How To Make Sure Your Energy Bar Is ACTUALLY Healthy

Granola bar or flapjacks on baking paper with hemp string

If you’re looking for an energy bar that truly provides energy instead of zapping it, you better plan on spending some time looking at the food labels on these products. Although granola and energy bars are often relied upon as a snack of choice, some bars are surrounded by health halos even when they’re actually full of unhealthy ingredients.

Not all bars are alike. The key is trying to choose a bar that adds value to your diet and contributes a balance of protein, fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The right snacks keep blood-sugar levels and moods stable, and may help you stay alert and focused. In fact, some snacks can even help you lose or maintain weight if they satisfy your mind and mouth and they keep you from otherwise eating high-calorie foods that are devoid of value.

Here’s how to navigate the bar aisle to make a choice that best suits your needs:

1. Look for a bar that contains about 5 grams of protein.

There’s no need to go for bars that contain an overwhelming amount of protein. Excess protein doesn’t go directly to your muscles! Unless you’ve suffered an illness, where you had significant protein (muscle) loss or if you have increased needs for protein, much of the excess protein that is eaten is stored as body fat. Protein taken in greater quantities than needed, over extended periods of time, might result in bone thinning or perhaps impair kidney function.

Be sure to check to see that you’re getting protein from real, whole-food sources, like nuts, as opposed to highly processed ingredients mostly from isolates. A bar that contains around 5 grams of protein should do the trick, especially in the company of other nutrients below.

2. Make sure the main source of sugar comes from fruit.

Avoid sugar sources like added sugars, sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. Check to see how sugar is spelled — sometimes it’s not S-U-G-A-R! Sugar can appear asdextrose, maltose, organic can juice, rice syrup, and so on. Look for sugar in the form of real fruit, not pseudo-fruit-like substances.

3. Choose a bar that has healthy carbohydrates.

Look for whole grains on your ingredient list like oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Fiber provided by these grains will help move you — look for around 5 grams of fiber.

4. Don’t be fat phobic.

Helpful fats derived from nuts can be deliciously satisfying, and certain fats (like almonds and walnuts) have even been shown to help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood-sugar levels. Your best bet is when the source of fat is derived from nuts.

5. Be mindful of calories.

You want to keep your snack bar between 150 and 200 calories, especially if you’re trying to watch your weight.

6. Aim for transparency.

Pick a product that actually looks like the ingredients contained within. Instead of looking like a piece of pressed wood, your bar should proudly display the nuts, grains, and fruit that appear on its ingredient list.

Raise the bar by choosing one that your body will be happy to reach for when you need it.

2015-10-09T16:21:27+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: What is the best supplement (protein or herbal) to take to help build muscle for strength training and bodybuilding? All these protein powders on the market I've stopped taking because of all the sugar, whey and casinete; among other weight (fat) inducing ingredients.

    A:

    Try Vegan Protein on our site. It's all natural and 100% absorbable! You'll find it beneficial. There's a capsule and a powdered version. Take both if you're really into protein.

    Spirulina is the BEST individual natural source of protein (75% bio-protein)!

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    Q: I read your article on protein. Will I lose muscle mass if I cut the protein out? I have already done away with meats and I don't want to become skinny. How do preserve my muscle tone with out taking the whey protein?

    A: You can still receive your daily required value of protein from vegetarian sources, such as avocado, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. You can also add vegan protein powder to smoothies.

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    Q: I'm doing the Full Body Cleanse and I have a few questions about it: I get tired of drinking just the distilled water and I'd like to drink the herbal teas, but I don't like it by itself. Would it mess things up to add a pack or two of Splenda to my tea or maybe honey? I can't stand the salads with the olive oil or apple cider vinegar or the lemon juice as dressing and it makes me gag. I have To have some sort of salad dressing. What kind would be suitable? Do I look for sugar-free? Or organic and natural? I found one that is organic and natural, but it has 3 grams of sugar in it. Without eating all my whole grained breads and other fiber, I haven't had much of a bowel movement in 3 days, should I wait a while yet? (I had surgery on my bowels and always had to take fiber tablets and eat lots of grains to get my bowels to move.) I haven't done the enemas yet, (low on money) should I try that? Or should I resume my fiber tablets I normally take? Any type of fiber I could add to my fruit smoothies in the morning? I want to also do the female cleanse. Is it ok to do that immediately after I finish the full body cleanse or should I wait for a little while? Thank you for all your help, I feel much better than I did before and I just started this detox a week ago, lost 10 pounds, too, woohoooooo! Thank you

