The key to weight loss is calorie control. Cutting down your calories to burn more fat – is the law of the land in the world of weight loss. Eating healthy, clean and low calorie can be difficult when your schedules are packed and you are constantly on the run.
Health bars or nutrition bars emerged as a magical solution to your weight loss problems. These on the go nutrition bars make snack time fun time and put an end to mindless munching. Whether your search online or through the aisle of various supermarkets, you will find great many nutrition bar brands.
Nutrition bars are pocket-sized supplementary snacks or meals which are healthy and meet your nutritional requirements. This brings us to the prime question here. How do you know which bar is best for you? From innumerable options available to you choosing a right bar can be a difficult task. It is of utmost importance that you choose your meal replacement nutrition bar for weight loss with discretion.
All nutrition bars are not same and when choosing the best nutrition bar you have to think in terms of taste, fat, fiber, protein and sugar. A low carbohydrate bar can be high in fat whereas an energy bar can be high in sugar. Choosing a right bar can be tricky and confusing. Before you zero in on any nutrition bar do check out the qualities which make a bar the best one for you.
A nutrition bar for weight loss should contain less than 20gm of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can thwart your weight loss efforts as excess carbohydrates are converted to fat. A balanced amount of Carbohydrates is recommended for those who are working out as carbohydrates facilitate recovery after rigorous physical activity.
Protein nutrition bars are the most recommended meal or snacks replacement in weight loss. Proteins are important as they help you balance calories from carbohydrates, promote satiety, help curb cravings and preserves lean body mass. In addition, proteins have a high thermic effect which means it requires a lot of energy to be broken down in the body.
A good nutrition bar should contain up to 5gm of protein. The type and quality of protein in the bar is also to be considered. Good quality protein like milk and whey are recommended while soy proteins are best avoided as they are found to cause stomach upsets.
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Sugar indeed enhances the taste of a bar but doesn’t add any nutritional quotient to it. It is, in fact, the most dangerous thing you can eat. Loaded with calories and zero in nutrients, going low sugar or sugar-free is wise when it comes to nutrition bars. A healthy nutrition bar for weight loss should contain less than 8 gm of sugar.
Fiber has numerous benefits to offer. Fiber helps maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss and maintenance. The prime role of fiber in weight loss is to promote satiety. Fiber helps you feel fuller for a longer time.
Any bar you choose should have an adequate amount of fiber to promote satiety and slow release of energy over a long period of time. The best nutrition bar is one which contains 5gm of fiber. However, a minimum of 3gm of fiber in a bar will also do.
When it comes to weight loss it all comes down to one thing – calories! A good nutrition bar helps you keep your calories in check. A nutrition bar for meal replacement should ideally be low calorie. Calories in a nutrition bar for weight loss should be:
- For women – 140-200 calories
- For men 170-300 calories.
No Added Sugar
A good nutritional snack bar should be low sugar is an accepted rule. Use of artificial sugars or sugar alcohols to improve the taste of the bar is also highly discouraged. They are after all toxic chemical and chemicals are never good or healthy for any reason whatsoever.
Artificial sugars and sugar alcohols are associated with many side effects like headaches bloating, stomach upsets and diarrhea and joint pains.
Fat, though always seen in a negative light, is the main component of your diet. Firstly not all fat is bad and secondly, you need some fat in your diet. Essential fats like omega 3 and omega 6 are healthy fats and nutrition bar containing them are the best to go for.
Fat in your nutrition bar improves the taste, texture and slows down digestion keeping you full for a long time. Remember, you positively want some fat in your bar but at the same time, your bar should be low in saturated fats and free from trans fat.
Saturated fat is unwanted calories and should be less than 3gm in any bar you choose. Trans fats on the other hand are processed fat and extremely unhealthy. When you select a bar look for ‘hydrogenated vegetable oil’ that is where the trans fat is hiding.
Nutrition Bar Ingredients
The total number of ingredients your bar contains makes a huge impact. While choosing your perfect nutrition bar, remember the rule- fewer the better. Less complicated ingredients your bar contains the healthier it becomes.
Always read nutrition labels and the ingredient list on your bar. The ingredients your bar is made up of should be natural, organic and simple. You should be able to easily recognize the ingredient present in the bar.
On your road to stay fit, nutrition bars can be a great tool. It offers you ease and convenience of eating healthy while on the run. A healthy nutrition bar helps you fulfill your health goals.
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