If you are looking to lose weight and need to supplement your diet with some quick protein to keep you going and reduce your hunger, protein bars may be the solution for you. Finding the best protein bars to help you lose weight can be a daunting task with so many options to choose from. Here are some facts on protein bars and some guidelines on what you should look for when selecting a protein bar.
Facts About Protein Bars
Protein bars are very convenient when you are on the move. Many offer a good source of quality protein and are fortified with vitamins and minerals. They are a good choice for a quick meal or snack, and they are a better option than snacking on junk food or fast food.
However, even though these bars appear to be balanced sources of protein, fat, carbohydrates and vitamins, they don't contain many of the same components in natural food such as natural fiber, phytochemicals, and bioflavonoid. They also contain high levels of saturated fats, ranging up to 50% of the fat in many bars.
An energy bar is great as a supplement to a healthy diet, but nothing can take the place of a well-balanced diet complete with lean protein, good sources of fat, fruits, and vegetables. If you are creating a meal out of an energy bar, make it healthier by adding a piece of fruit, some whole grains, or fresh vegetables.
Choosing a Weight Loss Energy Bar
Here are some tips to help you find the perfect protein bar that supports your weight loss efforts:
- Select bars that are low in carbohydrates and have less than 15g of sugar. Otherwise, it is counterproductive to your weight loss goals.
- Choose a bar with 3 to 5 grams of fiber and around 150 to 225 calories. If the bar is small and has 225 calories, it is too dense.
- Look for bars that have vitamins and minerals fortified in them if you are looking to replace a meal with a bar. It is important to maintain your intake of these necessary vitamins and minerals to make up for the nutrients lost from skipping a meal.
- Find bars low in saturated fat, and do not select bars containing any hydrogenated fats or palm oil.
- Read the labels thoroughly. Many bars contain herbal supplements, carbohydrate blockers, or other stimulants. Ensure that the bar does not have any items that you find objectionable included in its ingredient list.