bar. This is what you really want to pay attention to. Many protein bars aren’t much more than a glorified candy bar, often packing 20 or more grams of sugar per serving.
As sugar must be avoided in your diet plan, try and choose a bar that contains fewer than 3-4 grams per hundred calories. So for that 200 calorie bar, 8 grams of sugar would be the limit you’ll want to stay at.
Protein To Fat Ratio
Next up, look at the protein to fat ratio. If the bar has more than half as much fat as it does protein, you might want to consider putting that bar back.
For instance, if the bar has 15 gams of protein, half that would be 7.5 grams. If the fat content is 10 grams total, that bar is more fat than protein, defeating the point of eating a protein bar.
This said, you don’t want a fat free bar either. If the bar contains no fat, chances are it won’t satisfy your hunger for long.
5-10 grams for a 200-calorie bar is ideal, provided it has around 20 grams of protein.
Finally, last but not least, take a good look at the ingredient list. If the bar is filled with 30 ingredients, many of which you can’t pronounce, you know that that isn’t a very natural bar.
The fewer the ingredients, the less processed it tends to be and the healthier it will be for your body.
So there you have a brief run-down of how to choose the healthiest bar possible. If you want a bar that gives ongoing energy, doesn’t spike your blood sugar, and provides you with all the nutrients your active body needs, check out our protein bar and you can feel confident about what you’re putting into your body.
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at anytime!
Shannon Clark is a qualified nutritionist and a regular contributer to HB Insights. She specialises in weight control and management as well as optimal fitness performance. She's devoted to helping readers obtain their own personal best health and fitness and stays on top the latest trends in the industry.