Mitch - About.com User
Protein bars can help you lose or gain weight. A protein bar between meals can help control your appetite, just don't overdo it - one should be enough. Look for bars that are lower in sugar and calories. If you're trying to gain weight, eating protein bars can help. Add one or two bars to your regular diet, but don't cut calories from other meals.
Are there any bad protein bars?I don't think there really are any bad protein bars, but make sure you read the labels before you buy one - you may be surprised at the number of calories you're taking in because many brands are high in added sugar. Some protein bars are sweetened with sugar alcohols, which have fewer calories than sugar, but are not calorie-free. You should also avoid protein bars made with partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans-fats.
Do I really need the extra protein?Maybe, but as long as you eat a balanced diet, you probably get enough protein from the foods you eat; and even if your diet isn't so healthful, it's still probable that your protein intake is sufficient. My Calorie Calculators will also help you decide how much protein you need every day.
What does protein do?You need some protein every day so your body can maintain muscles, organs, and other structures and fluids in your body. If you engage in heavy physical activities, you'll need a little more protein than if you're less active.
What kind of protein is used in protein bars?Most protein bars use soy proteins or whey (a milk protein), and they may have a little extra protein from nuts and seeds.
Learn More About Protein
- Basic Nutrition: Protein Structure and Metabolism
- Basic Nutrition: Protein Digestion
- Nutrition FAQ: What Are Vegan Protein Combinations?
- Nutrition FAQ: How Much Protein Do I Need?
United States Department of Agriculture, ChooseMyPlate.gov. "Why Is It Important to Make Lean or Low-Fat Choices from the Protein Foods Group?" Accessed January 24, 2013. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/protein-foods-why.html.