Are Energy Snack Bars Healthy?
There’s a good reason you see so many energy bars on your grocery stores shelves. As well as providing energy for your workout, they can be a super tasty and convenient snack. Promising a plethora of nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder that they’ve become a diet mainstay for those of us who want to keep our energy levels up between meals while staying healthy.
But, and there’s a BIG BUT, the majority of energy bars you’ll see piled up in student cupboards or floating around your coworker’s desk are little more than candy bars. Some bars contain as much saturated fat and sugar as the mars bars we would avoid on a daily basis as unhealthy one-off treats.
If you want a healthy energy bar that packs a nutritional punch, you need to look for something made from balanced, natural ingredients (not chock full of words you can’t pronounce). Plus, if your energy bar is actually going to do its job and provide energy and satiate you, it should contain a decent amount of protein (7 grams is great) and fiber (at least 4 grams) while not going overboard on the sugar content (more than 15g is too much) or saturated fat (look for less than 5 grams).
A word on sugar: many energy bars on the market contain high fructose corn syrup (a cheap and unhealthy sugar). While others replace sugars with sugar alcohols such as xylitol and maltitol which can be equally bad causing diarrhea and gas. The healthiest bars are sweetened with natural sugars such as those from fruit, agave or maple syrup.
Another thing to bear in mind when considering how healthy your energy bar actually is, is to consider what purpose they are serving. If they are a snack to tide you over between meals, you don’t want them to be overly calorific – around 200 to 250 grams is perfect. However, if they are being used to fuel your workout, you might want to consider something with a higher protein and carb count. Lastly, an energy bars as a meal replacement once in a while when you are on the go is one thing. But if you are replacing meals with energy bars on a regular basis, you may not be getting enough calories and should add some other sources of whole grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables to boost your calorie intake.
Our all-natural, Jeca Energy Bars are made with high quality ingredients and small batch techniques. So stock up and enjoy as a snack when you’re on the go, a supplement to your meals or to power your workout!