visit us - It has protein, it's from a well-known fitness brand, it ought to be good for you right? Not fast. With the rapid emergence with the protein bar market, it may be easy to fall prey to a great looking package plus a brand name "you can trust" because of so many options to choose from. Nevertheless this is one of the biggest pitfalls you can make when trying to inject ready-made health food, such as protein bars, in your diet. Bottom line: Because it's "formulated for success" or "engineered to provide you with maximum performance" doesn't mean that's always true. As with anything from purchasing a car to getting a new blender, it pays to do your research.
When picking out a protein bar, I suggest looking at the following main areas:
Overall Fat/Saturated Fat - You will need some fat in your daily diet. However you don't need a lot of saturated fat, and even another fats should be drawn in moderation. One of the first things in a protein bar will be the fat and more importantly the saturated fats content. You would be shocked at just how much saturated fat is in some of these things. Generally, a good tip-off that this might be the case will be the flavor - anything with "creamy peanut butter" or "chocolate fudge", etc. may not be a great choice. Your daily nutritional value based on a 2,000 calorie weight loss program is 20g - and really you do not need this much - and a few of these bars contain half or more of that value.
Carbohydrates - Less about the total amount in your choice, and more about the break up of the amount. What you want is high fiber content. However what you'll see a lot of the time is high sugar content. Sometimes shockingly so, as in most of the carbs originate from sugar. It's OK to have some, especially if you consider this after a workout, however, you don't want 28g of carbs and also have 27 of those come from sugar. Fiber helps your general digestion as well as keeps you full longer.
Protein - How much are you actually getting back in comparison to the two categories above? It may sound obvious, but in general a good protein bar will be giving you around 20g of protein. If you're not getting that, you ought to at least see proportional decreases inside the other categories. Otherwise, you're really only getting carbs and fats, plus a smattering of protein.
"All Natural" Labeling - Another big marketing technique - "All Natural" does not necessarily equate to "All Good". Sugar, fats, etc. - all of these exist in nature. Most likely the source is a bit better, but the ingredients remain.
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