Today’s life is all about convenience. We have a new gadget been launched every other day and a new technology is getting prepared to take over the present. It’s about metro and speed trains over the Railways, smartphones over bulky computers, meal replacement powders over home cooked meals. When it comes to the food industry packaged products have made their mark a long time ago. Instant food items, meal replacement powders and shakes, pills, detox teas etc. Nutrition bars or granola or hi protein bars are of the same lot. But how healthy are these? Can they actually replace fresh home cooked meals or do our bodies lose more than they gain in the long run.
I have studied and analyzed nutrition information of some of these bars available in indian market. Whenever buying a packaged product we must always look the nutrition info panel printed on the back or the underside of the packet. Try to get more of fibre,vitA, vitC,iron,calcium and try to get less of fat,sugars,saturated fat,trans fat, sodium,cholesterol.
Look for values per serving. A product is low fat if it provides 3 gms or less of total fat per 100gms. Saturated fat should be 2 grams or less if you are health conscious. A product is low in sugar if total Sugars are less than 5 grams per 100 grams of the product and it is said to be high in sugar if total Sugars are more than 22.5 grams per 100 grams of the product.
I studied different brands available in the Indian market that provide high protein or energy granola bars. I have compared mainly fat,protein and sugars.
The variants include:
Nourish organics Vanilla nut bar
Yoga bar- vanilla almond
Yoga bar- Nuts and seeds
Yoga bar- chocolate chunk nut
Yoga bar- cashew orange
Natures valley oats and honey
Flicbox dark chocolate and almond fusion
|Bar||Serving size||Total calories||Total sugars in gms||Protein in gms||Total fat in gms||Saturated fat in gms|
|Nourish organics vanilla nut bar||30gms||135||9.6gms||4.20gms||5.7gms||1.8gms|
|Yoga bar vanilla almond||38gms||165||6.6||5.0||7.2||0.8|
|Yoga bar nuts & seeds
|Yoga bar chocolate nut||38||166||7.5||4.6||6.3||1.2|
|Yoga bar cashew orange||38||157||6.6||4.3||5.2||0.6|
|Natures valley oats & honey||21||100||6||2||3.5||0|
From the above comparison the cashew orange variant of yoga bar is near to all desired ranges. Total sugars are still not in low category and neither is fat but saturated fat is quite low. On the other hand flicbox uses whey protein and has highest protein among others above with sufficient calories and a fulfilling serving size but overall fat is high. So one can opt for this bar when workout is intense. Natures valley granola bars has low calories, low protein and low fats but comparatively have high sugar content.
The next time you pick up an energy or protein bar do look beyond total calories and protein content. These options are okay for once in a while addition in your diet or when other options in front of you are fried or are sugar coated desserts but they should not be a regular addition. If you are an athlete and burn 4000-7000 calories a day then some of the above options can be taken as a mid snack or pre workout.
One should always plan their routines and meals ahead and eat fresh home cooked meals. Eat seasonal and Eat local. Eat balanced and Eat with happiness and satisfaction