If you are wondering whether protein bars should be a part of your weight loss diet, then you are not alone, as so many people are in the same boat as you.
True to its name, most protein bars contain a good amount of protein, but they also have additives, and artificial sweeteners which swell the calorie count.
The question that stands here is, do protein bars make you fat?
It is one of the most common questions and the answer is not definite. It depends on the calorie content of the bar, as protein bars are not innately fat-inducing. This depends on how you take it with other foods, how much you eat and exercise, etc.
Protein Bars & Fat
The protein bars are made of a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients. Consuming them in moderation is a great option for snacking as it provides you with much-needed energy and essential nutrition. However, as said, overdoing anything leads to problems, and so does the consumption of protein bars leads to weight gain.
It is essential to always keep in mind the amount of calories your protein bar holds when choosing one. Just like all foods, they should be consumed in moderation. If your protein bar has more than 300 calories, it for sure is way too much for just one sitting. There should be a balance.
Keep in mind that if you don’t exercise regularly and keep eating a large amount of food, it is going to lead you to gain weight. Thus, you should always pair your protein bars with other healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and other lean proteins. Ensuring that you do not overeat and consume it with healthy foods will keep your weight intact.
It’s essential to be mindful of a few potential drawbacks. Here are some factors to keep an eye on:
- High sugar content: Though the sugar content on these bars is marked very low, they may contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners. Make a habit of checking the label to ensure that you are not consuming other sweeteners that are not listed among the ingredients.
- Excessive additive: Your protein bar should be made of natural ingredients, and should be free of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives.
- Trans Fats: If your diet has trans fat in it, there’s a high chance that you may develop long-term health issues. When you look for a protein bar, be sure that you check the label once and ensure that it does not have hydrogenated oils or any other sources of trans fats.
- Protein Quality: Some brands use low-quality protein sources like soy protein isolate or whey protein concentrate. Always go for high-quality protein sources such as grass fed whey, pea protein, almond protein, etc.
- Saturated Fat: Bars that contain excessive saturated fat, can risk you for heart disease and or stroke. Carefully look that your bar should not contain more than 3 grams of saturated fat per serving.
- Sodium Levels: Make sure that the bar is not loaded with sodium as excess sodium leads to high blood pressure and other health issues.
- Fiber Content: One of the most important components of overall health, there should be at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Caloric Content: Protein bars that are high in calories may contribute to weight gain if not exercised well and consumed in excess. Label checking becomes of key importance wherein the bar should not serve more than 250 calories per serving.
Though the intention behind these bars is to provide you with the essential nutrients, it is still wise and advised to be aware of the potential issues that it can cause.
How To Choose A Protein Bar That Will Not Make You Fat?
Selecting the right protein bar is vital in achieving your health goals without stressing about gaining weight. Have you read our article What are the benefits of protein bars? If not, then give it a quick read to know more about these amazing little snack bars. Read the guide further to know what to keep in mind while choosing a good protein bar:
- Calories per serving: Look how many calories are there in the protein bar. Best is to choose a bar that is about 200-250 calories. This would make you feel full without using up too many calories.
- Protein Content: It is not at all possible that you get the same amount of protein in all the protein bars. Look for the ones that have protein sources like milk, whey, eggs, or plant-based options. Every individual has a different need, pick the one that matches your need.
- Fats: Check what kind of fats the bar has. This is extra important if you’re on a keto diet, which likes healthy fats and fewer carbs.
- Fiber: If you want to feel full, choose bars with at least 3-5 grams of fiber. It helps control your hunger and supports weight loss.
- Sugar: Find bars sweetened with natural stuff like stevia, monk fruit, or allulose. Stay away from bars with fake sweeteners or sugar alcohols like sorbitol and maltitol, which can make you feel bloated. Also, keep added sugar under 5 grams.
- Preservatives: Avoid protein bars with fake flavors and colors. They might taste good but aren’t the healthiest. Go for bars with simple, clean ingredients that you know are good for you.
By considering these factors, you can confidently select a protein bar that aligns with your nutritional goals and won’t contribute to weight gain. There is no replacement to a healthy and complete diet, but these protein bars can often be a good on the go snack . It is your health after all, and shouldn’t be risked at any cost. Consulting a healthcare professional or a nutritionist is advised before incorporating them into your diet. Stay Healthy!