Benefits Of Organic Low Carb Protein Bars
Nutrition these days is inherently complicated, one second the media and experts are saying something is healthy and should be a cornerstone of our daily diets, and then the next minute they’re saying we should eliminate it.
It’s easy to get confused and it’s no wonder that with more information, research, technology and access to high-level nutrition we’ve never been more imbalanced with what to eat, when to eat it and the best practices.
In this article, we’re going to explore the world of protein bars and specifically those with low carb contents that come from high quality sources.
If you don’t pick the right bar, it’s very easy to think you are eating something healthy that is covered in sugar and will cause a large insulin spike, leaving you tired, sluggish and an easy way to add more fat to your body.
Use this article as your guide when you’re on the run or simply stocking up to have healthy snacks around your home.
WHY GO LOW-CARB FOR PROTEIN BARS?
Before going into specific brands and what to look for, it’s time to address why picking a low-carb alternative is important.
First, most people who consume protein bars are doing so because of their easy availability and access while traveling, on the run or simply because they didn’t have enough time for anything else.
By the time you’re hungry, it’s easy to make poor decisions and feast on easily available foods such as junk food, cookies, donuts or any snacks that can be found on the road.
That’s where protein bars come in and specifically, low carb variations.
The reason why you’d like to go low carb is to minimize the spike in blood sugar that results in increased bodyfat and release of the storage hormone, insulin.
Not only do unhealthy bars add fat to your frame, they can contain high amounts of sugar which leave you with less energy and wanting to eat more within the hour — far from an ideal mix.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN PROTEIN BARS
You’re on the road, hunger is setting in and you hit the protein bar aisle with seemingly endless options.
Some seem better than others but it’s confusing – you don’t know exactly which to pick and why.
Here is what to look for across the board before we get into specific brands:
• Examine protein content and make sure it’s at least 15-20 grams. Many bars are full of hidden sugars and carbohydrates, marketed to as “healthy”. Protein is the building block of muscle and will keep you physically and mentally satisfied.
• Check the type of protein. Ideally you are looking for high quality whey protein or a whey protein/casein blended version. Watch out for soy variations that have been processed and contain anti-nutrients.
• Make sure there’s fiber and figure out the “net carbs”. Fiber is an essential part of digestion and will minimize the impact of carbs. To calculate net carbs, subtract carbohydrates (say, 20 grams) minus fiber (say 14 grams) = 6 grams.
• Go for the ones with minimal ingredients. If you pick a bar that has a laundry list of ingredients, most of which you can’t even pronounce, then look elsewhere. Ideally you’d find a protein bar with the minimal amount of ingredients with each of them serving a nutritional purpose, not for fillers and hidden calories.
• Check where the fat comes from. Fat isn’t a bad thing like many have been lead to believe. It’s essential for our energy, vitality and is part of every cell of our body. The key is finding the fat source, such as nuts instead of processed oils.
If you cover the above, you should be good to go and select a great option.
Let’s cover some specific brands that fit the bill.
Quest Bars have become quite famous over the last few years and there are several reasons why: great taste, quality ingredients and a wide array of flavor options.
The average Quest Bar has around 190 calories, 21 grams of protein and 3 grams of net carbs, including 17 grams of fiber making it a great snack alternative.
NuGo bars have two low carb variations and come in at about 190 calories, 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of net carbs.
Although they only come in two flavors (Peanut Butter Crunch and Chocolate Black Cherry), these are a great option on the run.
RX Bars are relatively new on the market and stand out since they list all their ingredients in large font on the front of the packaging, instead of the back.
Currently with 8 flavors on their product line, these contain 5-6 natural ingredients such as egg whites, dates, almonds, sea salt, etc.
Each bar contains roughly 200 calories, 13 grams of protein and 15 net carbs.
Think Thin bars are a great choice as they pack a sugar-free bar with 20 grams of protein.
Although higher in carbohydrates, these are considered low glycemic, minimizing the impact on your blood sugar as well as gluten-free.
Protein bars are a massive market and it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of options.
A recent study showed that some of the protein bars marketed as healthy actually contained as much, if not more sugar than leading candy bars.
By using the tips above, make sure you find a bar that is healthy, nutritious and keeps you satisfied for the rest of your day.
• Quest Bars: http://www.questnutrition.com/
• NuGo: https://store.nugonutrition.com/category/smrt.html
• RX: https://www.rxbar.com/
• Think Thin: http://shop.thinkproducts.com/thinkThin-High-Protein-Bars/c/ThinkProducts@ThinkThin
These look yummy and easy to find here: