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The Protein Bar Problem
learn here - It has protein, it's from the well-known fitness brand, it ought to be good for you right?
Not fast. With the rapid emergence of the protein bar market, it could be easy to fall prey to a great
looking package along with a brand name "you can trust" with the amount of options to choose from.
Nevertheless this is one of the biggest pitfalls you can make when trying to inject ready-made health
food, including protein bars, to your diet. Bottom line: Simply because it's "formulated for success"
or "engineered to offer you maximum performance" doesn't mean that's always the case. As with
anything from investing in a car to getting a new blender, it pays to accomplish your research.
When picking out a protein bar, I recommend looking at the following main areas:
Overall Fat/Saturated Fat - You need some fat in your diet. However you don't need a lot of
saturated fat, and even one other fats should be taken in moderation. One of the first things to look
for in a protein bar will be the fat and more importantly the saturated fat content. You would be
shocked at how much saturated fat is in some of these things. Generally, a good tip-off that this
might be the case is the flavor - anything with "creamy peanut butter" or "chocolate fudge", etc. may
not be a great choice. Your daily nutrients and vitamins based on a 2,000 calorie diet is 20g - and
really its not necessary this much - plus some of these bars contain half or even more of that value.
Carbohydrates - Less about the total amount in your choice, plus more about the break up of this
amount. What you want is high fiber content. However what you will see a lot of the time is high
sugar content. Sometimes shockingly so, as with most of the carbs originate from sugar. It's Okay to
have some, especially if you take this after a workout, but you don't want 28g of carbs and possess
27 of those result from sugar. Fiber helps your overall 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 probably be giving you around 20g of protein.
If you aren't getting that, you need to at least see proportional decreases within the other
categories. Or even, you're really only getting carbs and fats, plus a smattering of protein.
"All Natural" Labeling - Another big marketing technique - "All Natural" doesn't necessarily equate
to "All Good". Sugar, fats, etc. - these all exist in nature. Maybe the source is a bit better,
nevertheless the ingredients remain.