February 20, 2013
Is your Protein Bar Lying to you?

Becoming a label sleuth (and knowing what is healthy & what is not) can be tough! In a recent post, I showed you how to read a nutrition label to find a balanced whole-grain product. 

Now let's go over how to find out if your protein bar is everything it should be!  

1. Calories:  Your protein bar is likely your snack, so make sure it's giving you a snack-size portion of calories!

 Recommendation: ~150-250 calories (appropriate for diets ranging from about 1200-1800 calories per day- adjust up or down as needed to suit your needs)

 2. Protein Content:  Your bar may say it is a "protein bar", or "high protein", but here's the numbers to check that it is!

 Recommendation: Protein grams equal to at least half the total carbohydrate grams. Ex: A bar with 20 grams carbohydrate should have a minimum of 10 grams protein

 3. Fat Content:  It is common for saturated fat (the kind you want to eat less of in a healthy meal plan) to be added to protein bars.

 Recommendation: Saturated fat is no more than half the total fat. Ex: A bar with 10 grams total fat should have no more than 5 grams saturated fat

 4. Ingredients:  Other less-than-desirable ingredients are added to protein bars. Here are the ingredients to avoid if you can:

  Recommendation: Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, palm kernel oil, high fructose corn syrup or high maltose corn syrup listed high on the ingredients list!

Use these four guidelines to help you navigate the protein/snack bar section of your grocer with confidence! Here are a few of my favorites: 20/20 LifeStyles Protein Bars, Think Thin protein bars, Pure Fit protein bars and PowerCrunch protein bars. Enjoy!

Written by Erika Brown

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