Getting enough protein to meet the demands of a high-protein, low-carb, and low-fat diet can sometimes be a challenge. This typically applies to breakfasts and snacks, where protein-rich foods such as lean meats and fish, beans and nuts are not consumed as part of the typical Western diet.
A good alternative is to keep a supply of high protein bars on hand to use as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals. High protein bars are also a great idea for those on the go or those who travel constantly and might be tempted to grab a quick bite at a fast food restaurant. Having high-protein bars on hand in your car, briefcase, or purse allows you to satisfy your hunger pangs without ingesting the high-fat, high-carb foods associated with fast food.
High energy and protein bars
There are many different products marketed as protein bars. As with all foods, claims can be made about the benefits of consuming the product as long as they do not indicate that it prevents or cures disease or is a medicinal product.
This leaves many possibilities for what could be sold as a protein bar. In fact, many of these products are marketed to athletes and bodybuilders, so you may find the words “high energy” alongside high protein.
High energy indicates high carbohydrate levels as they can provide an instant source of energy in the middle of an intense workout or competition. This high energy typically comes in the form of high sugar and high fat. When choosing protein bars for weight loss, it’s important to compare the total carbohydrates, sugars and fats, and the specific protein content of the item.
Some protein bars are sold as snacks or between meals, while others are sold as meal replacements. Still other products are more general in their marketing and can be used in both cases. Most meal replacement bars are lower in calories but can actually be quite high in carbohydrates along with high in protein.
While some of the carbohydrates in fiber may be present, which is important, they also contain sugars and starches. Whole grain meal replacement bars are a good option, but remember that sweeteners like fructose, sucrose, lactose, and other sugars are often used to enhance the taste and texture of the bar.
What to consider
Adding a high protein bar to your diet as a snack or meal replacement can be a very good option. Just look at the calories, carbs, and protein, and the fats and sugars. Many of the complete meal replacement bars contain a variety of other elements, including vitamins and minerals, while others may not.
Comparing labels is essential to ensure you are getting the lowest carbohydrate, fat and sugar intake, in addition to the protein content. Also, remember that you must limit the number of these bars per day and consume high fiber, lean protein, and healthy fruits and vegetables for overall health.
Thanks to Sebastien Baccon