Having overtaken the traditional means of staying healthy like eating a nutritious diet, energy bars seem to be the latest fad, especially for those who remain tied to their hectic work schedule. The market is flooded with options of healthy snack bars, in a multitude of flavors, leading to much confusion among the consumers. Here we cover the key aspects related to energy bars to help you make an informed choice.
Composition of Energy Bars
With the term natural becoming the new normal and healthy snacking attracting people to pick the most visually appealing packaged energy, granola, or protein bars, one is likely to miss the nutritional labels. The best way to identify the most appropriate energy bar is to check its list of ingredients. Experts recommend avoiding labels that promote low sugar, low carbs, and high fiber claims as the same are often responsible for causing stomach related problems. The main ingredients which make the energy bars a smart choice are an assortment of whole-grain cereals, oats, granola, quinoa, almonds and nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and fruits.
Types of Energy Bars and How to Choose Them
Energy bars are of the following types:
- Protein Bars
- Granola Bars
- Health Bars
- Snack Bars
The best way to choose the right energy bar is to be sure of the reason and the fitness goal you wish to achieve with the intake of energy bars. It is then advisable to check the ingredients, nutritional labels, etc. Ideally, the energy bar should be low in saturated fats, sugar and higher in protein and minerals. However, if the health goal is to achieve weight loss then the ideal energy bar to be chosen has to be low in carbs content and sugar and high in fiber.
If you are consuming energy bars as part of your pre-workout meal, then one should look for a bar high in protein and carbohydrates but low in sugar and refined carbs.
Benefits of Energy Bars
Easy to Carry
The most beneficial point for consuming energy bars is that you can carry the same wherever you go simply by keeping it in your pocket, purses and bags. As most of the energy bars are made with wholesome nutrients, it is better than unhealthy junk food like chocolate, candy bars, doughnuts etc.
Long Shelf Life
Energy bars have a longer shelf life which when compared to ordinary foods can be packed while one is on the move.
One of the main reasons why one chooses to have energy bars is it helps boost your energy levels and helps to perform much better. There are different types of energy bars available today and hence it is crucial to select the right ones to avoid calorie intake.
Energy Bar Ingredients To Be Avoided
It is more important to know about the ingredients which when found to be in high quantity in the energy bar can raise red flags.
- High Fructose Corn syrup
- Palm Oil
- Artificial Sweeteners like Sucralose, Malitol
- Natural Flavour or MSG
- Soy Isolate
Energy Bars Recipe
Apple Cinnamon Bars Recipe
The following recipe for energy bars not only takes care of the healthy ingredients but also ensures your taste buds are not disappointed.
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 cups chopped apples
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 cups oats
- ¼ tsp salt
- Let us preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Take a baking sheet and line it, spread walnuts and oats in a thin layer and toast them until they are fragrant.
- Once you put the walnuts, oats, dates, cinnamon and salt in the blender, grind it coarsely.
- Add deseeded apples to the mixture so that the mixture comes together.
- Gently place the mixture onto the baking tray lined with a butter paper. You should spread the mixture evenly and flatten it uniformly. Once done, bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Allow it to cool for 20 minutes and then slice the same into bars. Once completely cold, store it in an airtight container.
Is It Advisable to Use Energy Bars for Meal Replacement?
It is okay to use snack bars as a replacement for a meal once in a while when one is hungry and also in a hurry. However, fruits and vegetables have their own benefits which should not be compromised upon.
Is It Safe For Kids to Have Energy Bars?
Apart from high protein bars, most energy bars can be consumed by kids as well. As long as they are made with natural ingredients and without artificial sweeteners, they are a good snack for children.
Energy bars have taken the healthcare and fitness industry by storm and hence have the potential to replace even a healthy diet. The multitude of flavours along with different varieties leads to much confusion among the audience and hence it is best to trust only the most authentic ones which clearly declare their ingredients.