What’s In Your Protein Bar?

protein-bars1It May Not Be As Healthy As You Think

No judgement from me in this post…just a little education to help you make good choices, OK?  I get it…I’ve been there myself.

You’re hungry; you had to skip lunch and now it’s almost dinner time. You are NOT going to drive through some fast food window because you just don’t do that any more. You value your health too much.

Since you have to stop by the store anyway, why not grab a protein bar…it might be a few more calories than an apple but it just feels easier right now and after all; you need protein, right?

You find yourself standing at the protein bar display…”oh my…so many choices! How do I decide which would be best? I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to read labels.” hmm you think…”Celeste says Lara bars are a good choice but I really want chocolate and I don’t like the chocolate Lara bars and I can’t have the ones with polka dots because they have sugar in them.” you scan the rows and then one catches your eye…it has an “A” on it, must be good, right? Oh, yes, it’s an Atkins bar; that’s a healthy diet plan, I’ll choose that one and hope I made the right choice….But Did You?

What To Look For In A Protein Bar

Let’s compare the nutrition label of the Atkins bar to a Lara Bar. Just for fun I chose the Day Break Chocolate Crisp Bar from Atikins and the Cherry Pie Lara Bar, which is my personal fav.

Nutritional Element Atkins Bar Lara Bar
Serving size 35 gr 48 gr
Calories 140 200
Fat Calories 60 80
Total Fat 6 gr 8 gr
Saturated Fat 3.5 gr 0.5 gr
Sodium 130 mg/5% 0
Potassium 80 mg/2% 400 mg/11%
Total Carbs 17 gr/6% 30gr/10%
Dietary Fiber 5 gr/20% 4 gr/16%
Sugar 0 23 gr
Protein 10 gr/16% 5 gr/8%

To look at the numbers you may think the Atkins bar is a much better choice…lower in calories and fat, lower in carbs and sugar and higher in protein…right?  After all this is what we’ve been trained to check.

Now, let’s look at the ingredient list in the two bars…

Atkins Bar Lara Bar
Soy Crisps Dates
Whole Oat Flour Almonds
Glycerin Cherries
Whole Grain Rolled Oats
Chocolate FLAVORED chips (malitol)
Cocoa Butter
Palm Kernel Oil
Sunflower Oil
Hydroyized gelatin
Whey Protein Isolate
Roasted Almonds..hey!
Cocoa Powder (with artificial flavors)
Soy Lecithin
Calcium Carbonate
Whole Milk Powder
Synthetic Vitamins 1, c, B6, B2, B1, Folic Acid, E
Acesulfame Potassium

Wow! That Atkins bar has a LOT of Stuff!

First let’s check out the REAL FOOD in each bar:

Atkins: 18% Real Food

consisting of: Whole Oat Flour, Cocoa Butter, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Roasted Almonds

Lara: 100% Real Food

consisting of Dates, Almonds, Cherries

I know you are getting this…so just looking at it from a Real Food nutrition standpoint you are getting 100% Real Food Nutrition from Lara Bars and 18% from Atkins…so where does the 82% of ingredients in Atkins come from? Processed, Dead, man made food.

I just want to point out a few more Atkins flaws you may not be aware of:

  • Glycerin is used for moisture and sweetness it is made from either a vegetable, petroleum or animal source…they don’t tell you which…ever.
  • Polydextrose is an artificial sugar made from GMO corn (think round-up weed killer in your food).
  • Malitol is another artificial sweetener that is known to cause digestive problems such as pain, gas and diarrhea. It is what they give you to clean you out when you are going to have a colonoscopy. They discovered it tasted sweet so started putting it in your food…nice.
  • Hydrolyzed Gelatin is made from the hooves of cows…the sick factory kind
  • Artificial flavors are made from coal tar residue.
  • Sucralose is Splenda, which is a neurotoxin that causes your brain cells to explode and increases your hunger for food.
  • Acesulfame Potassium is Aspartame, one of the most dangerous artificial sweeteners existing today and is documented to cause some types of cancer.

Just to emphasize my point…3 ingredients all beneficial.

  • Dates are from trees.  The sugar in dates does not store as fat but your body uses it for quick energy. Dates are also a good source of natural fiber and iron.
  • Almonds are from trees.  They are an alkalizing protien and fat, great for your hair, skin and joints and high in fiber.
  • Cherries are (you know where I’m going with this, right?)  From Trees.   Cherries are great for your joints and kidneys, high in Vitamin C and…fiber
  • Lara Bars are also labeled NON-GMO.

Speaking of Fiber…I did not put Cellulose in the ingredient list for a reason; it is food….Beaver Food…Cellulose is pure, undigestible fiber…Cellulose is wood pulp and is in everything from cheese to taco bell meat.

Learn more about cellulose on this fun video from The Food Babe

Food Babe on Cellulose: http://foodbabe.com/2013/10/07/are-you-eating-this-substance-that-lines-food-industry-pockets/

To wrap it all up…Always, ALWAYS read the ingredients. If the list is more than 5 things (unless you recognize those 5 things as real food) don’t eat it. It’s really that simple.

Real Bodies Need Real Food!

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