Do you turn to nutrition/protein bars as a go-to snack? Is this the best idea for you on your health and weight loss journey?
Let’s examine the pros and cons of these bars to make an accurate assessment:
They’re Convenient: Whether you’re ordering a box online or you’re picking up a bar on your way to work in the morning, bars are a very simple means of getting a snack in. No refrigeration necessary, and minimal cleanup required!
Sadly, this is about the only Pro there is to a protein bar. Here are the cons:
Excess Sugars: Whether it’s a granola bar or a protein bar, these little rectangles are notorious for having 20+ grams of sugar condensed into each and every one. Being that there’s no reason to eat that much sugar in one sitting (EVER!), and we don’t want to trigger the Insulin Resistance Cycle, which would cause us to retain more fat in our bodies, let’s not do that…
Artificial Ingredients: Whether it’s coloring, preservatives or sweeteners, no artificial ingredient is beneficial to our health. Preservatives and colorings have been linked to cancer, and artificial sweeteners are notorious for SLOWING our metabolisms, as they literally clean out our micro biome (or gut bacteria), which, too, has been linked to weight retention, as well as various other serious health conditions.
Little Nutritional Value: As you can see from the previous con, these bars may exclaim that they have ’22 grams of protein!,’ but what good does that do you if everything else in it is detrimental to your health and/or to your weight situation?
While there are healthIER nutrition bars like Quest Bars and a few Paleo ones, these aren’t the best ideas either, as they’re still incredibly processed despite the lack of poor ingredients…
Better snack options include low-glycemic fruits, non-starchy veggies, and organic, raw nuts and seeds. All of these are easy to grab on-the-go, and most also don’t need refrigeration or an extensive cleanup. Below you’ll find a few pointers on making healthy, smart snack choices:
1) The Glycemic Index rating of any fruit can be found by simply Googling ‘Glycemic index of…’ on your closest device. If it’s 0–49, amazeballs! If it’s 50–100, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
2) From the veggie perspective, stay away from potatoes, corn and beans. Sweet potatoes are pushing it unless you’re eating them raw.
3) We want to eat nuts and seeds in their raw, organic form, as roasted nuts tend to be fried in vegetable oil. When vegetable oil is heated to a certain point (and that point ain’t high), it hydrogenates and changes its chemical composition, becoming a cancer-causing, fat-storing, heart attack-promoting substance known as trans fat.
And while salt is still being heavily debated in the scientific community as to whether or not it’s healthy or detrimental to our health, we can all agree that excessive amounts of salt do one thing: They bloat you! Ever step on a scale while you were bloated? The result ain’t pretty!
Moral of the Story: While snack bars can be a convenient means of snacking, they’re far from the most nutritious! Whether due to high sugar content, artificial ingredients or lack of nutritional value, these are not ideal if you’re looking to improve both your health and your weight situation. Instead, turn to any combination of low-glycemic fruits, non-starchy veggies and organic, raw nuts and seeds, as they’re not only a healthier option, but often an equally convenient one.
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