    A:

    1. Instead of splenda, use agave, stevia, or grade b maple syrup as a sweetener.

    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

    3. The fiber pills are not part of the cleanse, so we wouldn't advise those. Fruit is you best choice of fiber so look into eating more papaya, mango, figs, etc. And yes, colonics (and enemas) would greatly help you - undoubtedly!

    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Q: I am a 55 year old female. I have an overactive bladder. I am trying to control it myself, without medication. I have not tried herbs. I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins (not beef or pork). I added back more meat proteins 1 1/2 years ago because I was becoming so tired and lacking energy. (I read The Schwartzbein Diet, which helped convince me to add more protein.) I don't eat much sugar, salt (only 500 mg./day) or hardly any processed foods. I drink water and licorice tea, because it makes me feel good. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Can you help me with this?

    A:

    The steps you are taking in your diet are a great start. Try going raw, and eliminating grains and meat altogether. You can get enough protein and healthy fats with avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, coconut. You can also add Vegan Protein Powder to smoothies.

    I also recommend you give our Full Body Cleanse a try to further detoxify your entire body. After detoxing, the ideal formula for you is our Kidneys Bladder-Adrenal formula.

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

    A:

    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
    Healing Crisis

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    Q: Is necessary to continue food combining after completing FULL BODY DETOX in 20 Days? For example can you consume sweet fruit with sub acid & acid fruit also starches and vegetable (beans) proteins together? I learned in Nutrition that starches (rice) and beans are complete protein when combined together that our body needs. Are you at risk for protein deficiency if consuming vegan diet?

    A:

    IT'S YOUR CHOICE! OF COURSE IT'S BEST TO CONTINUE TO DO SO. IT'S UP TO YOU, BELOVED! I PERSONALLY DON'T RECOMMEND IT. NOT TRUE! YOU CAN'T GET PROTEIN FROM COOKED FOODS REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE FOOD IS. OF COURSE NOT, UNLESS YOU ARE IGNORANT TO PROTEIN, REAL PROTEIN, HOW AND WHERE TO GET IT.

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    Q: I work out at the gym at 6am till 7:30am hard six days a week. Since I'm eating raw foods while detoxing, what will help me keep up that same intensity in the gym. Will protein bars or protein powder help? Maybe you can recommend something? Thank you!

    A:

    Try BIO-PROTEIN FORMULA, ENERGIZER FORMULA, and IODINE PHOSPHATE. Protein bars are toxic!

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Which are the best fruits and vegetables that promote weight loss during the detox and should the nuts be excluded? Do I need a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats in order to lose substantially and if so, are there fruits and vegetables in these categories and is there possibly a limit to certain ones?

    A:

    All fruits and vegetables help to tone you to the weight you desire. Why exclude nuts? Weight comes from meat, dairy products, refined products, etc. Not natural foods! Don't worry about protein, carbs, etc. It creates confusion! Real food doesn't cause problems. Let all the dietary confusion go and you will be fine!

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    Q: I just began the cleanse. My concern is that I am not getting enough protein. I have been eating nuts, and I will not eat uncooked beans or peas. What can I do to get more protein while I am on this 20 day regiment?

    A: Great question. There is protein in a lot of the vegetables that we eat. Think about it like this, elephants are vegetarians, and they are some of the biggest/strongest animals around. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, etc.), goji berries, nuts, broccoli, avocados, beets, cauliflower, and asparagus.

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    Q: There is a raw bar called Raw Crunch Energy Bar - Goji Berry, and a raw protein drink called-Raw Power! (Chocolate) Protein Superfood Blend (raw, organic), can these be taken on the detox to sub for a salad while at work?

    A:

    As long as the nutrition bars are made from RAW FOODS, they are ok. Please check the ingredients label to make sure they are within the parameters of the cleanse guidelines.

