You had no clue that your protein bar was a glorified candy bar and it’s not your fault. There are many protein bars that are technically healthy (free from chemicals or preservative) that aren’t figure friendly. Other bars are weight loss friendly but not really healthy. They have ingredients that could pose health risks from long term consumption.
Selecting a protein bar that is figure friendly food for on the go requires you know what to look for on the label. And, you need to know that the front of the label is marketing. The information that you need is on the back.
Check these three things on the label to pick your perfect protein bar.
Look for bars that offer at least 10 grams of protein for a snack. If you want to replace a meal, you need at least 20 grams of protein. Consider this for a reference. Two eggs have 12 grams of protein. A medium chicken breast has about 25 grams. Many women on a weight loss journey need at least 100 grams of protein each day to control hunger and preserve their muscle. In short, your protein bar needs to deliver a decent dose of protein to earn its spot in your purse.
Total Impact Carbs
If your protein bar has just as much sugar as a candy bar, you probably want to consider finding a new one. However, fiber and protein content affect how quickly your body absorbs sugar and starch. So the more protein and fiber a bar has, the more starch it can have too.
You want to calculate and consider what Dr. Jade Teta of Metabolic effect calls “impact carbs”. Here’s how you calculate impact carbs. Subtract grams of fiber and grams of protein from total grams of starch. That number is the impact carb number. You want your bar to fall somewhere between 3 and 15. The lower the number, the slower the sugar and starch break down in your body. This is good. For example, if a bar has 21 grams of carbohydrates with 7 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein, the impact carb number is 0 grams (21-7-14). That bar would be figure friendly.
Even if a bar has a decent amount of protein and an appropriate number of impact carbs, you still want to consider your overall health. Many artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and additives have been linked to health issues. So, avoiding those potentially harmful ingredients just makes sense.
While many recommend only eating foods that have ingredients that you can pronounce, I think that is kind of silly. I can pronounce high fructose corn syrup and it is not the best for me. I couldn’t always pronounce tocepherol and that is just the scientific name for Vitamin E. So rather than relying on your pronunciation as the measure of ingredient health, look it up if you don’t know what it is.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest website and the Chem Cuisine App have interactive databases that tell you exactly what any food additive is. These databases also give a ranking regarding level of safety for consumption. It may take a while to get used to checking all of these things at first. But, when you get the hang of it, identifying a healthy protein bar that is also figure friendly will be a breeze.
If you want a place to start with identifying healthy figure friendly protein bars, download my list of go to protein bars here.
Do you eat protein bars? Have one that you love? Now that you know what to look for in a protein bar, comment below to let me know how your protein bar measures up.
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