Protein bars – we eat them for breakfast, before a good workout, on the go, when we go on outdoor adventures and sometimes for a midnight snack. But did you know that most protein bars, quite frankly, suck? Many protein bars that we see in the store or advertised online or on television, are candy bars in disguise. They appear to be made with whole ingredients but when actual observation of the ingredients label takes place, we will find that a majority of those seemingly harmless protein bars are packed full of all the things we want to avoid for our health. But there are healthy protein bars out there that do exactly what they claim. In fact, the healthiest protein bars are relatively easy to find.
What do the healthiest protein bars have in common? They are low in sugar and carbs, are gluten-free and have adequate protein to fuel your body for building muscle.
Avoid added sugars
When looking for the best in a protein bar, avoid added sugar (even sugar imitators such as sucralose, aspartame, fructose or corn syrup). The truth is, YOU DON’T NEED IT! However, a little bit of natural sweetener is okay and can be good for us. If you’re going to have sugars at all, look for natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, stevia, or cane syrup.
Check the Amount of Protein
If a protein bar doesn’t contain protein, is it even legal to call it a protein bar? Many of the protein bars we notice on the shelves don’t contain hardly any protein OR ingredients that fuel our bodies. Be aware of what you’re ingesting, especially when it comes to health supplements of any kind. Read the ingredients list and familiarize yourself with what each ingredient is and does. If you find a protein bar that doesn’t have much protein in it, skip it. Use common sense and don’t let marketing fool you.
Choose All-Natural Ingredients
If you look at the ingredients of a typical protein bar, you may see things like defatted peanut flour, corn syrup flakes, barley malt syrup, rice cereal and artificial flavors and colors. What in the world are we eating? Look for high-quality ingredients such as roasted soybeans, organic peanut butter, nuts, fruits and all-natural sweeteners. The ingredients should be clear and simple. The healthiest protein bars don’t need any help from manufactured ingredients. You can find protein in plenty of natural foods and should always stick with natural supplements as much as possible.
In today’s world, we have a variety of diet preferences and lifestyles. And it’s awesome! Freedom to eat the way we want and however makes our bodies feel and perform best is the best freedom of all. Whether you are vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or enjoy the bulletproof diet, there is a protein bar out there for you!