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    Q: Will the unlimited fruit cause my blood sugar to raise while on the FULL BODY DETOX?

    A:

    I humbly and respectfully submit: How could I specifically know that? How could I know what YOUR body will do? Do you understand where I'm coming from? The best way to discover anything is to do it - experience it for yourself. Your question is very legitimate, but again, how could anyone know in advance what your body will do while cleansing?

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    Q: I would like to find an herbal treatment to high protein levels, I am diabetic and have that under control but I need to lower to do my job. I would like to order or pick up something what would you suggest?

    A:

    The goal should be to heal from diabetes. Look into our Pancreas Kit and Regimen and perform it at least twice a year.

    To lower high protein levels, cut out meat and dairy products (or greatly lower them), and give our Kidney-Bladder-Adrenal and Electric Greens Cell Food  a try.

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    Q: What do you recommend for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high sugar level (not diabetic yet). I need help with excess weight and lack of energy.

    A:

    We recommend you perform our Full Body Cleanse. The cleanse will help eliminate toxins, balance your weight, and restore your body to its optimal state.

    After the cleanse, order CARDIOVASCULAR FORMULA, CHOLESTEROL FORMULA, BOWEL MOTION, and SUGAR CONTROL to maintain the healthy progress you have made.

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    Q: I have read about your detox system on your site and others. Here is the product that I am thinking about purchasing: Full Body Detox I have some questions... 1) Is there a diet plan or eating plan that comes with this order? and 2) I have 100 pounds to lose and am thinking about going on the Medifast plan. That is a high (vegetable) protein diet with no fruit and not a lot of vegetables allowed. Would these supplements in the detox plan help my organs that might be taxed a bit on this diet with very little vegetables and no fruit? I am skeptical about #2...I think raw fruits and vegetables are so important inour diets, yet, I do need to drop weight fast. I look forward to any thoughts that you might have.

    A:

    Yes, the Full Body Cleanse comes with a dietary regimen prescribing an all-raw foods diet (fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds). This means no meat, dairy, grains, or processed foods.

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    Q: Greetings & Namaste, First, thank you for being U-activated! So many potential energies unable to convert into kinetic activities because of our Earthly baggage(s). Personally, I haven't found the right formula to keep my beautiful curves, which is the major reason I am not vegan/raw now. In my perfect world, I'd have a great-tasting, non-dairy,wheat & gluten source of protein, juiced exotic veggie/fruit smoothies, yummy raw nuts/raisins, and absolutely no meat- the fountain of youth, literally, running thru my body! As i'm sure the cognitive wheels of your expertise are spiraling ready solutions, I ask that you also factor in social-economic status, and workout regiment. From my perspective, the price of health food is aggressively over-inflated compared to the affordability of processed and junk foods; add to that a general inaccessibility to the impoverished & disenfranchised, and dysfunctional eating psychologies impregnating entire families (for generations). I prefer high energy, high impact, anaerobic & weight-lifting training activities. So, you can see a petite person's dilemma. Thanks so much for your time and thoughts. Ms. Tiffany

    A:

    Greetings & Namaste,

    First, thank you for being U-activated!  So many potential energies unable to convert into kinetic activities because of our Earthly baggage(s).  Personally, I haven't found the right formula to keep my beautiful curves, which is the major reason I am not vegan/raw now.  In my perfect world, I'd have a great-tasting, non-dairy,wheat & gluten source of protein, juiced exotic veggie/fruit smoothies, yummy raw nuts/raisins, and absolutely no meat- the fountain of youth, literally, running thru my body!  As i'm sure the cognitive wheels of your expertise are spiraling ready solutions, I ask that you also factor in social-economic status, and workout regiment. From my perspective, the price of health food is aggresively over-inflated compared to the affordability of processed and junk foods; add to that a general inaccessibility to the impoverished & disenfranchised, and dysfunctional eating psychologies impregnating entire families (for generations). I prefer high energy, high impact, anaeorobic & weight-lifting training activities.  So, you can see a petite person's dilemma.  Thanks so much for your time and thoughts.  Ms. Tiffany Janine"

    Being raw or vegan does not have to be hard or expensive. The most inexpensive food are rice and beans. If you are budget consciense you should gravitate towards those foods. Stach based foods are super cheap. You should check out the book "eating vegan on 4 dollars a day" or any of Dr. Mcdougal's programs. 

