Anatomy of A Nutrition Bar

February 20th, 2016
There you are, poised in front of a vast array of bars, dollars in hand, ready to commit. You are in a hurry, and the last thing you want to do is spend the next twenty minutes poring over nutrition labels and fat contents. You know you have to decide, but how? The colorful label on one beckons. But further inspection of the wrapper reveals it is largely peanuts, and you are allergic. Another catches your eye, which attractively displays an animal, which also happens to be in the bar. And you are vegan. Now what? 
 
Sure, there are lots of pretty labels and sophisticated packaging. And a pretty darn good set of ingredients behind at least some of those wrappers. But what really sets apart one bar from another? And better yet, how to avoid the experience of purchasing a bar that looked good in the package, but your first taste left you unsure if it was recycled cardboard soaked in prune juice, or just a reasonable facsimile.

Lets face it, the health food industry has come a long way from the days of carob balls and peanut butter celery as your two snack options. Both taste and variety have much improved. 
Unfortunately, some bar companies didn’t get the memo. And while we can’t prevent the occasional cardboard mishap from befalling you, we can send you to the store better equipped
So, what DO you look for in a bar, other than that it taste better than the wrapper it came in?
 
First, know what you are looking for. 
Some bars are designed as a meal replacement bar, which means a higher calorie content, which could double your caloric intake if used as a side item in a packed lunch. Some bars, on the other hand, are intended more as a snack item and would be better suited to complement an entree as a complete meal. 
 
Second, energy bars can be expensive
Keep in mind that even though often sold individually, some stores offer case discounts when purchasing enough to make a complete box. Often it’s around 10%. Know what you are willing to spend, and look for the most nutrient dense option in that price range. 

Third, consider the cost, not just financially but nutritionally
Is the bar inexpensive, but contains mostly peanuts, which are a cheap legume, or heavily laden with various sweeteners and fillers? Something to consider, is the option of making your own bars. From simple and few ingredients to customized nutrition you tweak to make your own, the internet is a wealth of recipe options. 

Fourth, and Finally, What are the ratios?
While there is much debate about carb to protein ratios, etc, with some preferring high protein and some leaning more towards carbs and fats.  Depending on the type of activity and duration, and one's dietary needs, we offer a bar that is has an ample supply of carbs, protein and fat.
While our bars can be enjoyed by anyone, we do offer the benefit of healthy fats for sustained energy release over longer durations. While protein gets you started, fats keep you going longer. Which is why we appeal especially to cyclists, and endurance athletes. But a good dose of healthy fats are not exclusive to athletes. Much research has been done to support the fact that quality fats are not just important, but vital to metabolic processes within the body. I won’t bore the reader with information that is readily available elsewhere on this topic, but do want to lay to rest an unhealthy fear of healthy fats. It's just good for you. 

In conclusion, our hope is, of course, that LoAdebar is your first choice when contemplating that vast set of offerings in the bar aisle. But also that your well earned bar money gets put to use on a quality bar with ingredients you both recognize and that should be a natural part of the food chain- and that you, at all costs, avoid the crushing disappointment of discovering the bar you just bought for 5 dollars was better intended as a wrapper and not the actual...bar.


Posted by Loadebar Admin | Topic: Education

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