Protein bars are marketed as a healthy food, one of those rare snacks that are great for you. Although this is generally true, there are however some exceptions. Some brands just add or distort the labeling of the contents of the protein bars that they will however cause more harm than good. Some are not even protein bars at all, but are marketed as such. Many are just candies in reality.
The following are three protein bars that you should avoid at all costs.
Balance bar lemon meringue crunch
Look more closely at this food and you may conclude that it was created by scientists in a lab. It does not contain one single whole food in its ingredients list, but instead, it contains compounds and substances that are made or extracted from other foods or produced artificially.
The sugar content of this bar is through the roof. It contains at least four different types of sugar. Yes, you read that right. Four types of sugar, namely, invert sugar, fructose, sugar, and glucose.
Carrageenan, a substance made from seaweed used to thicken foods is also contained in this bar, and it has been shown to cause gut inflammation in both humans and animals. Despite this, it is considered safe to eat by some health organizations, although those suffering from gastrointestinal complications will do well to avoid it.
The cancer-causing caramel color agent is also contained in this bar.
2. thinkThin creamy peanut butter protein bar
At first glance, this bar appears to be very healthy with its very high protein content of 20 grams and virtually no sugar. But taking a closer look reveals some startling facts.
There is only one gram of fiber contained in a thinkThin bar, hardly able to make you feel full for long enough to reduce how much you eat, and hardly able to prevent LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from being assimilated into the blood from the gut, leading to complications like diabetes, inflammations and some kinds of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. There are also hardly any whole foods in the ingredients list, meaning that a lot of nutrients and minerals are not present to aid in the smooth functioning of your body.
Sugar alcohol, a sweet substance also contained in this bar, has been shown to cause gastrointestinal complications like gas, abdominal pains, and diarrhea, especially when ingested in excess of 20 grams a day (Sugar alcohol is neither an alcohol nor a sugar, and it contains fewer calories than either of them).
3. Green superfood energy bars original
Do not fall for the words “superfood,” “green,” or “energy.” This bar contains 25 grams of sugar and that is not even up to half the amount of calories that should be in an energy bar.
Granted, it contains quite a good mix of ingredients such as teas, powders and roots, however, you can get most of the nutrients and benefits they contain from eating vegetables, fruits and many other whole-food plant produce. For example, its impressive four grams of fiber can be obtained by drinking just half a glass of raspberries without the added sugars and risk of weight gain.
Image courtesy of: shop.balance.com, bulubox.com, shop.naturesfare.com.