Generally speaking, I try to eat every three to four hours. If I don’t, I become ravenous and can end up doing something I regret when feeding time does kick in. Although I’m a big believer in eating whole foods (not processed), it isn’t always possible. As a result, I tend to resort to Nutrition Bars for easy, on the go snacking. There are TONS of different nutrition bars on the market, and it can be somewhat confusing as to which ones really are the best for you.
To help you through the nutrition bar jungle, I have done the analysis for you. The chart below compares many popular nutrition bars. See how they stack up and which pack the most powerful punch and which ones you might want to forgo:
These bars were rated for nutritional content, as well as quality of ingredients. The percentages shown refer to the percentage of calories that are dedicated to that particular nutrient. For instance, Zone Perfect is made up of 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% Fat. In summary, those bars that were high in refined sugars scored low, while those bars that were all natural and high in fiber tended to score higher. Additionally, if a nutrition bar was high in saturated fat (the kind of fat that is bad for you), it scored on the low side as well. Personally, my favorites are the Kashi Brand bars and Odwalla because I know that the ingredients are all natural. And for a really great source of fiber, the South Beach Fiber Fit bar ranks best. My least favorites are the Special K cereal bars and Pria.
When you choose a snack, it is important to find one that is going to fill you up and make you feel satiated. Those nutrition bars that contain a good amount of protein (15% – 30% of calories) and fat (20% – 30% of calories) will keep you feeling fuller longer. This is important to warding off hunger later in the day.
One other thing to remember is that even though these brands’ nutritional values are similar across all flavors of their bars, they do vary slightly. So make sure to check the nutrition label to get a full understanding of the bar’s nutritional makeup.
What Nutrition Bar have you tried that you like? Do you like any of the ones discussed?
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