How to pick the perfect protein bar

When 3pm hits, make sure you're reaching for the right snack! Dr. Joey Shulman shares her advice for choosing the right protein bars.

I am a very big advocate of having a snack at 3-4pm. At this time of day, blood sugar tends to naturally dip and the wheels can fall of the nutritional wagon quite easily, resulting in poor food choices or a mini food binge.

In addition to nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and yogurts – bars are an ideal grab and go snack option that can be popped into a purse or briefcase and can be consumed pre or post work out.

Next time you visit the bar aisle, consider the tips below to help make the healthiest choice;

  • To fill up and feel satisfied, opt for bars that contain a good source of protein (10 grams or more). Ideal protein sources can include non GMO soy, brown rice or pea protein.
  • Opt for bars that are free of artificial sweeteners such as sugar alcohols or aspartame. Natural options for sweeteners include a low glycemic index coconut sugar, sweet spices, such as vanilla or cinnamon, and inulin (a soluble fiber which is naturally sweet).
  • Fill up on fiber! Check your nutrition facts panel and invest in bars that offer a good to high source of fiber per serving (a high source of fiber = 4 grams or more).
  • Become a label reader and avoid bars that are high in sugar (i.e. keep in mind 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon!). Bars that are higher in sugars can cause weight gain, fatigue, belly fat storage and cravings. A good rule of thumb is to never go double digit with your sugars (i.e. 10 grams or less).
  • Watch the calories! Keep in mind – a bar is supposed to be the perfect snack, not a full meal. To stick within a healthy snack range, it is best to stay within a 150-250 calorie range.

Want to make your own protein bars? Try Dr. Joey’s recipe for oatmeal protein energy balls. 

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