The Best Bar for Healthy Eating
Written by Jen Jones, Feb. 9, 2018
Okay, we admit, the title of this blog may have been a little misleading. We are not, in fact, going to tell you which roadside watering hole or local dive has the best options for healthy eating (but stay tuned for a future blog on that topic.) Today, we’re giving you the skinny on choosing a protein bar that checks all the boxes.
You reach for a protein bar a few times a week, and why not? They’re convenient, affordable and portable. Stash them in your desk drawer, gym bag, glove compartment, sock drawer (hey, we’re not here to judge) and you have an instant source of fuel to keep you from getting hangry, get you through your workout, or crush your candy cravings.
But if you’re anything like us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of protein bars on the market. And with flavors like “mint chocolate chip” and “chocolate fudge brownie,” it’s hard to tell if what’s lurking inside is really better for you than that Snickers bar that’s been calling your name from the vending machine. So, here are a few things to consider the next time you’re on the hunt for a protein-packed snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth, give you energy for your workout, and keep you feeling full until you eat again.
Spot sneaky sugar sources
Beware the protein bar that contains the same amount of sugar as that Snickers you’re trying so hard to avoid. Don’t expect the label to come right out and tell you that it’s hiding 17 grams of sugar in there. Sweet stuff can go by many different names, and many bars have a combination of sugary substances in them. Agave, corn syrup, brown sugar, maltodextrin, molasses, dextrose (and any of the other “’ose-words”) are sugar sources. And the problem with an excess of sugar? It’s all broken down quickly, resulting in a sugar high and crash later on. Our advice? We recommend keeping it under eight grams of sugary sweetness.
If you’re scarfing down 100-calorie “diet” bars only to feel hungry later on, you need something more substantial. Your snack’s calories should correlate with your weight, gender and fitness goals. 9Round members can calculate their nutritional requirements in the online member portal. A protein bar isn’t meant to be a full meal, so watch to make sure that your bar isn’t a brick when it comes to calories.
Remember, after a workout, you’ll need even more to replenish your energy and prevent soreness. If you’re on-the-go and need to refuel, a combination of a bar and protein shake, or other high-protein snack, may be your best bet.
A few facts about fat
A low-fat diet is not automatically a healthy diet. In fact, some dietary fat is essential for your body. Omega three and omega six polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are especially important and healthy. However, high amounts of saturated fats contain a lot of unwanted calories which is the last thing you want in a healthy protein bar. Look for bars that contain healthy fats, but are low in saturated fat. We suggest less than three grams per bar.
While even saturated fat is okay in small amounts, trans fats are not. Trans fats are processed fats that are very unhealthy and should be avoided whenever possible. Check that your bar is trans-fat-free to avoid inadvertently consuming this very unhealthy fat. (Learn more about different fats in the 9Round Nutrition Guide)
9Round supports members in a variety of ways on their fitness journey. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is the nutritional support and access to quality nutritional supplements that members receive. 9Round’s very own protein bar checks all of the boxes, providing a delicious snack packed with protein, low in calories and sugar, and only contains the good fats that you need as part of a healthy diet. Rounding out the lineup of nutritional supplements from 9Round is a women’s support daily supplement, pre-workout powdered drink, energy supplement, and protein powder in chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Learn more about how 9Round can help you reach your fitness goals by stopping by your nearest location. BONUS: your first workout is always free!