Protein bars have come a long way. Originally, they were the kinds of things that tasted so bad you’d rather be fat. Today, they taste so good you wish you were trying to build muscle and get lean. With all the latest innovations in food science they’ve become something that you’d expect to find in the candy section of the supermarket. They’ve got the right texture, possess a subtle balance of sweet and savory and make you yearn for a second bite. And they achieve all this while being healthy and supporting your goals. If you’re still sitting on the fence or had bad experiences with them years ago, here’s what you need to know about this welcome food source.
They’re a nutritional powerhouse.
With a greater awareness of the pitfalls of sugar, manufacturers have taken to flavoring them with dried fruits that can offer a serious health kick. This can also add to their micronutrient profile, and many are also fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. It’s not just the advertised protein that they offer, as many have plenty of healthy fats and fiber while being mindful of the carb content.
The ultimate snack.
Healthy eating plans derail for many reasons. You might get sick of the flavors. You might succumb to a cheat meal (or two). You might be faced with a situation where you’re away from your kitchen, didn’t pack food and have a hunger pang eating away at your intestinal lining. Rather than trying to block out the hunger, you probably give in and justify that vending-machine snack accordingly. But nothing good ever came from eating from a vending machine or gas stop shop. That’s where an emergency protein bar earns its keep. You can treat it with a lot of disrespect. Leave it in your glove box. Forget about it in your desk drawer. Store it in a seldom used part of your gym bag. They’re incredibly durable and often very forgiving of the environment where they’re kept. Then when that hunger kicks in, the healthy protein bar is at the ready to service your needs. It offers something you can enjoy but without sacrificing all the healthy eating you’ve done in the past. Having a protein bar on standby really is the ultimate contingency plan for when life throws you a curve ball.
A kitchen staple.
Everyone has weak points in their motivation to eat healthy. For many, one of these is late at night. You may have eaten your healthy dinner. Stuck to a solid nutrition plan all day. However, when you roll into the second episode of your favorite TV show, you get a hankering for something a little sweet. As you sit there, it becomes all you can think of and it’s where many diet intentions are laid to waste. Keeping a healthy protein bar close by is the ideal solution to this situation. You can gnaw on it, fill the gap, enjoy it and feel guilt-free.
But not all protein bars are created equal. While it’s wise to concentrate on their macronutrient profiles and pick the ultimate health bar, that may not be the one that you find tasty. Instead, it’s good to find one that almost hits the mark, in terms of your macronutrient requirements, but that you really enjoy. It should be something that improves the quality of your life. Without that crucial element, you’ll probably just return to the candy bar that takes you two steps back. Choose wisely or you’ll have even bigger decisions to make later.
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash.