By Emily Wortiska, RD, of Terrio Physical Therapy & Fitness
Protein bars: healthy snack or disguised candy bar? In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t always have time to prepare a balanced snack. Protein bars can be a convenient, healthy alternative if you choose wisely by keeping it less than 200 calories and checking the nutritional label for protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat and vitamins. Some bars contain just as much, if not more, calories than a candy bar, and contain unhealthy fats including hydrogenated oils. Please see our recommended choices and why we love them.
Balance Bar Gold in S’mores
This bar is based on the 40-30-30 or Zone diet, which suggests that one’s diet should include 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. These bars offer carbohydrates for quick energy and protein and fat to provide long-lasting endurance.
Kashi Bar in Chocolate Peanut
The average American consumes less than 12 grams of fiber per day. At 6 grams of fiber, this bar has significantly more fiber than other bars, and can help to meet the recommended dietary allowance for fiber. The great thing about fiber is that it works by increasing fullness and satiety, which can aid in weight management.
Promax: Pure Organic Cranberry Orange
The Promax: Pure Organic bar supplies high quality carbohydrates, which are the preferred source of fuel for the body. This bar can be a good option before a workout, but can also be consumed post-workout to refuel and replenish. It is also includes cranberries, which are rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
Clif Builder’s Protein Bar in Chocolate Peanut Butter
While this is one of the higher calorie bars (270 calories), the Clif Builder Bar can be a great option, especially after a workout. It contains 20 grams of protein, which is helpful in building muscle, controlling blood sugar, fueling metabolism and increasing satiety.
Vitamins & Minerals
Luna Bar in Lemon Zest
Luna Bars are rich in calcium, vitamin D, folic acid and iron. These are micronutrients that the National Institutes of Health states that women often fall short in meeting. This bar not only tastes good, but it helps to contribute to meeting one’s daily dose of vitamins and minerals.