I am so happy that you seemed to have liked my first #healthyalternatives blog post (click here if you’ve missed it) and some of you also shared some great #healthyalternatives which I loved reading.
We all know that moment when we are on the go running errands and all in a sudden we start getting hungry. That’s when I typically would not make the best choices (to say the least lol). Even though I typically like to eat whole foods to get the nutrients I need, sometimes it is just not doable. So it is about making the best choices with what you have at hand.
This is exactly why I like to keep a couple of protein bars in my purse. They are easy to transport as well as a good way to rise my protein intake for the day. Especially if you work out, you want to make sure that you get all your macronutrients (= proteins, carbohydrates and your healthy fats). Protein bars are also great in satisfying cravings.
In the process of losing 60lbs and keeping the weight/fat off, I shifted my attention more towards the quality of foods that I put inside of my body. I do look at numbers (e.g. calories and macros) but I do not obsess over them. More importantly, I look at the ingredients and make sure they are simple, clean and unprocessed (if possible). If I want my body to perform its best I want to make sure it gets the best nutrients. Our bodies are our temples, ladies!
A lot of the protein bars may sound good at first but if you take a closer look at their ingredient list you may realize that they are full with artificial and chemical stuff. Most are not much better than candy bars.
What to look for when you choose a protein bar:
- Do not only look at the nutrition table but also check the ingredients list. The shorter the list the better and if you don’t recognize certain ingredients than there is a pretty good chance that your body won’t either.
- If you want to lose fat make sure to check the calories, carbohydrates and fat content.
- It all depends on your individual fitness goal but if you want to reduce fat in your body you probably want to stay below 30g of total carbohydrates per bar, stay below 300 calories and make sure that the bar you are choosing contains a healthy amount of good fats (since this slows down the release of carbs into the blood stream – however, it is not suited as post workout snack as you want to keep the amount of fat low during this time).
- You want to avoid sugar alcohols because they may be responsible for discomfort in your stomach (e.g.bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and bad gas)
- I personally like to stay below 15g of sugar per 100g (= serving size)
- A 2:1/ 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is ideal/good for fat loss.
- Important for us women: Stay away from soy protein (non organic soy products are often GMO and said to effect hormonal balance). Use either plant based – (hemp, pea) or whey protein.
- Stay away from Artificial Sweeteners (may have counter intuitive effects that mess with your metabolism)
About 2 months ago, I came across RISE Protein Bars and I absolutely LOVE them! Rise is a small company based in Orange County where they mix and package the bars in small batches daily, so that they can assure freshness of their products.
I buy mine at Whole Foods and pay 2.62$ per bar.
Here are some facts on my favorite flavor from this brand:
It has only 3 real food Ingredients, it is Certified Organic, NON GMO, Gluten-Free, Free of Preservatives and Artificial Sweeteners, No Added Sugars, No Sugar Alcohols, Free of Soy and Peanuts and it taste delicious!
None of the ingredients are overpowering – it is a great balance of the 3 ingredients. It has a slightly sweet taste to it and the consistency is very pleasant. It is soft and chewy (in a good way). It is easy digestible and doesn’t sit uncomfortably in your stomach.
Almonds, honey, whey protein isolate.
Rise Protein Bars check off most of the things I am looking for in a protein bar (see above). It provides wholesome energy and its ingredients are nutritious at the same time. The simple ingredients are packed with fiber and protein which makes it great as a pre – workout snack, a snack/treat when you are on the go (or have cravings for something sweet), or as a meal replacement.
I have noticed that the oils from the almond paste in some of the bars is leaking which leaves the packaging oily. Probably due to the heat and transportation.
The amount of sugars are rather on the top end of what I would ideally want to consume. However, the sugars do come from real foods rather than white, processed sugars and that is why I like to have them handy whenever I am on the go or whenever I am craving something sweet and still want to make healthy choices.
I like to cook/bake/prepare my food at home knowing exactly what I put in it – but being realistic – this doesn’t always work out. Rise bars are the best protein bars I came across so far (and they meet almost all my requirements for a perfect protein bar). I love indulging in one from time to time knowing that the ingredients are packed with healthy stuff and are also high in protein.
I would love to know about your healthy go to snack? Leave me a comment below!