What’s in your Protein Bar?

Scary Truth about Protein Bars

Hellllooooo Fit Divas

 Who likes the shorter days??? As much as I am an outdoor sunshine makes me happy kinda gal, I actually do better during this time.  Who knows, maybe its in my head!  haha!  

Ok…lets quickly talk about a topic that I asked about on a weekly basis.  

PROTEIN BARS!!!!!

Quick… YES!

Filling…Sometimes!??

Healthy…Um, normally NO

Protein bars are a popular “go-to”, but not all protein bars are created equal. So, here’s a few tips on what you need to know to choose a protein bar. There are some out there that actually live up to what the wrapper says!!

How to choose your protein bar

Look for ingredients with WHOLE foods, the best protein bars are made up of whole foods and straightforward ingredients, such as dried fruit, egg whites, nuts, oats, type of protein powder, cocnut..ect.  If you can’t pronounce it correctly, you probably shouldn’t be ingesting it. My two favorites being Lara Bars, which use dates as their base, but some of their bars have higher content of natural sugars from cherries and dates (if you don’t like dates however, I wouldn’t recommend) My second favorite is the Rxbar which states their bar has “No B.S.”, my personal favorite, Chocolate Coconut.

Steer clear of hidden SUGARS!! The majority of protein bars share one thing in common: extra sugar. Loads of it.  Most bars have more sugar in them then say…a snickers bar!  HA!    Aren’t protein bars frequently touted as a health-friendly snack or post-workout bite?? High added sugar levels, and weird unnecessary ingredients, are hiding everywhere—even in the ones claiming to be “good” for you.  SECOND most important thing about sugar…DO NOT fall into the “sugar free” trap and look for all those extra sugar alcohols. It means… FAKE sugar!!!  That flat belly your working so hard on will expand and be bloated and sometimes it may even have you running to the bathroom!!!!!!!  Been there done that!! Haha.  So be careful.  Besides your sexy fit digestive system should not be eating fake anything!

Prioritize REAL food first…is it okay to eat a protein bar every day? NOT really. Instead of ingesting protein bars all the time on a go-go-go lifestyle, grab something like: cottage cheese, nut butter, plain oatmeal, handful of blueberries. Be prepared!!! Plan ahead! It’s so much easier to eat healthy if you have prepared to-go snacks & meals!!

Also…..The Word PROTEIN is for a reason!  A good amount of these “protein bars” have only 5-9g of protein value.  Try to get at least 12-15g per bar (depending on your goal & weight) per bar.  On the opposite end…as a fit diva trying to stay fit, lean and sexy, you don’t need high amounts per bar. Over 20g.

MAKE your own on your Sunday Funday Prep days!   See one of my recipes below.  Plus…. You can find some yummy recipes on Pinterest!

Not Approved Bars

These are just a few to get you started!  Read your labels!!!

Bars with HIGH sugar content… The NO NO’S:

  1. ThinkThin, Chunky Peanut Butter (sugar alcohol, the tricksters) Artificial

**Per bar (60 g): 250 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g sugar alcohol), 20 g protein

~Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a deal with this sugar-free bar. To compensate for the lack of sugar, thinkThin loads this bar up with sugar alcohols—12 grams exactly. One of those is maltitol, a low-calorie, plant-based sweetener that studies have found to be associated with stomach and abdominal pain as well as excessive internal gas and flatulence~  Oh yes….it can happen!!!

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2.Perfect Bar, Blueberry Cashew—18g

3.PRO BAR, Chocolate SuperGreens—16g

4.Luna Protein, Chocolate Salted Caramel—15g

5.Clif Builder’s Protein, Crunchy Peanut Butter—22g

6.Quest Bars:

Per bar (60 g): 190 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (14 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g erythritol), 21 g protein

~Don’t believe everything you read. QuestBar describes this bar as being made “with real cookie crumbles and delicious cream,” but according to the ingredients, the only place that cream could be lurking is in “natural flavors.” Not to mention, the bar may be sugar-free, but it’s made with a laundry list of additives and chemicals, including artificial sweetener sucralose, and the only whole food is almonds~  Trust me!  I used to love having one of these as an emergency go to if I forgot my snack! My tummy wasn’t happy after!  Tastes great but not the best choice!

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Approved Bars

Again, just a few to give you an idea!

1.GoMacro, Protein Purity—9-11 G sugar (depending on type)

Per bar (60 g): 260 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 11 g protein

You can thank the vegetarian dynamic duo of organic sprouted brown rice protein and organic pea protein for those 11 grams of protein. This bar is also loaded with healthy fats from cashews and flax seeds, which are a great plant-based source of good fats.

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  1. Oatmega, Vanilla Almond Crisp—5g
  2. Health Warrior, Honey Almond—10g
  3. Isagenix Caramel Cashew- 7 g sugar plus 20 G protein
  4. RX Bars 7-10 g sugar…MY FAV: Dark Chocolate sea salt  YUM

There’s a reason this bar is really good. Pure egg white protein, 100% natural chocolate, and a perfect balance between salty and sweet. Tastes decadent, but good for you.

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Snack bars

I would keep these bars more as a snack because the protein is low. Which is a-ok for on the go emergency food. Just don’t value this as a post workout or meal replacement.

KIND Madagascar Vanilla Almond—4g   

KIND Dark Chocolate and sea salt 4 g sugar or Caramel sea Salt  (Look for the KIND bars that say low sugar!  Some have double.

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Homemade Protein Bars

Absolutely one of my favorites!  Tastes like shortbread with Almond butter topping and some sweet from the berry!

Bar Conclusion

So…the point of this blog was to help guide you in making better bar selections. Read your labels, check out the sugar grams, protein grams and fat grams.  Read the ingredients.  Where are they getting these nutrients from?

Try not to relay on bars daily.  Whole food is the best!   To me, a bar is a nice sweet treat 1-2 x a week.  Unless you make your own…then you know exactly what is going in those lil bars! Even then, switch up your snacks.  Remember the body likes and NEEDS variety to CHANGE!  Until next time Bella Diva! Ciao

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