The protein bar market has exploded in recent years, with new brands and flavors seemingly popping up daily. However, knowing which options are the best for your health and help you reach your goals can make it challenging.
Thankfully, there is more awareness today than ever about what we’re eating and where our food is coming from. This has led to an increase in demand for protein bars that are high-quality and free from artificial ingredients and additives.
Here’s a breakdown of some of Dr. Jen’s high-quality protein bars that meet all of these criteria, so you know what to look for next time you’re shopping!
1. Vitamin and Mineral Rich
If you buy a protein bar, you are likely trying to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help improve physical health, metabolism, and energy levels, making them an excellent choice for the health and fitness-minded.
Essential vitamins and minerals to look for in a protein bar are Vitamin E, iron, calcium, and B.
Vitamin E is essential for cellular health, while iron is vital for oxygen transport, making it extremely important for endurance athletes. Calcium is crucial for bone strength, while B vitamins are essential for mood and stress levels.
Hormones are used in the meat industry to promote faster animal growth, which can increase cancer risk in humans who consume them.
When purchasing a protein bar, look for one that is hormone-free to be sure that it does not contain any growth hormones. This designation is essential for both health and ethical reasons. Hormone-free bars are lower in calories than those that contain hormones, which can help you reach your weight loss goals.
3. Low in Sugar and Carbs
Protein bars are often considered a healthy snack since they are packed with protein, but many also contain large amounts of sugar.
You should avoid protein bars high in sugar and carbs as they can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and leave you feeling lethargic and hungry an hour later when your blood sugar plummets.
A good rule of thumb is to look for bars that contain less than 10 grams of sugar per bar and use mostly low glycemic index (GI) ingredients for the carbs. Low GI carbs are broken down more slowly in the body, keeping your blood sugar levels steady and helping you avoid the dreaded crash.
4. High in Fiber
Protein bars high in fiber make an excellent snack for those trying to lose weight, as they can help you feel fuller for longer and boost metabolism.
Fiber is essential for digestive health, but the average American only consumes about half the recommended daily amount. Protein bars high in fiber can help you reach your daily fiber goal and boost metabolism.
5. Real Fruit and Nuts
Many protein bars contain artificial flavors and sweeteners. Instead, look for bars that have real dried fruit and nuts.
Nuts and dried fruit are excellent sources of healthy natural fats, which are essential for good health and weight management. They are also high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and prevent overeating. These ingredients can also add a nutritional boost you won’t get from bars containing artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Protein bars are a convenient and easy way to boost your protein intake. However, knowing what to look for in Dr. Jen’s high-quality protein bar can help you to make better choices for your health and fitness goals.
Try to find bars that are high in protein, low in sugar and carbs, high in fiber, and use real fruit and nuts. These bars will provide you with sustained energy throughout the day, help you achieve healthier cholesterol levels, and keep you feeling fuller longer.