Getting enough protein to satisfy the requirements of a high protein, low carbohydrate and low fat diet can sometimes be a challenge. This is typically true for breakfast and snacks where high protein foods like lean meats and fish, beans and nuts are not commonly consumed with typical western diets.
A great alternative is to keep a supply of high protein bars on hand that you can use as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals. High protein bars are also a great idea for those that are on the go or travelling constantly and may be tempted to grab a quick bite a fast food outlet. Having high protein bars on hand in your car, briefcase or purse will allow you to satisfy your hunger without eating high fat and carbohydrates that are associated with fast foods.
Energy and High Protein Bars
There are many different products that are marketed as protein bars. As with all food items claims can be made as to the benefits of consuming the product as long as they do not indicated that they will prevent or cure diseases or are a medicinal product.
This leaves a lot of possibilities for what could be sold as a protein bar. In fact many of these products are marketed for athletes and bodybuilders so, along with high protein, you may also find the words “high energy”.
High energy tends to indicate high levels of carbohydrates since they can provide and instant energy source in the middle of an intense workout or a competition. This high energy typically comes in the forms of high sugar levels and high fat levels. When choosing protein bars for weight loss it is essential to compare total carbohydrates, sugars and fats as well as the specific protein level of the item.
Some protein bars as sold as snacks or between meal bars while others are sold as meal replacements. Yet other products are more general in their marketing and can be used in both instances. Most meal replacement bars will have lower caloric levels but may actually have fairly high carbohydrate levels along with high proteic levels.
While some of the carbohydrates may be in fibre, which is important, they will also include sugars and starches. Meal replacement bars that use whole grains are a good option, but remember that sweeteners such as fructose, sucrose, lactose and other types of sugars will often be used to enhance the taste and texture of the bar.
What To Consider
If you are going to add a high protein bar as a snack or a meal replacement on your diet this can be a very good option. Just make sure you look at the calories, carbs and the protein as well as the fats and sugars. Many of the full meal replacement bars will have a variety of other elements including vitamins and minerals, while others may not.
Comparing labels will be essential to ensure you are getting the lowest carbohydrate, fat and sugar intake along with the protein level. In addition keep in mind that you do have to limit the number of these bars consumed per day and include high fibre, lean protein and healthy fruits and vegetables to ensure overall health.