Sourcing a better snack bar | Health & Food | fairfaxtimes.com – Fairfaxtimes.com

Sourcing a better snack bar | Health & Food | fairfaxtimes.com - Fairfaxtimes.com


I’m not a big fan of snack bars or granola bars because they’re mostly densely concentrated sugars that provide little nutrition to the body and often spike blood sugar. But, if you want a quick go-to portable food to take to school or work or have for emergencies in the car – a protein bar is the way to go. 

However, there are about 50 brands of bars on the market and finding a nutrient-dense version that won’t spike your blood sugar is a daunting task. So, here are some tips on finding a good one. 

First – you HAVE to flip it over and read the ingredient label. Find out what the source of protein is they’re using. 

Avoid soy protein isolates – these are soybeans that are stripped of all their sugars, fiber, and other natural vitamins and minerals, like zinc and iron, leaving only the now denatured protein. This extraction process can leave behind heavy metals and chemicals like hexane. And most soy in the U.S. is genetically modified which can have an inflammatory effect on the body. 

If you don’t have a dairy allergy or intolerance and are OK with whey protein – choosing one with whey concentrate is better than whey isolate – again because of the harsh processing method. But those are hard to find. 

I like protein bars with collagen peptides, grass-fed bone broth protein or plant blends like hemp and pea protein for more nutrition. 

Make sure your bar doesn’t contain any chemical sweeteners like sucralose, acesulfame potassium or aspartame. These have side effects and new studies show that sucralose is related to poor gut flora and linked to depression. And, the bar should contain less than 5-7 grams of sugar per bar. 

Some better brands to look for are Paleo Valley, Bulletproof, Epic bars, Aloha, and Primal Kitchen. Most times I just stick to a grass-fed beef stick or jerky with no nitrates for emergency food, but these brands offer better options. For kids who are grabbing a bar for breakfast or lunch, make sure it has adequate protein and very little sugar in order to fuel their day at school.



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About the Author: Eugene Berry