Go Lean with Kashi?Posted by foodforthought
Getting in shape to most includes drinking sports drinks and eating protein bars. But are they contradicting their healthy way of life in doing so? I have already tackled some sports drinks in previous posts, but I have increasingly been asked questions about protein bars: are they an asset to weight loss goals and if so, which brands are the healthiest to eat?
A high protein diet has long been believed to go hand in hand with body building. Protein helps build muscle and consuming it before and after exercise is thought to promote weight loss. Advocators argue those who want to burn fat and gain muscle should consumer more of it and less sugar and fat. Does it help to have that added boost of protein from a snack bar?
Not if it is coupled with high calories, fat and sugar. You have to be careful of the bars that try to serve as meal replacements when eaten in the context of a normal diet because the only addition to your diet is fat on your body.
Some brands serve as a well balanced snack, including the Kashi GoLean Crunchy! Protein and Fiber Bar. The Kashi brand is well known for sticking to only natural ingredients in their products, which is hard to find in the mainstream energy bar category. As the name suggests there is a significant amount of whole grains and fiber, which some people have trouble getting their daily requirement in, and high protein (keeping in mind people typically consume above their daily requirement of protein). Taking the chocolate peanut butter flavor as an example, it has a reasonable amount of calories for the size of the bar (180 calories for 50 grams) while other protein bars are smaller in size with more calories. There are also added vitamins which could benefit you if your body needs them.
There is relatively high sodium of 250 grams, 5 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat, likely from the palm oil and peanut butter ingredients and 13 grams of added sugar, which includes crystalline fructose. Those negative are taken in the context of what the bar is offering. Overall, the treat is filling and satisfying stemming from the high fiber, protein and sweet taste. Choosing this as your snack food when hungry and in need of something sweet is better than eating another empty calorie snack food that does not contribute the health benefits and has you scrounging around for something more.
Food for Thought
- Be careful of energy or protein bars that promise to add to your health. Be sure to pay attention to exactly what they are adding because many times it is empty calories with a touch of protein
- Be sure to factor in any snack food to your overall diet in terms of calories, fat, protein and added sugars
- As always when choosing a snack food look for those made with whole grains, have high fiber and are low in added sugar
Kashi GoLean Crunchy! Protein and Fiber Bar Grade:
B+: The natural ingredients, high fiber, protein and sweet taste make this a satisfying and healthier snack