Are protein bars good for you? Many of us find them as a perfect on-the-go meal in our busy schedules. You might want to take a second look at that!
A protein bar is a nutritional supplement that provides protein and other nutrients for your body. However, not all protein bars are healthy. Even though we may think of them as easy energy boosters, we fail to realize that these protein bars boast of high quantities of sugar. Moreover, the quality of protein in the bar, and the amount and quality of the added ingredients matter. These factors greatly influence whether these bars help us or harm us.
Many times people forget that these pocket-sized protein bars can never compensate for a full meal. Because, they cannot replace the nutrients found in whole-food sources. These protein bars could end up denying you the benefits of vitamins, heart-healthy fats, phytochemicals and fiber that are found in abundance in natural food.
One should not judge the protein bars on the basis of their sizes. A small protein bar does not qualify as a quick snack. The calorie count should be taken into account while consuming it. Some of the protein bars may have calories as high as 400. These protein bars claim to be ‘nutrient-packed’ but if you eat too much, you are bound to gain weight.
Alternatives in regular food such as red meat (lamb, pork, beef), poultry (chicken, duck, turkey), eggs, dairy products (milk, cheese), beans and tofu would work better in giving the required protein intake to your body.
While protein bars are convenient to consume, they are often more expensive than a meal made from natural food sources. Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark estimates that protein bars cost up to three times more than whole food, which contains an equivalent amount of protein. It is thus clear, that if our natural food intake can supply us with the required amount of protein and energy to meet our needs, consumption of protein bars will just add unwanted calories to our diet.
If at all you have to reach out for a protein bar, try following these tips.