When it comes to protein, snack, meal replacement bars...there are so many options out there. So how do we know what to look for!?!?
Today I'm sharing some of my go-to things to look for! It may seem like a lot at first, but do your research and find a few bars that you know are okay, and good to eat.
Then, have them on hand for quick go-to snacks to help you avoid junk food! Don't use them as every day snacks or meal replacements though. That's what real, whole foods are for! Just use these as emergency go-to's when you need them!
1) Low Sugar
Obviously I am very concerned with the Sugar content in things that I eat. And by this I mean that in the ingredient list it should have NO SUGAR. As far as the grams of sugar (that come from natural ingredients like fruit, stevia, etc.) I still try to keep that number very low as well. Too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing either.
*Sugar Alcohols in moderation are okay.
2) No Artificial Sweeteners
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners! Many times products that are labeled "Sugar Free" or "No Sugar Added" will actually have hidden sugars, or artificial sweeteners in their ingredients. One of the biggest ones to look out for is SUCRALOSE, which is Splenda! Stay away from this stuff!
*Remember, Stevia is okay in moderation. Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from a plant.
3) Less Ingredients
The shorter the ingredient list, the better. If you are looking at a product with tons of ingredients and lots of stuff that you can't understand, just put it down. There are better options out there. 7-10 ingredients is enough! And actually, less than that is even better!
4) Carb Count
Although I am most concerned with no sugar products, you want to be sure you aren't switching sugar for carbs, because carbohydrates still spike your blood sugar levels! So here's what you need to do...pay attention to NET CARBS! Use this equation to know how many harmful carbs are actually in a product, and keep it to 10 or less.
NET CARBS= Carbohydrates-(Fiber+Sugar Alcohols)
Don't underestimate the power of fiber! Fiber kills cravings, and burns fat! Look for a bar that has 5+ grams of fiber! The more the better!
Obviously you want a high protein bar, since that's what we are talking about here! Protein fills you up, keeps you full longer, and fuels your body! But make sure it is coming from the right source! I like to find bars that are made with plant based proteins, and stay away from Whey & Soy proteins as much as possible. (Although I do have a Quest Bar sometimes, and those are made with Whey)
7) Healthy Fats
Don't let the word FAT scare you! HEALTHY FATS BURN FAT! Plus, they fill you up, and stop those cravings! Look for fats like: coconut oil, nut butters, cocoa butter, almonds and cashews! Try to avoid canola oil and hydrogenated oils.
Some of my favorite bars: