Ins & Outs of Protein Bars
A nutrition therapist’s point of view about protein bars.
This photo shows a number of protein bars that my clients have enjoyed both for flavor and nutrition. The similarities of these bars include: they all have about 200 calories. Although I don’t usually focus on calories, it is important to have adequate sustainability for a snack, i.e. to keep your blood sugar stable until your next meal.
The 100 calorie packs that are well marketed, just don’t have the staying power. That is why many people end up eating the whole box instead of one packet. They also have ~ 15-20 grams protein per bar. Protein is the component that facilitates stable blood glucose, particularly when paired with another food group, like a piece of fruit or some nuts. They are also all fairly low in sugar, most less than 10 grams, many less than 5 grams.
Protein bars are usually nonperishable (except in the hot Florida summers, meltage!). Keeping snacks in your purse or backpack, car, office, locker can be a game changer. If you have food available that you have chosen, you can reach for that food instead of getting ravenous and being more impulsive in your food choices, like from a vending machine or gas station.
Ultimately you want to arrive at meals physically hungry (but not too hungry), and stop when you are physically full (but not too full). Protein bars can be the interim snack to facilitate that balance. It is almost impossible to be mindful at a meal if you are ravenous or if it has been more than 4-5 hours since your last meal.
Bottom line, protein bars are a good snack to maintain hunger balance at meals. If you don't know which bars to choose, use the picture above as a guide.
For more on protein bars, snacks, and other food concerns, feel free to call me for a free consultation!
My number is 305-586-6053
Thank you and happy snacking!