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Are Protein Bars Good for Weight Loss?
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Are Protein Bars Good for Weight Loss?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 1
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6 min

When people want to lose weight, they often try every trick to achieve their goal of living a healthy lifestyle. This article discusses whether protein bars are good for weight loss, the various types of protein snack bars, and how much you need to consume. We also have healthy tips from our nutritionist.

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Protein bars come in various types and are a popular snack included in the weight loss plan of many people. They were originally intended as a post-workout snack. However, they’ve become a go-to nutritious snack for any occasion and a healthier option than chocolates and cookies.

Furthermore, many individuals like them since they’re a convenient way to include protein into a hectic and active lifestyle.

Eating protein snack bars has been linked to weight loss success and hunger control, ultimately lowering the risk of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease.

This article looks into the connection between protein snack bars and weight loss. It delves into their benefits and discusses the effects of eating too many of these snacks. Read on to find out more.

What are Protein Bars?

Protein bars are nutrition snacks with a high protein-to-carbohydrates/fats ratio. They are designed for people who desire a low-calorie protein that doesn’t require any preparation.

Protein bars can be made of whey protein powder, yogurt powder, or vegan protein. Some of them contain nuts, granola, or other ingredients. They come in a variety of tastes and wholesome ingredients and everyone can find their favorite flavor from the wide variety of protein snack bars.

High-protein diets have been linked to weight loss, appetite control, and a lower risk of health hazards like cardiovascular disease. 

Are protein bars healthy?

Protein bars are healthy if you eat them in moderation. Aside from quantity, it’s also crucial to keep an eye on the quality of the protein bar you’re consuming.

In addition to protein and carbohydrates, they also provide micronutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins.

Are Protein Bars Good for Weight Loss?

Protein bars are good for weight loss. Protein snack bars have been shown to speed up metabolism and consequently reduce fat deposits throughout the body. Protein intake reduces ghrelin levels, also known as the hungry hormone that helps you reduce food intake.

Soluble fiber such as pectin in protein snack bars delays stomach emptying. As a result, you’ll have a longer feeling of fullness and a greatly reduced appetite, making you lose weight.

Besides promoting weight loss, protein snack bars are excellent if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating protein bars will boost your strength, build your muscles, and help maintain your body composition.

Is It Bad to Eat Protein Bars Everyday?

Protein bars are good for you, but you shouldn’t consume too much. Experts warn that consuming too much protein, more than 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, increases your risk of cancer. Try not to consume more than one protein bar a day.

Furthermore, eating too much of this snack may cause constipation, and an increased risk of kidney, bone, liver, and heart disease. These snacks contain some ingredients that may be harmful when taken in excess. For example, some bars contain sugar alcohol, and other artificial sweeteners, which may cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in some people.

The preservatives used in protein snack bars are oxidants and may cause neurological dysfunction if consumed in excess. Similarly, carrageenan, a plant-based ingredient, which is a filler used in some snacks, may cause stomach bleeding and cancer if consumed in excess. Additionally, eating too much protein snack bars containing artificial additives such as soy may cause diarrhea or bloat.

Also, high fructose corn syrup ‌in some protein snack bars may cause inflammation if taken in excess.

How many protein bars can you eat in a day?

One is enough, but, how much protein bar to consume depends on your age, gender, health, and amount of physical exercise you perform. 

An average adult should take not more than 0.36 grams of protein per pound of their body weight per day. An adult male should eat only 56 grams of protein daily. In contrast, an adult woman should consume 46 grams.

Since active individuals burn more calories than average people, they need more protein. In addition, older adults require more protein and calories for stronger immunity. 

People with chronic illnesses, athletes, and pregnant women require more daily protein intake than the general population.

How to Choose a Good Protein Bar

Choosing a good protein bar begins with checking its content. A good protein bar should have at least 12% protein. If you are not a vegan and not allergic to any sources of protein, a bar made primarily of milk protein with a broad spectrum amino acid will be the best option for you. 

Additionally, check the nutrition label to ensure there are no additives.

Also, a few different sorts of processed sugars might be difficult to digest in certain people, causing bloating and diarrhea if you have a sensitive stomach. 

Hydrogenated oils and other highly processed plant oils are another thing you would also like to avoid in a protein bar. Apart from not being eco-friendly, the high level of unsaturated fats may be unhealthy.

5 Benefits of Protein Bars for Weight Loss

#1 Can replace a meal

Most protein bars contain about 150-400 calories and can be used to substitute at least one complete meal or snack. If you want to lose weight, meal replacement bars might be useful. 

They contain various nutritional components that aid weight management by delivering all the calories you require and some essential vitamins and minerals before your next meal.

A protein bar can also assist you in achieving a deficit in calories, which is crucial in helping you lose weight.

#2 Gives energy boost

Protein snack bars will help you to stay active all day long by providing enough calories. It gives you long-lasting energy because your body slowly digests it.

These snacks will boost the drive and energy needed to complete a workout. They can provide you with calories both before and after your activity.

#3 Source of protein & healthy fat

Most protein snack bars contain 10–20g of protein per serving. However, others contain closer to 30 grams. Many bars have nut butter, nuts, and other whole grains, which quickly add to the fat and extra calories consumed. These are good fats that might help you feel fuller for longer.

#4 Helps to lose weight

Protein bars keep your stomach feeling full for a long time and make you avoid food cravings that might lead to weight gain. Furthermore, because protein requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates, eating protein causes the body to burn more calories.

Some of these bars have soluble fibers like xylose, which remain unchanged throughout your gut. As a result, food can be utilized more efficiently for energy instead of being stored as body fat. The fiber ‌in some of these bars helps lose weight by fighting inflammation; some studies have linked inflammation to weight gain

#5 Great for muscle gaining

Protein bars are beneficial for muscular growth. The average high-quality protein bar includes 20–40 grams of protein, which is equivalent to two protein shake servings. This is sufficient to transport building blocks of proteins (amino acids) into skeletal muscle and initiate protein synthesis in the muscle.

FAQs

Do protein bars make you fat?

Eating protein bars before or after a workout or as a snack is good and won’t make you fat if it’s part of a healthy, balanced diet. Protein bars, however, aren’t all created equal. Always check the label before buying to know the ingredients and nutrition content used in them.

Are Quest bars bad for you?

Quest bars aren’t good for you because they contain highly processed ingredients. Furthermore, they contain sucralose, a sweetener that passes throughout your system mostly undigested. Sucralose may cause cancer, reduces the good bacteria in your gut, and may interfere with fetal development if taken during pregnancy.

When should you eat protein bars?

You can eat protein bars at any time of the day but you shouldn’t consume more than one a day. Protein snack bars are also great as a smoothie substitute or a nice topping for meals to improve daily protein consumption.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Protein bars are an essential part of healthy eating. Some protein bars contain soluble fibers, which reduce weight by decreasing appetite, blood lipids, metabolizing sugars, and fighting inflammation. Ensure you are not allergic to the ingredients contained in these bars.

Protein bars are available in different types, including oatmeal, almond, vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter. Protein snack bars are good for a post-workout recovery boost and as a snack since they contain a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

While eating protein snack bars will help you lose weight, following a healthy diet and exercising consistently is also advisable.

Conclusion

Protein bars can be eaten anytime and are a great snack with enough calories to help you lose weight. They have many benefits, including fat burning, increasing muscle mass, and boosting energy. However, eating too much may be harmful. 

There are many options depending on your personal preferences. However, avoid those with carrageenan, high fructose, soybean oil, and added sugars because they may be harmful when consumed in excess.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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