Protein bars have been promoted highly in magazines for their great taste and excellent sources of protein, but in reality do they give you the benefits that you truly need?
Most protein bars typically have 20-30 grams of protein and are usually either low or moderately high in carbs ranging anywhere from 20 to 40 grams of carbs per bar. Most protein bars have glycerin in them which is most commonly known as sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are not really carbs. If you notice, many protein bar labels always show a net carb count. Net carbs are those that prompt the body to release insulin.
Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Carbs That Do Not Cause Insulin Release.
Carbs that have no impact on insulin release are dietary fibers and the sugar alcohols (like glycerin).
Depending on your schedule, only use these bars when you do not have access to make a quick protein shake – even the best bars have too many calories in the form of sugar alcohols. (These are extra calories that protein shakes do not have).
So if you are too busy or do not have access to other food sources or protein shakes, a protein bar is a great way to go. If you do shop for a protein bar, here are some nutrition facts to look for:
• Protein: 20-30 grams
• Carbs: 30-40 grams
• Sugars: Under 10 grams
• Fats: Under 10 grams.
• Saturated Fats: No more than 4-6 grams of saturated fat as most protein bars tend to about this amount.
• Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Fats are okay as they yield health benefits.