How to Pick a Good Keto-Friendly Protein Bar
The ketogenic diet is an excellent way to lose weight and feel your best. While there’s plenty of things that you can eat, there is a whole lot more that you can’t. This is manageable when you are at home and have easy access to your kitchen, but it can be challenging when you are on the go. Indeed, finding a healthy snack that will keep you in ketosis is a struggle for most. Low-carb bars can help, but finding good keto-friendly protein bars is not easy!
Low-Carb Protein Bars Versus Keto Bars
One of the first things you need to understand is that just because a protein bar is low in carbohydrates does not mean it is a good choice for keto. That’s because most bars that market themselves as being low-carb are also low in fat. In fact, the majority are less than 30% fat, by calorie count. This is a problem because it will not keep you full in between meals, making you vulnerable to temptation.
The other problem with low-carb protein bars is that they are usually laden with unhealthy sugar alcohols and preservatives. Quest Bars are notorious for this but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. They’ve made strides over the years to be healthier, where as many others, such as Pure Protein and One Bars have not changed anything in their formulations. They are truly a health hazard.
How about a Meat Bar?
With hundreds of bars to choose from, there are many odd entries in the keto bar category. But meat bars probably take the cake. While most people find them disgusting, there are some passionate fans and followers. Typically they are more likely to be Paleo dieters than keto, because meat bars generally are high in protein and low in carbs, but not high in fat. Therefore they are not the ideal choice for people on ketogenic diet.
How Much Fat Should There Be?
If you’re on keto, protein consumption is important but what you really need a lot of, to stay in ketosis effectively, is fat. According to Human Food Bar, a website that specializes in identifying the healthiest bars for niche diets like keto, keto-friendly protein bars should be 60% fat or greater. You can read the reviews of the top three bars that were identified: MariGold, Perfect Keto, and Atlas. Also listed are a number of unhealthy options that you should avoid at all costs.
But just having a lot of fat is not enough: you want it to be healthy. Don’t settle for anything less than coconut oil, MCT oil, and ghee. They have omega-3‘s and will give you energy to carry you through the day. Be careful, because plenty of bars use unhealthy fats, such as soy bean oil. Watch out especially for oils that are partially hydrogenated.
Go with Grass Fed Whey Protein
The best protein source is grass-fed whey protein. Don’t settle for anything less: grass-fed has four times as much conjugated linoleic acid at standard whey protein, and CLA is known to have numerous health benefits including helping with weight loss. Grass-fed collagen protein is a solid alternative.
Be Careful with Net Carb Counts
The protein bar manufacturers are lying to you – you cannot trust their nutrition labels. It’s now known that sugar alcohols are partially absorbed by your body–they’re not true zero calorie sweeteners. However, many manufacturers remove every gram of sugar alcohol when calculating the net-carb count. In reality, they should only be subtracting about 1/2 to 2/3 in order to come up with an accurate number. That’s the reason that Quest Bars was sued: they mislabeled their bars, and got in trouble for misleading marketing.
Choose Organic, Non-GMO, Healthy Ingredients
Face it: protein bars are a processed food, and you know you should not be eating processed food on a regular basis if you want to be healthy. However, there are keto-friendly options that are surprisingly healthy, being not only made from clean ingredients but also lacking in unhealthy ingredients, including artificial flavors, preservatives, fake synthetic fibers, and sugar alcohols. If you choose the right bar, you can end up with a tasty snack that is healthy enough to eat every day. All while helping to keep you in ketosis!
Finding Good Keto Protein Bars Is Not Easy
As we’ve seen, there are a number of pitfalls when it comes to finding the right keto friendly protein bar for you. You’ll need to look for something that is high in healthy protein, and even higher in fat, well also being free of unhealthy sugar alcohols, synthetic fibers and preservatives. Avoid GMO‘s as well. And don’t forget about taste, it doesn’t matter how healthy something is if you’re not going to eat it!
For more information, read Human Food Bar’s reviews of the 10 best low-carb protein bars for keto.