List: 5 Tips to picking the right snack​ bar for weight loss.

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Picking the right snack bar can help weight loss and prevent derailing your path to health.

Granola Snack Bar
Granola Snack Bar

You are on the go and have to run errands so you pack a snack bar to get you to your next meal without grazing the snack foods or candy bowls, but the problem is that many of these so-called healthy snack bars. The problem is that many of these bars are not healthy choices at all and I would recommend that you are very choosy at which ones you choose.

If you go to your local store to make a choice, you can quickly become overwhelmed. New brands pop up every day and there more flavors than Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Something as simple as a snack bar shouldn’t be complicated, but when you visit your store, you will be greeted by the rows and rows of various choices. The options that are available will quickly leave you wondering how to make a better choice. I have made this list of the top five tips that I recommend that you use when choosing a snack bar.

Tips to making a better snack bar choice:

  1. Know the Serving Size: Some of these tricky manufactures are slick. Some use the same ingredients as their candy bars and cookies and just shrink the portion sizes and other shrink the portion size to make the bar two servings to make them look healthier. While most bars are a single serving, others are not and they use this deceptive technique to make the consumer have a false sense of security. calculate the calories, fats, carbs, fiber, and more.
  2. Limit Added Sugar: Sugar is empty calories but it makes the bars taste better. You have to walk a fine line. Many of the bars are coated in chocolate or yogurt sure make the bars taste good but they can pack on the sugar calories. Read the labels and limit the sugar to 10 grams or less. Sugar improves the taste but makes the bar also less filling.
  3. Watch the sugar alcohols: Many bars add sugar alcohols to improve flavor and “hide calories.” Many so-called experts will say thee calories do not count but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, all calories can lead to fat deposition and since you do not have a use for sugar alcohols, this source of empty calories can especially damning. I recommend that you limit them to 10 grams or less. Need another reason to avoid them? They can cause excess flatulence and anal leakage.
  4. Watch The Fat: Experts recommend that you limit your fat intake to 20-35% or less of total calories. If your favorite bar contains more than 35% of its calories from fat, I recommend looking for a better option. Don’t be leary fo fat or overly limit it because fat helps make you feel fuller by promoting satiety.
  5. Cut the Saturated Fat: Saturated fat is controversial but it is detrimental to your health. It has been tied to heart disease, diabetes type 2, and obesity. It is not something you should completely avoid, but you should limit it to 5 grams or less per bar. There no reason to load it into a single meal. Heart-healthier fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats would be better choices.
  6. Maximize the Protein: Protein promotes satiety and builds muscle. Many of our choice snack foods are carbohydrate-heavy and do not promote satiety, The main reason to eat a protein bar is to add protein to your diet through your between-meal snacks. I recommend at least 10 grams of protein. If you did not want protein, I would recommend a piece of fruit.
  7. Fiber is Free and Filling: You should max out your fiber intake on your snack bars. The fiber is what keeps you full between meals so I recommend at least 4 grams per bar but more is better.
  8. Not all fiber is equal: This point is one where the ingredients are important. Chicory root is one source of fiber that you should be leery of overeating. I once took a cross-Atlantic flight beside a woman who ate a whole box of chicory root containing bars and she farted the whole way. NASTY. It can be quite embarrassing to be in close quarters when it kicks in and you pray that it is only gas. Also, watch artificial flavors, colors, and ingredients that you can’t identify easily.
  9. Calories are calories (Sort of): Eating excess calories will end in fat deposition no matter the sources. Make sure you have a calorie deficit if you are trying to lose weight. I recommend 200 calories or less.
  10. Find a Flavor You Enjoy: Some snack bars taste nasty. You will not eat them if you like them. Buy one or two and try them. Pick ones that both are convenient and tolerable. In or to be ideal for preventing hunger, you have to eat them. If you have to choke them down, you are unlikely to eat them.

The bottom line: Choosing a healthy snack bar is not impossible. Follow these tips to cut calories while limitting your fat and sugar intake and maximizing your fiber and protein. These tips will help you make a healthier choice and lose weight.

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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