When you’re looking to eat a healthy meal and have a successful weight gain journey, unhealthy protein bars are not the best option. They just fill you up with empty calories and don’t provide you with the nutrients that you really need. If you are on a weight gain program then you definitely want to steer clear of the ones that are unhealthy protein bars are definitely at the top of the list.
First of all, unhealthy protein bars are made primarily out of sugar. They have a ton of sugar in them which gives them a high-calorie content and therefore will cause you to gain weight fast no matter how hard you try to avoid it.1 What’s even worse is when you eat these kinds of protein bars after your workout because as mentioned above they have a high amount of sugar and therefore your body goes into starvation mode meaning your metabolism slows down, which leads to weight gain because your body doesn’t use the energy that it does have. Sugar is a fattening substance and unfortunately, many people just cannot do without it, but they will eat anything just so they can keep going. It’s a vicious cycle but the more you put into your body the more you get out.
Another problem that may find its way into a bar is artificial flavors and or condiments that are used to make the protein bar taste better. The ingredients are important to your body but sometimes these ingredients can counteract the effects that the ingredients are intended to have on your body. As you may find out, one of the worst things for your body is fat, so what if the bar claims to be low fat? As long as you know that it’s made out of artificial ingredients and flavors then you have nothing to worry about.
Unhealthy Protein Bars
The problem is that many people don’t know how to properly judge the protein content in these foods, which is why they end up gaining more weight and not losing it. If you are one of these people who consume unhealthy protein bars to meet their protein needs but feel that you need to lose weight, then you should get yourself informed about the different kinds of protein bars that are available in the market today so that you can easily avoid them and stay healthy.2
The top 4 unhealthy protein bars are the ZONE Perfect Nutrition Dark Chocolate Almond bar, the Nature Valley Coconut Almond Protein Chewy Bars, ThinkThin Chocolate Strawberry, and the QuestBar Cookies & Cream Flavored bar. These bars are very tasty as most people love chocolate and its delicious taste, but the truth is that if you look at the ingredients in these bars, you will find out that they are nothing more than heavily sugary cereal with minimal nutritional value. Although the taste may be tempting, the truth is that you will not be able to gain much health from this bar because it has almost nothing nutritious in it.
The ZONE Perfect Nutrition Bar
The ZONE Perfect Nutrition Bar claims to be a healthy chocolate bar that has all of the nutrients and vitamins you need to feel better. However, does the ZONE Perfect Pro-Series Dark Chocolate have any real benefits? Do the makers of ZONE Perfect Nutrition take into consideration all of the ingredients and fillers that go into each of their nutritional bars?
The truth is that the makers of ZONE Perfect Nutrition Bar do not list any of the ingredients in their bars. On the other hand, this does not mean that the product is unhealthy or that you should avoid protein bars altogether.
One of the biggest dangers of protein bars is that they are typically high in sugar and calories. While ZONE Perfect Pro Series chocolate bars have less sugar and fewer calories than most other protein bars, you should still consider what you are consuming when it comes to protein. A protein bar that contains more sugar and fewer nutrients can actually be lower in quality overall. This means that if you are looking for a healthier option and want a high-quality protein bar, the ZONE Perfect Nutrition Bar may not be for you, as there are healthier choices such as the Pro-Series.
Another danger of protein bars is that many of them contain a high amount of fat, especially trans fat. While some chocolate almond bars have less trans fat than others, the amount of fat in your chocolate bar will make a difference. This is because the fat gives the chocolate almond bar a greasy texture and it can clog your arteries, contributing to high cholesterol.3 You should also look out for hydrogenated oils that are often used to give protein to cookies and cakes. These oils can also clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol level, so it is best to choose chocolate bars that do not use these types of ingredients.4
Nature Valley Coconut Almond Protein Chewy Bars
It is very important when choosing a protein bar to read the ingredients labels. There is an abundance of unhealthful bars out there filled with fillers, sugars, and chemicals that have absolutely no nutritional value. It is not worth your money or your time to be consuming these types of products when you could be enjoying delicious Nature Valley Coconut bars.
