Whether you’re stuck at the airport or have to refuel after a long run, a protein bar can be a great mini-meal substitute or a fast snack. We have also come a long way with so many different flavors and brands available (all claiming to be the best, of course!)–have you ever thought “are healthy protein bars?”
They can be but all depends upon the bar There are good bars out there, bars that are having huge amount of protein, and bars that you’re better off avoiding, just like any other food, drink, or supplement. But here’s the thing–“healthy” is one of those words with no concrete definition. Your personal criteria for what makes a bar healthy might be completely different to your workout buddy’s idea of healthy.
How to choose a healthy protein bar
In choosing a protein bar, there are a lot of things to consider, so let’s get right down to it. Here’s what you have to keep in mind:
Let’s address this first because when it comes to protein bars, sugar is a big thing. You can find anything that varies from low-carb zero-sugar bars to those that are simply candy bars that disguise as health food. Your sugar preference can, of course, drop anywhere in this range, so a blanket recommendation can not be made. When you focus on reducing the intake of sugar, you have two options when it comes to protein bars. The easiest option is to simply look for one that has the lowest amount of sugar in it. Additionally, you could set a sugar capacity –usually, a good range is 10 to 15 grams.
Obviously, you should expect it to deliver a protein punch if it’s a protein bar. Typically, around 15 to 20 grams of protein seems to be a pretty decent protein bar. In addition to the amount of protein, you will also need to consider the type of protein. If you prefer whey, you might not like a bar that contains soy protein. For many people, it’s just going to be a matter of preference, but if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or have food allergies, you may have a specific protein request.
If you choose a low-sugar or low-carb bar there is a good chance that in the list of ingredients you can find sugar alcohols. You’ll have to choose your allegiance here. Upon taking sugar alcohol, some people experience gastrointestinal discomfort, and if you’re one of them, you would probably choose to have bars without them. If your digestive system doesn’t mind them and you prefer a low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle, sugar alcohols may be ideal for you.
When you’re a health-conscious person looking for something that fits your nutritional needs, the taste can get lost in the shuffle. So when selecting a protein bar, it doesn’t have to be the top priority on your list but don’t minimize the importance of good taste. Realistically, you’re not going buy a protein bar that doesn’t taste good, and you’re want to end up eating something else that might not help you meet your nutrition goals. Fortunately, for every different taste and texture preference, there’s a line of protein bars out there, so take the time to pick the one you’ll be looking forward to eating.
If you’re working toward weight loss, this factor might rank pretty high on your list. A good general rule of thumb is to keep the calorie count under 300 or 400 calories. Of course, if you plan to use a protein bar as a snack, you might want to limit it to fewer calories to stay in line with the size of your usual snacks.
There’s no middle ground – you’re either cool with them or you avoid them at all costs. Whatever your deal is when it comes to artificial sweeteners, pick the option that you’re comfortable with.
Mettle Protein Bars use real food, healthy ingredients
While it’s up to you to define healthy, there is truly a protein bar out there for everyone, so take the time to do your research and decide which protein bar is healthiest for you. If you’re in the market for a nutrient-dense protein bar free from sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, gluten, and soy, with a short ingredient list full of real food, try our Mettle Protein Bars. Both contain 20 grams of protein, and premium ingredients with no additives and are gluten-free, and no GMOs because you should be able to enjoy a high protein snack without compromising on your diet.