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Are protein bars healthy?



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DETOX55
SparkPoints: (1,070)
Fitness Minutes: (2,397)
Posts: 100
6/17/13 4:02 A

No.

The number of calories or how much protein or carbs are contained in a product does NOT make a food healthy or not healthy.

Healthy foods are natural, filled with a wide range of micronutrients and few - if any - preservatives or additives. They can be calorie dense, but generally this comes from fats and proteins that our bodies need function effectively.

Healthy foods are generally fresh.

They are rarely manufactured in a factory.



SARRARAZ
Posts: 157
6/15/13 9:47 P

I do not eat them



SAMZA83
Posts: 209
6/15/13 8:19 P

I have found most of the protein bars on the market are so full of sugar that they probably cancel out the protein benefit.

That being said, I use 'Pure Protein' bars which have typically a total of 5-7 grams of sugar/sugar alcohols. I like them on occasion because they give me the extra protein I always need as a pescaterian and help ease a chocolate/sweet craving.



MANDIETERRIER1
Posts: 13,640
6/15/13 7:50 P

If you decide to try cottage cheese get a small container. I have found that one either loves or hates cottage cheese. It has a unique flavor.





MICHELLEXXXX
SparkPoints: (6,584)
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
Posts: 1,926
6/15/13 6:36 P



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,846
6/15/13 5:40 P

if you were eating a fried chicken biscuit you could tweak that in several ways without resorting to a protein bar.
you could do a biscuit or a bagel with hummus and veggies, even adding in a little grilled or baked chicken if you like.
there is a really great south beach recipe for egg cups [mini quiches? i forget the name]. you basically line a muffin tin with canadian bacon, then add chopped veggies, then add eggs that you have whisked up with a fork, and bake. when they are done cool them and pop them in the freezer. on the day you want to eat one, grab a cup, throw it in the toaster oven while you get ready, add the bread product of your choice to heat up, assemble and go.
you could also do grilled chicken on a biscuit with some lettuce or peppers as well.



HSCROGGINS1
SparkPoints: (1,220)
Fitness Minutes: (62)
Posts: 18
6/15/13 5:07 P

All of this is great advice. I especially thought about the comment about what I am replacing them for. I am trying to move away from my morning fried chicken biscuit and I often eat a protein bar while on my morning commute. I love all the suggestions for other sources of protein. I have never tried cottage cheese (I know right) and I like yogurt. So, I will try both of those as well. Thanks for the advice.



LADYSTARWIND
SparkPoints: (21,817)
Fitness Minutes: (18,121)
Posts: 1,232
6/15/13 12:28 P

side note to a previous poster: Popcorn a "high protein food" ?

Not in my book at 3g protein for 3 cups...!
I'll take a 1oz serving of cheese instead at 7g protein! (I know the cheese is way more fat than Popcorn, but also 0 carbs compared to 19g of carb for the popcorn....)

Your other ideas were great!! And, we all need to find our own balances throughout the day...
patti

Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 6/15/2013 (14:30)


TONKA14
Posts: 4,947
6/15/13 9:16 A

You might also find these articles helpful in your decision making as well.

Energy Bars: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=ene
rgy_bars_the_good_the_bad_the_ugly


Edible Energy Bars
A Checklist: Find the Best Bar for Your Needs
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=802


Coach Tanya



SUNSHINE6442
Posts: 1,803
6/15/13 8:41 A

I personally do not eat protein bars because of the sugars and sugar alcohols in them. If you need a "grab and go" try a cottage cheese cup as cottage cheese is low in fat and high in protein...add some walnuts...they have small containers and all you need is a plastic spoon.

Here are some other simple ways to get your protein.....

1 Ounce of Pepitas has 8 Grams of protein making them a smart snack or salad addition. Pepitas are already shelled pumpkin seeds. These are good in cottage cheese and on salad or just right out of the bag. Sunflower seeds have protein & almonds are particularly high in protein. I get mine at Super Walmart in the ethnic section.

Yogurt is also high in protein

Hard boiled eggs have protein...make some the night before to grab in the AM

Eating popcorn is good way to vary a diet because it contains many valuable nutrients & popcorn ranks as a high protein food.
Have 3 cups of air popped popcorn, no butter or margarine, no salt...sprinkle with parm which also has protein or cinnamon to flavor.
Romano cheese also is a protein source.

