Power bars, protein bars, energy bars – whatever you want to call them, were originally designed for athletes in need of a quick source of energy during or after a long distance event such as hiking 10 miles up a snow covered mountain, or cycling days upon days in the “Tour de France.” These athletes were burning off over 7,000 calories per day and needed all the food they could get! When was the last time you burned off that many calories?
Today, most bars are nothing but candy in disguise! They are low in fiber and a very concentrated source of calories…meaning, they won’t fill you up and you stay hungry. If you make them meals you’re getting a lot of highly processed ingredients and not a lot of nutrients.
Watch out for their saturated and trans fatty acid content. The melt in your melt chocolate or yogurt covered coating is made mostly of trans fatty acid containing hydrogenated oils – your worst enemy. Even 2 grams of trans fat per day can increase your risk of heart disease and weaken your immune system!
If you do have an energy bar it should have at least 3 grams of fiber and be consumed with at least 8 oz of water. Stick to the lower calorie bars less than 150 calories. Beware of the bars containing 200 calories or more! Most average around 250 to over 300 calories.
If you’re going to eat 300 calories, you’re better off eating 3 oz of turkey breast, sliced tomato and leaf lettuce, 2 pieces of light wheat bread, a small apple and a tablespoon of nuts @ 285 calories, 16 grams of lean protein, 40 grams of good carbs, 3.7 grams of unsaturated fat and a whopping 8 grams of fiber – leaving you full and satisfied! And don’t forget your H20!