You are as healthy as you eat and when it comes to an energy bar it is as healthy as it is made. It true energy bars are healthy but beware not all energy bars give you what they claim. So how do you know if an energy bar is the healthiest energy bar or not? Well, that what we will discuss in this blog.
As energy bars reached an epitome of success in the fitness industry, the markets got loaded with various energy bar brands, each pitching in for their product. This strong competition and heavy marketing can actual waylay a consumer into buying a product, in this case, an energy bar that is not what it claims.
The craze for energy bars in India equals anywhere in the world today, so emerged newer energy bar brands. In this blog, we will not talk about the top energy bars brands to go for or the healthiest energy bars brands but we will discuss about what makes an energy bar healthy and guideline when you go energy bar shopping.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR ENERGY BAR
The basic rule you need to know is that not all energy bars are the same. Some energy bar brands out there can give you all and others are simply sugar-filled junk we call candy bars. Reading food labels, ingredient list and nutrition information are quintessential if you want to select a quality product.
So while choosing a healthiest energy bar look for the following things –
THE TOTAL CALORIES
Calories make a lot of difference. If you want to lose weight or pick- up your pace while working -out calories matter. So depending on the role, an energy bar is going to play in your health, you choose your energy bar.
Ideally, an energy bar between 250-300 calories is perfect as a mid-meal snacking, quick on-the-run breakfast or a late lunch. If you are one of those athletes running the track or cycling or simply working out in the gym that you can easily go up to an energy bar with 350-450 calories.
THE GOOD CARBOHYDRATES
The calories your energy bar provides should come from the good carbs. You don’t want a sugar filled candy that gives you an instant surge in energy and leaves you hungry and drained for the rest of the day. Look for total carbohydrates and the type of ingredients used in the energy bar. Complex carbohydrates with the essential fiber from whole grain cereal, fruits, dried fruits, granola, oats, honey etc make any energy bar the healthiest energy bar.
The total carbohydrate content of your energy bar should easily fall between 20-30gm to make it a perfect energy bar for any day.
THE FIBER BENEFIT
You need the fiber for it helps you feel sated, curbs hunger and cravings, help reduce cholesterol and aids digestion. Fiber also helps manage blood sugar levels supplying a steady rise in blood sugar. An energy bar with good carbohydrates and fiber is also an ideal snack of people with diabetes.
Any healthiest energy bars should contain at least 3-5gm of fiber derived from natural wholesome food.
THE PROTEIN PICK
If your energy bar is not providing you with enough proteins, its time you switch. Protein is an important macronutrient – often running low in our diets and energy bars are an easy way to add up on this important nutrient.
The energy bar with good proteins is especially a boon to people involved in physical training, resistance training, running the marathon, or playing sports. In addition for people on weight loss diets, protein is something you can’t miss for it is known to curb cravings and hunger pangs, promotes satiety, thus helping you to stick to your diet.
An energy bar with proteins as a mid-meal snack, pre-workout binge or post workout refill is a solution to all your problems.
Energy bars with more than 5gm of proteins especially whey or casein makes it the healthiest energy bar. You may want to go a little cautious around the soy-based energy bars for soy has been found to increase abdominal discomfort and bloating.
THE GOOD FAT.
Yep! Not all fat is bad for we do need something called as good fat, the omega 3, the healthy MUFA. An energy bar with diverse ingredients like nuts and seeds should be your go-to option for they provide healthy good omega and heart-friendly MUFA.
KNOW WHICH ENERGY BARS ARE WORST
From all the several energy bar brands available, any energy bar containing any of the following unhealthy junk should be strictly avoided.
SUGAR CONTAIN IN ENERGY BARS
It is bad-the sugar and anything with it is bad too. With sugar your bank on these extra calories without any nutritional benefit. They are empty calories and too much of sugar increases insulin secretion and promotes fat build- up adding to the weight you are so rigorously trying to lose. Even for sportsperson and athletes, sugar is not required as it causes a surge in blood sugar for a short time. Eating clean and healthy requires giving up on the deadly sugar.
Some of the healthiest energy bar brands use fruits, dry fruits and honey to sweeten their products making it a wholesome package for you.
THE ADDED SUGAR
Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is another thing you need to discourage in your energy bar. For starters, anything that is artificial means it is not natural and chemically prepared. You don’t need any kinds of chemicals to nourish your body. Secondly, they may be low-calorie but greatly affect insulin production and cause intestinal discomfort.
So carefully read the ingredient list on your energy bar and cross out the product like Sucralose and sugar alcohol i.e. xylitol, maltitol and sorbitol.
THE BAD FAT
This includes our saturated fat and the worst of its kind, the Trans fat. Look for energy bars with healthy amounts of omega 3 and MUFA, zero Trans fat and saturated fat less than 3 grams. Look for the hydrogenated vegetable oils for that where the Trans fat is hidden.
So, next time you go energy bar shopping put this information to use and come out with the healthiest energy bar for a real, healthy you!