We know that in order to reap the benefits of building and maintaining lean muscles mass, getting adequate protein is key. However, many people (women particularly) admit they struggle with hitting their recommended protein goal each day. While research shows that protein consumed from whole food sources such as animal protein, legumes, nuts, and dairy is ideal, it can be difficult to rely solely on these sources throughout a busy day. That is why the use of supplemental protein (such as powders and bars) can be very helpful.
With an overwhelming amount of options on the shelves, it can be difficult to decide a good healthy option, especially when some can add up to more sugar and calories than a candy bar. It is important to look for the following Top 5 key attributes when choosing a protein bar, to ensure they are choosing ones that are both delicious and nutritious!
- Low in Added Sugar – Keep an eye out for added sugars and try to keep them at bay. Added sugars are any type of sugar or sugar-containing ingredients that are added during a food’s processing to sweeten it. Unsure if a bar is high in added sugars? If the amount is not listed on the nutrition facts label, simply take a peek at the ingredient list – look at the first few ingredients and keep in mind that they are listed in descending order.
- High in Protein – When it comes to food, protein plays a key role in keeping us full between meals, Aim for a protein bar that contains at least 1 serving of protein, or 7 grams.
- Good-for-you Ingredients – Many packaged bars can easily contain a long list of unrecognizable ingredients – many which are artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and colors. When selecting a bar, aim to choose one with the least amount of ingredients and ones that you mostly recognize.
Some of our favorite bars that we can get behind are RxBars (FYI: we sell these in our cafe), Epic Bars, and NuGo bars, all of which meet the above criteria. If you need help label reading or identifying certain ingredients on your favorite protein bars, contact one of our fitness coaches or personal trainers for help. Happy Snacking!