    I run an online health/fitness/nutrition coaching program that can be found at www.theveganeffect.com. There you might find your answers. 

    Exercise programs do not have to be expensive either. I am a master at building fitness plans with the minimal of equipment. If all you have is your body weight than I can build you a 90 day plan. The same goes if all you have is a resistance band, exercise ball, dumbells, kettlebell, etc.

    If you need any advice or have specific questions you should check out my website and message me there.

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT VLC BMI

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    Q:

    A:

    Herbal supplements are not drugs. The Vegan Protein Powder Mix contains natural occurring protein, and will supplement your diet at a healthy level. We do not offer measurements in mg per capsule because there is no true way to measure how much protein is in an organic item. Many companies offer that measurement as a way to get you to buy more of their products, but it is typically just a guesstimate. For instance, we could say that there is "x" amount of protein inside of each capsule but some of the capsules may be denser than others etc. Hopefully this offers an honest explanation of why we do not do this. If you are using it to gain muscle mass while lifting weights, this product should suffice, and can be mixed in an Almond Shake or with other such ingredients that are high in organic protein to help you reach your goal.

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    Q: Good morning. I tried the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN and followed the diet. I must say that I am amazed at how good I feel. Energetic and focused but alas, I only lost 3 pounds in the 3 weeks. I am 5'5 and currently at 181 pounds. My body is extremely resistant to weight loss. I have done several different types of detox including the IZO juice cleanse in the last year and had not lost weight. I don't even seem to respond to a very low calorie diet. I do have elevated liver Enzyme levels and a recent blood test showed low B6 vitamin and not proper protein digestion. I exercise 3 times a week and I eat rather health and mostly organic. Please HELP. Thanks

    A:

    This means that your body focused on another area that was of more importance than weight release. your mind wanted weight reduction but your body intelligence focused on something else. Go with the flow of the body intelligence and trust it. You apparently have an energetic block that prevents you from physically releasing weight (since you've tried other programs). Consider scheduling a consultation so we can get at the energetic/emotional root of your problem. Simply stop worrying about "losing" weight. Focus on what you desire (to see yourself in the size you desire). Don't focus on what you don't want (i.e. to lose weight).

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    Q: I have purchased and started your FULL BODY DETOX (FBD) but I need your advice. I'm a so-called diabetic, I'm not overweight 5'9" 140lbs. I've read many of your articles including the one titled "Can I take my medication with FBD?" The first day I started the detox, I didn't take my meds and all I ate was fruits and veggies but my blood sugar was higher than it had been in a long time...356 to be exact. So I stopped and started this week, while taking my meds and it's still been higher than normal...in the 200's range. I understand that you stated that the herbs would be working against the meds since they're considered poisons in the body. My concern is this, I want to continue to cleanse my body but I don't want my blood sugar to stay out of control for an extended period of time...for obvious reasons. My question is, what do you suggest I do in continuing this cleanse? Will the FBD regulate my blood sugar levels over the next 2 weeks as my body begins to repair itself? Or should I continue taking my meds until I'm done with the cleanse? I plan to do the pancreas cleanse next. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Peace

    A:

    Like we clearly and unequivocally explain in so many of our articles, the body is and will regulate itself and you will see this via fluctuation. Levels will be up and down and inconsistent. Your body is going to heal in its own way so if you are concerned about high levels for extended periods of time, you may want to take your meds and refrain from taking the herbs until your levels reach a level you feel safe with. You know, religion is not the only thing that requires faith. Healing requires faith too!

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    Q: I want to get this for my mother as she is trying to lose weight and keep her sugar level and blood pressure under control and not be in any danger from taking this. Her sugar was in the 300's and we got her to keep it down between 140 and 180. She was diagnosed with Diabetes last year and is working on eating right. I will order once you answer this. Should she talk to her doctor first or can she try it first?

    A:

    It's her choice! What can or will a doctor who has an interest in DRUGS tell her about herbs that he/she doesn't get a kickback from??????