Now, more than ever, it’s important for people to maintain a good diet and exercise regime. Things like protein shakes, gym memberships and funky leggings may have only been for fitness fanatics in the past, but in 2020, they’re staple elements of a happy, modern lifestyle.
One particular element of healthy living that it’s important to pay attention to is food. Diet and nutrition make up a huge part of staying in shape, which is why so many people nowadays are paying more attention to what they eat. There are newer lifestyle choices that are becoming more popular too, like vegetarianism or veganism
Something that’s become particularly popular in recent years is protein enriched foods. More specifically, treats like protein bars have become popular purchases for gym nerds and fitness fans all around the world. Whether you’re out at the gym, watching an online fitness tutorial or following a yoga class, you’re bound to see your peers enjoying these healthy snacks.
But how healthy are protein bars?
That’s what we’ll be taking a look at today. In this blog post, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about protein bars, and looking at why you should always read the label before making them your post-workout snack.
What are protein bars?
To start off with, what exactly are protein bars? This may sound like an incredibly obvious question, but people often miscategorize items like cereal bars or bakes as protein bars. If you’re going to include them in your workout snacks, it’s important that you’re buying the right snacks or following the right recipes.
Putting it plainly, protein bars are nutritious snacks that have a higher proportion of protein to carbohydrates and fats, as noted here. They can be found in many stores and shops, and can also be made easily at home. They’re often confused with items like meal replacement bars or energy bars, as these categories can often blend into each other.
Why do people eat protein bars?
There are a number of different reasons why people might choose to eat protein bars, and it will depend on their own personal goals. People might eat protein bars because;
- They’re looking for pre-workout energy
- They’re looking for a post-workout snack
- They want to replace a meal
- They’re looking to bulk up
- They’re trying to increase their protein intake
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Everyone’s personal health and wellbeing goals will be different, and their reasoning for eating protein enriched foods will differ too. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain weight, protein bars can be a handy tool.
Why is it important to always read the label with protein bars?
Protein bars are marketed as health foods. They’re often found in health and medicinal shops, or in the same categories as protein powders, shakes and vitamins. Many are even promoted by health and fitness influencers on social media platforms like Instagram.
However, they’re not always as healthy as you might think. Protein bars often include high amounts of sugar, fat and carbohydrates. This can be frustrating as a consumer, especially if you’re looking for something that’s nutritious and filling to have before you head to the gym or after a marathon.
Something else that’s important to bear in mind with protein bars in stores is that ingredient lists on the packaging can often be sparse. Many popular products will simply list their base products, without going into detail about additives or flavorings. If you’re unsure about the ingredients in a protein bar, why not get in touch with the manufacturer to find out more?
Generally speaking, protein bars can be very handy, healthy snacks. However, a product is not immediately healthy due to being labelled healthy- protein bars, shakes and snacks can all be packed full of unneeded sugars and fats. If you’re following a strict diet or lifestyle regime, it’s vital to always read the label before you purchase any of them.
If you’re really worried about the ingredients in protein bars, why not make your own at home? There are plenty of delicious recipes available, and they don’t require too much time. For some inspiration, take a look at this wonderful vegan protein bar recipe here on Well Plated. Making your own at home means you’ll always know exactly what it is that you’re eating.
To sum up
As you can see, it’s vital to always read the label when it comes to buying healthy snacks like protein bars. There are a number of benefits to eating them, of course, but there are certain things to be aware of when eating them- like high sugar or carbohydrates. It can be hard to discern whether a bar is healthy, as they are often marketed as being health foods specifically.
With research and reading, you’ll be able to decide on whether a bar is healthy enough for you or not. As with any food or snack, it’s absolutely fine to have them in moderation even if they are sugary or fatty. Simply read the label, and use your best judgment.
Something else that can be tricky is picking out the best protein bar on the market. What if you need a vegan bar, for example? Can you get protein bars that are also meal replacement bars? There are so many to choose from that it can be a little dizzying, especially if you have not shopped for them before. Take a look at this guide from GiftWits for some inspiration titled: “Best Low-Carb Protein Bars in 2020.”
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