Are Protein Bars a Healthy Substitute that Will Help Me Lose Weight?

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Protein bars appear to be all the rage for fitness fanatics and in supermarkets as well as convenience stores. Available in an abundance of flavors and varieties, they contain a higher ratio of protein to carbohydrates with is attractive for weight-loss.

But just how healthy is a protein bar compared to other foods if you are managing your weight? How should they be incorporated into a balanced and nutritious diet?

Protein Bars: The Advantages

Protein bars are especially helpful if you’re on-the-go and don’t have time to prepare a meal or snack. They’re certainly a healthier option than making a drive-thru trip for a cheeseburger when hunger strikes. And on the plus side, they’re high in protein that keeps you feeling full.

In addition to added protein, these bars are generally lower in sodium and rich with minerals and vitamins. Many of them are also available as meal replacements which cut down on calories and time commitments. If you’re constantly racing the clock, they can be very helpful!

Consider the Con’s

Although protein bars offer valuable nutrients that help with weight management, they hardly take the place of whole foods like fruits and vegetables. On any given day, an apple paired with a low-fat cheese stick or spoonful of nut butter will serve you better than a packaged protein bar.

Another con that concerns most people is taste. Not all protein bars are created equal and some taste worse than other. Usually, tasty brands and flavors have the caveat of being loaded with extra sugar which goes against your goal of weight-loss.

Final Thoughts on Protein Bars:

None of this goes to say that protein bars are either good or bad. You can successfully incorporate them into your weight management plan with a few considerations such as the ones listed above.

Before grabbing a protein bar off the shelf, however, be sure to look at the nutrition label and take into account the calories, protein, sugar, caffeine and carb content. Also be wary of protein bars that contain a significant amount of saturated fats and hydrogenated oils.

Finally, remember that protein bars themselves won’t cause you to lose weight. Successful weight-loss is a balance of diet, exercise and other lifestyle modifications as well as general health management including working with health professionals. They aren’t miracle foods!

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