weight I mean losing inches is no easy task, it takes lots of hard work and dedication, and to make matters worse, many so-called “healthy companies” do not have our best interests in mind! As we continue to eliminate sugar from our diet we need to be aware of all the health food tricks and believe me there is lots of trickery afoot.
It is always sad when I see someone trying to lose weight and eat healthy only to be constantly snacking on protein/energy bars through out the day. Let me tell you a big secret that these so-called “health food” companies don’t want you to know, these bars are not healthy, they are basically candy bars with some added protein and vitamins! We put way too much trust into “health” companies and we think because the product contains protien and is labeled sugar free/fat-free and/or endorsed by some famous athlete that the product is healthy. These companies just like any other company are out to make a buck (nothing wrong with that, that’s their right!). But the truth is that if they made these products actually healthy they would most likely taste horrible and nobody would buy them, so they add lots of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and lots of crazy chemicals that neither I or you can pronounce just to make these bars taste somewhat decent. Lets look at some of the more popular bars that I see consumed on a regular basis:
- Clif Bar (Energy) – 240 calories, 41-grams of carbs, 9-grams of protein, and 21-grams of sugar. First thing to notice is that there is a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, you better be working out really hard if you want to eat this and not gain weight. Ironically this is probably one of the better bars on the market and uses mostly natural ingredients (whatever that means) however these bars contain lots of soy and soy scares me (can you say man-boobs).
- Clif Builders (protein) – 270 calories, 30-grams of carbs, 20-grams of man-boob producing soy protein, and 20- grams of sugar. Again there are better ways to get 20-grams of protein.
- PowerBar Harvest Energy bar – 240 calories, 42-grams of carbs, 10-grams protein (soy), and 18-grams of sugar. Again lots of sugar, carbohydrates, and chemicals, oh but you get 5-grams of fiber, well I guess that makes it OK then (not).
- EAS MYOPLEX strength formula bar – 280 calories, 35-grams of carbohydrates, 25-grams of protein, 14-grams of sugar, and 15-grams of sugar alcohols. Same story here.
- Fiber One bar – 140 calories, 29-grams of fat, 2-grams of protein, 10-grams of sugar. This bar gets a lot of commercial time. At first glance this sugar content does not look too bad however it is half the calories of the other bars so calorie per calorie it has just as much sugar as the other bars. More “trickery”! This bar contains lots of carbs, very little protein, lots of artificial sweeteners, but hey at least you are getting your fiber!
- Snickers bar (candy bar) – 280 calories, 35-grams of carbohydrates, 4-grams of protein, 30-grams of sugar. Besides lacking in vitamins and a little more sugar I don’t see much difference between your average candy bar and your average protein/energy bar!
I know there are lots of different protein/energy bars on the market and some are better than others, I picked the ones I see on a regular basis. My goal is to get you to read labels (another tip when reading labels is to look at the serving size) and don’t assume that it is a healthy snack option just because Jillian Michaels tells you it is healthy!
So what are some good healthy snack options?
- Raw macadamia nuts (or any nuts except peanuts) – These are my favorite! They are delicious and high in monounsaturated fats (good fat). I like raw because roasting can make nuts rancid. Just a handful will satisfy you for hours. While nuts are a great snack, remember that a little goes a long way do not eat more than a handful.
- Full fat Greek Yogurt – Yes you read that right. Fat is a good thing! Very rich and creamy. Add some berries or eat plain. A few heaping spoonfuls is all you need.
- Fruits and vegetables – Fruit can be high in sugar but when you eat the “whole food”, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and the nutritional gains from a few pieces of fruit far out way the sugar content just don’t go overboard and eat 6 bananas a day. However the sky is the limit on vegetables…if you like it, eat it!
- Sauerkraut or pickles – Be sure to get the ones that have been fermented naturally. They are usually found in the refrigerated section and the ingredients will only contain; water and salt. These are delicious and contain natural probiotics, which are good for gut health.
- Hard boiled eggs – Eggs just maybe the most perfect food. At around 70 calories a piece, they are loaded with vitamins, contain around 6 grams of protien, basically zero carbs and include all 9 essential amino acids.
Let me hear your favorite snacks!