Are Protein Bars Good Meal Replacements?
Are protein bars good meal replacements?
Are energy bars good meal replacements?
[Spoiler Alert: This is exactly why I created the Catalyst Meal Replacement Bar!]
Most of the bars on the market – even those that are popular, have brand recognition, endorsed by celebrities, or sponsored by muscle-bound men or voluptuous women – are not meal replacements.
A meal replacement is just that – it replaces a meal.
A protein bar is a quick fix that may not actually even be high in protein. Some claim to be protein bars yet they have 15 or less grams of protein. And often times the protein is not a high quality. A lot of companies will use lower quality proteins or add fillers to increase their profitability.
An energy bar or granola bar is full of carbohydrates and high in sugar. You don’t get enough protein or healthy fats, or even fiber. You get a boost of energy and then crash.
It isn’t uncommon for you to be hungry again an hour after eating a protein bar. They obviously aren’t meals.
Are meal replacement bars healthy?
Maybe. Some are but most are not.
How to find the best meal replacement bar?
Proper nutrition! It has enough calories to constitute a meal (at least 270) and has more than 15 grams of protein, 10 or less net carbs, and the same amount or less grams of fat when compared with grams of protein. It should also be high in fiber (15 or more), low in sugar (less than 2), and have zero sugar alcohols.
Fat is not the enemy but it is calorically dense. In other words, the more grams of fat, the higher the calories. There are also different types of fat. You should choose healthy fats like nuts and flaxseed.
Fiber is a necessity. A 50 year old adult female needs at least 25 grams of fiber a day and a male needs 38 grams. However most people don’t even get 15 grams.
Sugar is not good for you. One gram of sugar has 4 calories. To put this into perspective, a teaspoon holds 4 grams of sugar. That’s 16 calories of nothing-good-for-you. You don’t want to scoop spoonfuls of sugar into your body.
A sneaky way protein and energy bars mislead consumers about their nutrition is by substituting with sugar alcohols. Stay away from these. They aren’t good for you either. They often cause gastrointestinal side effects like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Remember, you are choosing to eat a meal replacement bar instead of a meal. When you hold a bar in your hand, it should feel heavy. It should have substance and take more than 3 or 4 bites to finish it. You should feel satisfied after eating it.
- 85 grams (3 ounces) in weight
- 280 calories
- 17 g plant-based protein
- 15 g fat
- 10 g net carbs
- 18 g fiber
- 1 g sugar
- 0 g sugar alcohols
It is also Keto-friendly, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, made with coconut oil and sweetened with monk fruit.
And it tastes good too!