I find that they come in really handy as an "emergency" food supply. If I'm out running errands and don't eat, a bar is much better than stopping for most the the fast food available out there - and they don't involve as much temptation.
Protein bars are not horrendous, however, they often have high calories and even more sugar in them. I used to eat the clif bars but too many calories for what they offer with. I liked them, however, because of the idea with all of the vitamins and minerals that they supposedly offer, however, again, they are manufactured protein sources not natural. So I have gotten away from eating them in favor for healthy meats. Meats have less calories for just as much if not more protein as those bars offer.
Fitness Minutes: (19,276)
1,709 4/11/13 9:42 A
Thank you for such clear advice. I was wondering because some times I have to get fasting bloodsugars at the doctor's office and can't eat until I'm at work.
If you can fit them into your calorie range, you should be fine... but I personally find that the protein in protein bars is not as satisfying as protein from natural food sources. They're also basically like glorified candy bars. Check to make sure you have a protein bar that isn't loaded with sugar.
Fitness Minutes: (92,168)
6,555 2/24/13 10:45 A
Fitness Minutes: (35,078)
5,088 2/24/13 9:34 A
Nothing will make you gain weight as long as you stay within your calorie range. That said, I think protein bars are only good in a pinch. I used to eat one almost everyday because I'm a vegetarian, but they're so processed and can contain a fair amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners that I stopped eating them. Even though they can be fine in a pinch, I really think protein bars and protein powders are unnecessary. I aim for 15-20 grams of protein per meal, and now I don't have a problem consuming at least 75 grams per day without protein bars or protein powders. My protein sources: eggs, egg whites, cheese, whole wheat bread, pasta, quinoa, oats, legumes, nuts, nut butters.
Try to have a balanced snack in the afternoon - something that contains healthy fats, protein, and carbs. An apple with peanut butter, greek yogurt with almonds (or stir peanut butter and cocoa powder into plain greek yogurt - yum), something like that.
I sometimes use protein bars or drinks-- I don't see anything wrong with it. Like other posters have said, there's really nothing "wrong" with any type of food. I try not to rely on them too much though, because they have a lot of ingredients in them; some of those, I can't even pronounce. So while they help me meet my protein requirements, they don't help me with my efforts to get away from a lot of processed food. To keep the carbs down, they sometimes replace sugar with sugar alcohols, and those can bloat me up.
I usually get hungry in the afternoon too, no matter what I ate for lunch. I saw a post Dietician Becky made, about splitting up your protein during the day into 10g for breakfast, 20g each at lunch and dinner, and 10g for snack. For a total of 60g. So that's what I've been aiming at. I like a snack of peanut butter on crackers with half an apple. If it was a pretty small apple, I'd eat the whole thing. If I was already a bit high on carbs for the day, I'd skip the crackers and just put the p.b. on the apple. That way I get protein, carbs and fat all at one go. If I was super starving at snack time, I might have hummus with a ton of low-starch vegetables instead of the p.b./apple thing.
I think when we're really hungry, we need to go ahead and eat something. Since I know I usually need a snack, I always schedule one into my day (I do my Nutrition Tracker in the morning) and set aside the calories for it.
Fitness Minutes: (51,024)
3,234 2/24/13 8:52 A
I find both protein bars and meal replacement shakes to be helpful in "on the go" situations.
Practice moderation with those as with everything else.
I am often on the good and work a lot. I often have a hard time fitting in enough time to eat and esp meet my protein for the day. I find protein and granola bars to be very handy and usually eat one once a day. Couldn't live without 'em. Its all about balance and moderation
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,666 2/23/13 8:25 P
There's no such thing as a "fattening" food... even McDonald's won't make you fat if you keep it in your calorie range. :) What matters isn't necessarily the individual foods you eat, but the calories you have at the end of the day. Quality DOES matter (to get the most bang from your calorie buck, you need to have a balanced diet with plenty of whole foods) but one or two less-than-perfect items won't sabotage you.
Protein bars are neither good nor bad; they can be a bit overprocessed, so you don't want to eat a lot of them, but realistically, they're fine.
Protein bars won't make you fat - too many calories will.
I like to keep protein bars in my desk for days when I am hungry and short on protein. I don't see anything wrong with having them in moderation, like everything else.
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
349 2/23/13 7:17 P
Are protein bars a good thing to be eating or will they make one gain weight? I am asking because I was sometimes having a hard time fitting in enough protein so I started using protein bars as a snack. They are 190 calories, 4.5 fat grams, and 20 grams of protein. I'm certainly not trying to be a body builder or anything but I would like to tone up my muscles.
Do you think eating something like this is beneficial or are their any concerns about too much protein at once. I've never ever considered protein intake before beginning sparkpeople so I am unfamiliar with any risks or side effects of too much or too little protein.
I'd like to add one more question here - how often is a good schedule to eat? I do realize this varies with individuals but I am also trying to figure out the best time to incorporate snacks because I am always so ravenous at about 3:00, and getting that dizzy/lightheaded feeling - is this a sign that I need more carbs or more protein. I'm now wondering if I'm eating the wrong things at the wrong times because I keep feeling this same way at around 3 - 4, no matter what I've eaten for lunch or when I ate it.....so weird.
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