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17 Apr 2024, Edition - 3200, Wednesday

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Health Matters

Nutrition Bars For Weight Loss: 5 Things To Remember While Choosing Energy Bars For Your Diet



Weight loss isn’t very easy to achieve as there are a lot of factors that play a vital role in the scheme of things. Your body mass index, the amount of fat in your body, your metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories and converts them to energy), your diet, meal timings, hormones and sleep cycles are all factors that directly impact your weight loss journey. Moreover, there’s a lot of information out there about quick fixes, weight loss fads and ‘miraculous’ fat-cutting solutions that can confuse us. There are a number of products out there that also promise to bring our weight to a number that is more desirable to us. Nutrition bars are one of those that promise to be healthy on-the-go snacks for those watching their weight. The market is full of brands selling these ‘high-protein, high-fibre’ energy bars.

Nutrition Bars For Weight Loss: Are They Helpful?

Energy bars are convenient, easy-to-carry and eat and promise to pack in more nutrition in fewer amounts of calories. But are they really good for weight loss? Health freaks swear by certain brands of nutrition bars, which are often substituted for actual meals. However, it all depends on the contents of a particular brand of the energy bar. Most energy or nutrition bars do have good amounts of healthy carbohydrates and fibre and some are fortified with protein too. But unfortunately, these often also tend to be high in sugar and may even be loaded with trans fats.

So if you’re looking to lose weight, you may want to stay away from grabbing energy or nutrition bars daily. However, you can eat them once in a while, but make sure you purchase the right nutri bar that is actually rich in the right micro and macro nutrients and low in sugars and overall calories. Obviously then, these ‘healthy’ nutrition bars won’t be great in taste, but they will help you load up on the requisite energy and nutrition, without derailing your weight loss journey.

Here are a few quick pointers to refer to, while choosing nutrition bars when you’re on a weight loss diet:

1. Opt for nutrition bars made from healthy cereals like oats, and high-fibre foods like seeds, nuts, as well as nut butters. The fewer the ingredients of the bar, the healthier it is though.

2. Make sure to check the label for sugars. Anything that is suffixed with ‘-ose’ on the nutrition label of the energy bar is a sugar. Go for a bar that contains no more than 10 gm of sugar per bar.

3. Opt for a nutrition bar that contains more dried fruits like raisins, apricots, dates as these bars will be naturally sweeter and healthier.

4. Check for the protein to carbohydrate ratio in the bar. If it’s an protein bar you are going for, then the ratio should be 1:1, while in an energy bar, 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs is good. For weight loss, protein bars are better suited to you than energy bars.

5. Avoid ‘sugar-free’ nutrition bars as these often contain sugar alcohols, which are harmful for your health.

So now you know! As a general thumb rule, when you’re looking to lose weight, everything that comes from the farm is better and healthier for you, while everything that comes from a store should be treated with more than a pinch of suspicion.

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