Do you skip meals to save time? Keep these nutrition bars handy

Do you skip meals to save time? Keep these nutrition bars handy

To many of us, sitting down to a meal looks too much of a luxury these days. Skipping one or more of the three main meals and then gorging on whatever comes your way looks more like the norm than exception. Nutrition bars that are high on energy and protein could well be a smart way to keep you off those friend snacks and junk food. The ready-to-eat bars can keep you full and provide the essential nutrition intake while on the go. Once favoured by sportspersons, nutrition bars come with different amounts of carbs and proteins. Here are some tips to find out how to choose one that suits you.

Energy/Activity Bar

Energy bars contain cereals and other high energy foods that will supply quick energy when you don’t have time for a meal. Choose them only if your routine involves a good deal of physical activity. Nicknamed pre-exercise bars, they are great when taken an hour or so before workout or a race.

Cereal Bar

Cereal bars are the best go-to snack when you are on the move. It is ideal to keep you off fries and high calorie snacking options.

Protein Bar

Unlike energy bars, protein bars are low on carbs and sugar. The nutritional emphasis is on proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Diet Bar

Diet bars are a good option if you are trying to lose weight. They contain the same level of nutrients and calories as a full meal.

Do some fact checking before choosing a nutrition bar

The idea of pre-wrapped, pocket-sized nutrition bars is absolutely tempting when we are racing to be everywhere and compromising our meals. You would certainly feel thankful to have stashed a few in your bag when you would otherwise reach for a coffee from a vending machine. But remember to do some fact checking before you bite into a bar.

Not all nutrition bars are low in calories. Some of them could be ultra-processed foods in which the calories come from added or refined sugar. The added protein contained in some of the bars is known to cause health problems. Nuts and seeds present in the bars already contain protein and you may end up taking an excess of protein.

When choosing a nutrition bar, make sure that you read the labels. Choose the low-calorie, sugar-free ones. Look for bars made with whole foods like nuts, fruits, and veggies. If you are already taking multivitamin tablets, you might not need the bar at all. While they could be eaten once in a while as a meal replacement, it is always better to eat a real breakfast, lunch and dinner as a habit. The best part is that you can always make your own healthy, easy, no-bake nutrition bars at home.

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