Can I get a donut, please?
Are donuts healthier than the average protein bars that are on the market?
The answer is YES...
And no, this is NOT a free pass for you to eat a daily donut as your snack, or to finish your workout full of chocolate chips, this is an invitation to know and understand what you are buying and what you are nourishing your body with. If you want to consume a product with the nutritional values of a donut, it is better that you buy a donut and enjoy it. Rather than buying a product disguised as a "healthy food" with superpowers, the only thing that this will lead to is for you to spend your money.
Let's dive into the world of PROTEIN BARS!
You might ask yourself: How do you know when a protein bar is really healthy?
We are breaking this down with just 5 SIMPLE TIPS to better understand how to pick from a dozen of products on the shelf.
Let's talk about protein!
If you are looking for a protein bar, the first thing to look at is the amount of protein in the bar. Each 2FIT Protein Bar provides you with 13 grams of protein, which ensures a healthy and important intake without exceeding (generally speaking) the nutritional requirements of the average person. Another important point to highlight is the source where the protein comes from. This can include protein sources from plants, milk, insects (yes, insects).
2FIT provides you with plant-based protein (pea protein). You also might ask yourself, what are the benefits that come with consuming plant-based protein? Great question, according to the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) plant-based diets can help lower the risk of disease and can lead to better health. We encourage all of you to incorporate more plant-based snacks throughout your daily routine.
Order of ingredients DOES matter
Check the ingredients that are listed for the protein bar, these are found in the Nutritional Facts Label. Keep in mind the order in which they are written! Because this is MANDATORY. Meaning that this includes the amount of that specific ingredient that is in the bar, that is, those that have greater quantity will appear to be written first, until reaching those that are in less quantity in the bar. This is a great tip because it allows you to know what the product is mainly made of. If you are interested in learning more about Nutritional Facts Labels the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) website has a variety of articles to help you understand the labels better. We highly recommend checking their website.
Let's talk about carbs...
When it comes to net carbohydrate numbers you should aim towards having a number less than the protein content that is in the bar. (Well, as its name says, the "protein" must weigh heavier, PROTEIN bar).
Calculating the number of net carbohydrates is very simple: you just have to do this mathematical operation
# OF TOTAL CARBS - # OF FIBER = NET CARBS
2FIT gives you 6g net carbs while having 13 grams of protein.
Again, keeping in mind that protein should be a dominant factor.
Fiber? Yes, please!
Keep in mind when looking for a protein bar that your bar provides you with a good amount of fiber. This will be great for your digestive system! Each 2FIT Protein Bar brings you between 11 grams and 12 grams of fiber. There are a ton of benefits that are associated with fiber, the Mayo Clinic provides a list of benefits regarding having a high intake of fiber in your diet. Keep in mind that while following a vegan diet/lifestyle it might be tricky to get your daily source of fiber. With that being said, make sure you are paying close attention to the amount of fiber that is in the bar before making your decision.
Sugar that is not Sugar, food that is not food.
Be careful with this point! Especially in vegan products where great confusion is found. Check the number of grams of sugar per bar, that number DOES count! There are companies that will market it as organic sugar, honey, agave, coconut, fructose, but keep in mind that they are STILL sugar.
Now that we have this clear and you have a bar with low sugar, but you still feel its sweet yummy flavor!!! You should be aware of what they are replacing its sugar with: definitely, natural sweeteners like Stevia and Monk Fruit are your best option when it comes down to some alternatives.
But, if the protein bars are loaded with sugar alcohol such as Erythritol and Maltitol, although they are sweeteners without calories, they are chemicals that are likely to cause bloating and upset stomachs. Yale NewHaven Health identified this as a con of sugar alcohol.
2FIT Protein Bars have 1-2 grams of sugar and are naturally sweetened with Stevia.
Now that you know these tips, it's time to turn your protein bars around and find out if you have been buying a hidden donut.