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What to Look For in a Protein Bar

Every week it seems like the grocery store is adding more aisles in the health food area and adding more protein and nutrition bars along with it.

Ones that are listed as ENERGY bars, some as protein bars, some as meal replacement bars and, of cours, the protein bars. They come in a multitude of color and designs, with fancy claims like SUGAR FREE, HIGH IN FIBER, 20g of PURE PROTEIN.

The marketing is PRISTINE for these things, but, if you're looking for something that gives you more nutritional support, we have to start looking at whats inside rather than the creative color choices. Let's dive in to some of the questions we get about the bars on the market.

What exactly should I be looking for? This is going to depend on your goals and what you need the bar to do. If you're looking for energy out of a bar, you're wanting to find a bar that has more complex carbs and made with whole grains which will provide more sustainable energy. If you're looking for a bar to help get and keep you full, we should be looking for ones with a strong protein source like whey protein, soy protein or pea protein. Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of this bar?

If I want a protein bar, how much protein should I be looking for? If having a bar that will fill you up, provide protein and keep you full, then we should be looking for bars that have at least 15-20g of protein per bar. This is about what a small meal would provide for protein as well as could serve as a large snack.

What else should I be looking at in the nutrition facts panel? As with any food, we should also be paying attention to the added sugar that may be in the bar. Trying to keep it below 10g per serving. The fat should also be reviewed. If it is a small protein bar, aiming to have less than 10g of fat, if it is a larger bar, aiming to have less than 15g of fat per serving. The calorie part is the equation of the ingredients, ideally we would want this to be around 200-250 calories per bar.

What are some of the NWE favorite bars? A favorite we have is the ONE bars as they are thin, have 20g of protein, 4g of dietary fiber and about 200 calories. Another go-to is the THINK bars, which also have about 20g of protein and taste very good.

Do you use protein bars? What do you usually look for when you buy them? Let us know!


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