What’s in your protein bar?

We’ve probably all had a few protein bars back in the day. Or maybe you still have one on occasion to get a little more protein during the day. I confess….. I’ve had my share of protein bars – they seemed like a good idea at the time – get more protein in my diet so I can build more lean muscle, but at the same time eat something that tastes like a chocolate bar (well, like a really bad chocolate bar).

But have you ever looked at the ingredient list on the wrapper of bar? It’s usually a long list, with lots of ingredients you’ve never heard of before. No wonder it tastes like chalk and chemicals.

I haven’t had a packaged protein bar in ages, but if you’re still getting one in here and there, just make sure to take a look at the ingredient list.

Many commercial protein bars are packed with ingredients that are just not good for you. Here are commonly found ingredients to be avoided:

Soy Protein Isolate
This is a highly processed form of protein. The chemical process of extracting the protein leaves behind toxic by-products such as aluminum and nitrates. Also, the majority of soy grown today is genetically modified, but in Canada you do not have the right as a consumer to know this (I’m not sure if it’s the same in other countries).

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
This sugar is chemically processed and quickly absorbs into the bloodstream, causing insulin to spike and lots of fructose to go straight to the liver; once in the liver, a process occurs which creates unhealthy fats and bad cholesterol. This means that your metabolism gets messed up and you get more abdominal fat storage. You may also see this labelled as glucose/fructose (beware!)

Fractionated/Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
This ingredient contributes to the creamy chocolate coating on the protein bar. This oil is extracted using harmful chemical solvents. Palm oil is also an unsustainable crop, causing major deforestation.

BHT: Butylated Hydroxytoluene
This lab-made chemical preservative is added to food to prolong shelf life, but it may have negative implications for us. It has the ability to cause serious allergic reactions, endocrine disruption, thyroid and kidney problems and may have carcinogenic effects on the body.

Natural Flavouring
It’s natural so it’s fine, right? Think again. The term “natural” is meaningless because it’s not regulated (at least not here). Once again it comes down to the methods of processing. Natural flavouring is a very broad term which leaves a big grey area around what you are actually eating. As long as it started with a natural ingredient, companies are able to do whatever they want to it and still call it natural, regardless of how many chemical solvents are used in the process.

There are still some good bars on the market. Just make sure you choose ones made with natural sugars from dried fruit or honey and proteins such as brown rice, hemp, chia. Check the labels and pick bars with a short list of ingredients you recognize.
 
My personal strategy now is to make my own protein treats at home. My collection of 30-High Protein Treats is tasty, uses real food ingredients like dates, honey, beans, and nuts and the protein sources comes from whey/hemp protein (much healthier than most commercial protein bars).

Each treat contains at least 10g of protein (many contain 14g of protein or more)! Click on the link below to see my cookbook.

>>High Protein Treats Cookbook<<

high protein recipes

>>High Protein Treats Cookbook<<

SEVEN HEALTHY RECIPES!
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