All About Nutrition Bars — Which are a Go + Which are a No
CHAARG girls are always on the go + nutritional bars are often a great solution to our fast-paced lives when we don’t have time for a full meal. Whether you reach for nutritional bars after a sweat sesh to replenish or in the morning before a long day of classes, they are the ultimate convenient snack to toss into your bag. Not all bars are made the same though — added sugars + hard-to-pronounce ingredients that won’t fuel your body make up some bars. Since there are seemingly endless options of brands + flavors of bars, here’s a quick go-to ingredient guide for deciding which bars are the choice best for you.
What is a “go”
Here a some ingredients that you should say yes to!
- Whole grains — Such as whole wheat flour, corn, rice, barley, quinoa, sorghum, + oats are packed with antioxidants + vitamins!
- Nut butters — Peanut butter, Cashew butter, Almond butter + more!
- Nuts — Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios give your bar a crunch + added protein too
- Berries + fruits — Cranberries, strawberries, mango, dates, + figs [to name a few!] will give your bar some added sweetness
- Natural sweeteners like brown rice, maple syrup, + coconut — if you crave something sweeter, these ingredients will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding any extra unnecessary sugars!
What is a “no”
Here are some ingredients that you should say “no, thank you” to!
- Large amounts of sugar — some even have up to 30 grams [the same amount as candy bars!]
- Partially hydrogenated oils — these contain trans fats which raise “bad” cholesterol + lower “good” cholesterol
- Food coloring — food coloring is one extra ingredient that simply doesn’t need to be there! Look for natural coloring from fruit instead
- High fructose corn syrup — HFCS is a common sweetener that just adds extra calories + can have harmful effects on the body
- Artificial sweeteners — saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, + sucralose are all artificial sweeteners that may seem better than sugar but have not been researched enough to know the effects that these extra chemicals may have on our systems
Check the Nutritional Facts
A great way to see what is in your bar is checking the Nutritional Facts, here’s what to aim for —
- 150-180 calories
- 7 to 10 grams of protein
- 3 grams or more of fiber
- Less than 10 grams of sugar
- Net carbs of less than 15 grams
Some brands we love
Here are some of our favorite brands of bars that will help you to find which ones are best for you!
- KIND Bar
- This Bar Saves Lives
- 18 Rabbits
Still want to be extra sure you know your bar is made with love + the best ingredients? You can make them yourself + prep them for the week! Check out this recipe for Brownie Batter Protein Bites from #CHAARGBOOTYCAMP from RD Lydia on the CHAARG Blog.
At the end of the day, remember it is SO important to properly fuel your body + make sure you are getting enough nutrients + goodness. Bars are the perfect option for heading out the door snacks + to replenish your body at the end of a sweat sesh, but it’s important to recognize what bars are the best options for you!