Protein Bars are popular for a lot of people that are busy and on the run. They can be hard to resist because they are easy, promoted to give you energy and say that they help with weight loss. Are they really good to have every day? You can get calories, protein and some vitamins and minerals from protein bars and even some fiber, but is there any advantage to eating a protein bar instead of a meal? If you substitute a bar for a meal, you won’t get the nutritional benefits of a meal that’s made up of whole foods.
Some of the pitfalls would be:
- Too much Sugar – It’s usually one of the first ingredients and there may also be more than one form of sugar in a bar like brown rice syrup, barley malt, evaporated cane juice or high fructose corn syrup. Many of them contain more sugar than a candy bar!
- Refined Grains – Grains like rice crisps are highly refined.
- Protein Overload – Some bars contain way to much protein. You need protein for sure but some contain a huge amount, like 32 grams! The average person doesn’t need excessive protein. The protein in most of these bars comes from isolated sources, like whey or soy which aren’t always good for you.
- Fake Ingredients – Some ingredients you don’t even recognize. Artificial Sweeteners can cause problems too.
- Calories – These 200-300 calories add up.
Bottom Line: Ditch the bars and make your own snack with protein rich ingredients and eat a small portion. Use a healthy sweetener that won’t cause your blood sugar to crash.