Protein Bars: The Pros and Cons Revealed

I get asked this a lot…

And the question usually revolves around what I think of protein bars and if they’re an acceptable food replacement for a snack or meal.

The only problem with this question is that it assumes all bars are created equal.

That’s the real issue…

Are we talking about bars made from raw organic ingredients or are we speaking of the bars with a shelf life of 2 years that are loaded sugar, artificial sweeteners and cheap protein fillers?

Having said that, I want to break it down a little further by listing my top pros and cons for protein bars in general.

I think this will answer a lot of your questions on the good, the bad, and the ugly on this topic…

Protein Bar Pros & Cons:

Pro: Quick convenient food choice you can take on the go

Con: Not as healthy as whole food, due to processing and freshness

Pro: Can be a good pre or post workout supplement

Con: Most of the time a protein shake is still a healthier and cleaner option

Pro: Some of the newer bars have less than 8g of sugar and are made of organic and mainly raw ingredients.

Con: 90+% of protein bars on the market are terrible for you and are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, corn syrup, and preservatives.

Pro: It is possible to find bars made with all natural whey protein, but you have too really search for them.

Con: Most protein bars contain GMO soy, casein, milk, or some other cheap protein source not fit for human consumption.

Pro: There are now all raw organic nut bars that can be a healthy snack every once in awhile.

Con: Most of these nut bars are not raw and have been heated – some also contain dried fruit making it very high in sugar.

Pro: You can store bars at home, in the car, your office, or in your bag so that you can always have a healthy option waiting for you.

Con: You must pre-plan and buy the healthier bars ahead of time since if you just go to a local convenience store you’ll most likely end up eating a high sugar variety.

Hopefully after reading over this pros and cons list you can see that protein bars can be a good relative choice. By that I mean, if you’re choosing between a muffin, cookie, or bagel, then a low sugar protein bar can be a great option.

My recommendation is not to plan on eating a protein bar every day, but always keep some on you just in case you get thrown off you schedule and need a quick convenient meal on the run that won’t derail you from achieving your body transformation and health goals.

In a future newsletter I’ll be back with some of my favorite brands for protein bars, and the one that I always keep in my bag at all times, just in case…

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Committed to your success,

Stephen Cabral, CSCS, CPT, NS
Voted “2011 Personal Trainer of the Year”
Author of Fatlossity, Lose5in7 Weight Loss System
Health Consultant for MTV, Men’s Health, Women’s Day, MAXIM, NutritionData, Dietcom, SELF
http://StephenCabral.com

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