2 to 3 servings of lean protein each day is ideal...maybe try quinoa and kasha which are extremely high in protein. Barley has soluble and insoluble fiber and has more fiber than oatmeal and is good protein, but oatmeal is good protein too!

Other sources of protein are Other sources are chicken, turkey, beans, peas, fish, cottage cheese, Mozzarella, and peanut butter, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pistachios, lamb, lentils, lobster, crab and tuna, a pork loin chop has protein, so does beef jerky.A turkey sandwich with low fat cheese, tomato and lettuce can be an excellent lunch & Turkey bacon and egg whites can make a healthy breakfast





LDHAWKE
SparkPoints: (19,069)
Fitness Minutes: (1,818)
Posts: 771
6/15/13 8:18 A

I don't eat protein bars. They just don't satisfy my hunger.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,846
6/15/13 7:20 A

i think the thing that you need to remember is it isn't so much what is perfectly healthy and ideal, but of the choices you would make is this the best option. so if you're having a protein bar in place of a salad with a serving of lean protein, a little fat and plenty of veggies, it's not a great choice. but if it's something that you toss into your bag so that you aren't getting a big mac in the drive thru or everything in the little roller case at 7-11, then it's a good choice. so what would you be eating instead of of that bar? compare that to the bars you would buy and see how that fits in with the rest of what you eat.
then, if this is really a breakfast option, where are you with breakfast? if it's something that is hard for you to get down, then a bar moves little higher up on the good idea list. if you're essentially being too lazy to get up five minutes earlier to eat something better, then it's likely a little worse choice.
if you're looking for other breakfast ideas that are grab and go and high in protein: hardboiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, nut butter and toast, nut butter wrap with fruit [you can make these the night before. spread a wrap with the nut butter of your choice. slice fruit onto the nut butter. roll up like a burrito.], sandwiches, leftovers, smoothies [blend up some frozen fruits, add in yogurt and milk/juice/water. you can make these the night before, but they do take some time to thaw out].



CMCOLE
Posts: 2,667
6/15/13 7:05 A

definitely be aware of the ingredients (not just the nutritional label)

there are recipes to make your own, and that may be a better alternative - then you can control exactly what's in them

As long as you put them in your tracker, they can be included in your menu plan; just probably an occasional addition, rather than relying on them exclusively for a meal/snack option daily.

But that's my opinion, and others may differ



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (127,966)
Fitness Minutes: (32,621)
Posts: 21,425
6/15/13 2:01 A

The Atkins Protein Bar I looked at is
200 Calories
15g Protein
9g Fat
5g Saturated Fat
190 Sodium
20g Carbs
5g Fibre
2g Sugar
12g Sugar Alcohols.

I don't eat protein bars, but I DO have the occasional high fibre bar if I have calories to spare and my fibre is too low, OR I am out unexpectedly and need something to snack on. They are only 100 calories, give or take a couple depending on which flavour.

Kris



I guess there are a lot worse choices out there.





BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
6/15/13 12:51 A

If you're trying to eat clean, they *usually* aren't ideal. If that is not of concern to you, they aren't a bad option, depending on brand and ingredients. I tend to save them for "emergency" situations; we got lost hiking once, and after about 36 hours in the wilderness without food, a half-melted protein bar at the bottom of a backpack starts to look as good as birthday cake. But that's an extreme example. I've been known to eat them in less severe situations, like road trips or even just the rare morning where I am very pinched for time.

I'm not terribly familiar with either brand you mentioned, but I looked up "Kashi protein bar" and found 190-calorie bars with 12g of protein. That's really pretty decent, calorie-wise, for the protein content. It certainly isn't what I would consider high calorie for a small meal.



HSCROGGINS1
SparkPoints: (1,220)
Fitness Minutes: (62)
Posts: 18
6/14/13 11:06 P

I need some advice about protein bars. How do you guys feel about products made by Kashi or Atkins that say high in protein but to me have a lot of calories. I struggle with protein intake and I sometimes like to eat these bars for a grab and go breakfast. Good or bad idea?



 
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