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Are protein bars even good for you?

Unfortunately if the package says protein bar or has healthy looking packaging, we tend to expect that it is good for us. That is not always the case. Some protein bars are just as bad or worse than a chocolate candy bar. The packaging may say that it's packed with fruit to give you the vitamins you need, but what it doesn't say is that it's also packed with more sugar than a bowl of ice cream. Some have 30+ grams of sugar in them. According to the American Heart Association you should not have more than 40 grams of sugar a day. One bar can blow that away not to mention whatever else you have eaten that day that has sugar in it. The good news is that there are some out there that are ok to eat. They are convienent and great to keep in your purse, desk or gym bag. Keep in mind that they are not all snacks. Some are meal replacements. If the calorie count is 300-400 and has 15+ fat grams, then that would be more of a meal replacement. Bars that have closer to 200 calories and lower in fat can be counted as a snack. Eating too many protein bars will actually cause you to gain weight especially if you are eating meal replacement bars as snacks. A good rule of thumb to watch the sugar is to make sure it's about 20% of the carbs. For example, if the bar has 30 carbs the sugar should not be more than 6 grams. If the sugar is as much or more than the carbs PUT IT BACK! Another tip to look for in healthy bars is the ingredients. If it has a paragraph of ingredients that you can't even pronounce, PUT IT BACK. Look for proteins that feed the muscle which are branched amino acids, isoleucine, leucine and valine. These are also apart of our 9 essential amino acids which means our bodies don't produce these and we have to get them from our food. Also keep an eye on the sodium in a protein bar. Some bars have up to 400 grams of sodium. I know, lots to think about for a little bar! One day at a time. Knowledge is power. A few bars I keep around are Quest bars, Pure Bars and a select few of Kind bars. These have a good balance and are low in sugar. It's always best to get good veggies and fruits in your diet along with healthy fat and protein but sometimes life is busy and we get hungry. A healthy protein bar will work during those moments.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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