Nature Valley Coconut bars have no filler as each bar contains complete protein which is critical to building strong muscles. The coconut oil used in Nature Valley bars is edible, high in saturated fats, and has loads of calories. Another disadvantage of the bar is the fact that it has a lot of empty calories. When you eat a chocolate cake or any other kind of chocolate cake you know that it contains more calories and fat than you can imagine because it tastes so good. Most people don’t realize how much fat is actually contained in those kinds of desserts until they have the dreaded “empty calorie” crash.
Nature Valley protein bars are another unhealthful product in the market today. These chocolate bars are filled with hydrogenated palm oils, which is not good for your body. Palm oil is not healthy when it is mixed with other chemicals. It is unwise to consume any chocolate or energy drinks that have this ingredient in them because they are definitely bad for your health.5
ThinkThin Chocolate Strawberry Protein Bars
ThinkThin Chocolate Strawberry protein bars are another example of “junk foods” that taste good but are loaded with sugar, fat, and a slew of bad-for-your-health ingredients. One of the only benefits of the ThinkThin Chocolate Strawberry protein bars is a higher absorption rate, which means you get more protein in your diet.
First of all, one of the disadvantages of a ThinkThin chocolate strawberry protein bar is that the taste of the bar is quite bland. A large disadvantages of a think thin chocolate bar may be that they don’t have nearly as many health benefits as other brands that are higher in fiber, protein and other nutrients that our bodies need.
Some of the other disadvantages of a ThinkThin chocolate bar are that they don’t have nearly as many health benefits as other brands that are higher in fiber, protein and other nutrients that our bodies need. If your goal is to lose weight or stay healthy, buy yourself another chocolate strawberry bar protein bar.
Disadvantages of the QuestBar Cookies & Cream Protein Bar
The biggest disadvantages of the QuestBar Cookies & Cream protein bar are that it lacks fat and saturated fat, both important for weight loss. Although it does have high-fiber and protein content, the lack of saturated fat makes this bar a poor alternative to chocolate bars or peanut butter.
The next disadvantage of this bar is that it is extremely sweet, even though it is low in calories. The reason it is so much sweeter than other chocolate bars is because of its ingredient – chocolate whey. Chocolate whey is made by heating milk and then processing it into a liquid, as you would with regular soy or whey protein.6 Since it is very sweet, this product easily wears off, leaving you with a soggy chocolate bar in your mouth.
The last drawback of the QuestBar Cookies & Cream Protein Bar is that it has a rather large amount of sugar compared to other low calorie bars. The reason you will feel satisfied after eating this bar is the pleasing combination of chocolate and protein, and the fact that it only contains about 2 teaspoons of sugar (less than a quarter ounce cup).
The Importance of Choosing Healthy Protein Bars
If you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, the importance of choosing healthy protein bars can’t be stressed enough. It is very easy for a person who is not serious about their health to consume protein bars that are filled with all sorts of junk foods and unhealthy ingredients. These unhealthy bars have zero nutritional value and will do nothing positive for your body. To get the most out of choosing healthy protein bars, it is important to look for ones that are made with good quality, organic whey protein isolate. Protein isolates are much better for your body because they offer the same nutrients as the purest type of protein, but at a much lower cost.
A high-quality protein bar will have all of the essential amino acids that your body needs, without having to use up valuable muscle glycogen, which is what most high-quality weight loss supplements use. Many of the protein bars that are available in the market today do not contain any form of glycogen, which means they will leave you feeling hungry and depleted after eating just one bar. By choosing a high-quality protein bar like one that uses protein isolate, you can guarantee that your body will burn fat rather than store it.
The Irish Times / September 4, 2018
Cooking Light / January 11, 2018
1“The sweet danger of sugar – Harvard Health.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
2“The Benefits of Protein – WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-protein Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
3“Uncontrollable High Cholesterol Risk Factors – WebMD.” 16 Jul. 2020, https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/high-cholesterol-risk-factors Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
4“Knowing Your Risk: High Cholesterol | cdc.gov.” 31 Jan. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/risk_factors.htm Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
5“By the way, doctor: Is palm oil good for you? – Harvard Health.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/by_the_way_doctor_is_palm_oil_good_for_you Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
6“Whey Protein 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide – Healthline.” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-101 Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.