What if a whole month out of the year was devoted to snack food? Dreamy bliss, right? Good news – February is #NationalSnackMonth and we want to kick things off right by celebrating one of our favorite healthy snack foods: protein bars! Like just about any other snack food, it is important to be savvy and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in each bite. Sure, many bars marketed as all-natural, healthy protein bars look really snazzy in their shiny packaging… but many are low in protein, high in sugar, and stuffed with junky additives. This February, give National Snack Month a healthy spin and get picky with your protein bars.
Here are our tips for choosing the tastiest, most wholesome bar for your daily snack:
- Read the label: Terms like “all-natural” are not regulated and often don’t mean much. Instead, opt for protein bars with certified Organic ingredients and know the names of ingredients that disguise added sugar and other unnecessary additives. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything you can’t pronounce or do not recognize as food – sucralose, aspartame, monoglutamine – you get the idea. Protein bars with nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, collagen, grass-fed whey protein, sprouted grains, seeds, and wholesome plant-based protein blends are your best bet. Bars sweetened lightly with dried fruit, stevia, or erythritol will ensure yummy, just-right sweetness instead of sugar overload.
- High Protein-Fat-Fiber ratio: Many bars marketed as protein bars are actually quite low in protein, healthy fat, and fiber and instead rely on sugars and carbohydrates to give the body a quick boost. With this energy bump often comes a crash as blood sugar spikes and then sharply drops soon after consumption. In real life, this usually translates to feeling hungry, cranky, and worn out. Avoid this energy roller coaster by reaching for a bar with a short list of wholesome ingredients that maximizes protein, fiber, and healthy fats for sustained stamina. Protein can come from nuts, whole grains, seeds, egg whites, legumes, collagen, and plant-based protein blends such as Orgain’s sprouted grains and pea protein complex. Healthy fats are best from coconut and coconut oil, nuts and nut butters and fiber from fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Protein, fat, and fiber are the Three Musketeers of nutrition, supplying you with the macronutrients your body needs to feel energized and maintain muscle mass, tissue, blood sugar levels, and brain function. An added bonus is that cravings for sugary, over-processed junk foods can diminish when replaced with healthier macronutrient-rich snacks.
- Flavor! Snacking need not be ho-hum, in fact, we like to think that variety is the spice of snack-life! That’s why Orgain protein bars come in so many delicious flavors! We’ve got gluten-free, vegan, organic, and kids’ bars in delicious varieties like blueberry almond, peanut butter, chocolate almond sea salt, cookie dough, and more, to keep things interesting, tasty, and nutritious. Give Orgain Simple Bars a try for the very best in organic, plant-based protein or Orgain Kids’ Protein Bars to ensure little ones are in on the (healthy) National Snack Month train.