What makes a healthy protein bar
The short answer to the question of are protein bars good for you is that it highly depends on the brand and content of the bars. Many protein bars will say on the front that they contain something like 20 grams of protein and only a few grams of sugar. It is essentially true but in reality it does not say much about the healthiness of a protein bar since it depends on the actual size of the bar, fat content and more.
Healthy fats in protein bars?
Fat in and of itself is not unhealthy but it depends on both the source of fat and the amount. An example of this is that fat from meat like cow contains a lot of saturated fat which if consumed in high doses will result in cardiovascular disease. If you don’t know this just means cluttering of the arteries which results in blood clogs and consequently puts you in a serious heart health risk.
On the other hand unsaturated fats like olive oil, other plants and fish oils have a health benefit. Fish oils contain omega-3 which has a variety of psychical benefits including improving risk factors for heart disease, and much more. So the kind of fat has a great impact on the general healthiness of a bar.
How much fat is too much in a protein bar?
Many protein bars will be very high in fat because they know that customers prefer eating protein bars that actually taste good.
Everybody know that sugar is bad for the body and weight loss and thus the protein bars will often strive to have a very low amount of sugar and because of this add fats to make it taste better.
About 20-35% of your daily calories should come from fat, which roughly translates into about 65 grams for men and 50 grams for women. This means that if a protein bar contains about 10 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein the ratio is way off.
A healthy fat ratio / protein for a protein bar is generally max 6 grams of fat to 20 grams of protein, while the sugar should always stay as low as possible. Always aim for 1-3 gram of sugar in a protein bar.
What are some good protein bars?
This is the index of BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp protein bar, and as we can see this protein bar contains only 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein. This is an example of a very healthy protein bar ratio.
Another great example of a healthy protein bar is the
Medi-Weightloss Cinnamon Pecan Perfection Protein Bars with only 100 calories per bar and 10 grams of protein in total. The total fat is 3 grams and sugar is too is 3 grams. Thus this bar contains the same amount of fat as the other, but a little more sugar. Do not let the small amount of calories fool you, the first protein bar is still the healthiest choice in terms of protein, fat and sugar ratio.
Nevertheless this is still a great protein bar and at only a 100 calories per bar and a good ratio it makes a good choice for a healthy balanced diet.