Are Nutrition Bars A Good Idea?

Feeling rushed? With the holidays right around the corner, it seems like there is less and less time in the day. Sometimes it’s just easier to eat out or pick up a snack and eat as you go. For example, nutrition bars are a popular choice when you need something to eat, but don’t have time or whip up a meal. Nutrition bars are portable, available and can remove the decision making out of eating.  Should we be relying on them to meet our nutrition needs and how do we evaluate which one is healthy?

Read some of the links below for the answers.

Nicole Isinga, R.D. evaluates the 5 most common nutrition bars obtained from a health food store – Larabar, Simply Protein, Cliff Bar, Luna and Kind Bars. Can you guess the order?

The Real Food Dietitians suggest the most acceptable times to reach for a nutrition bar:

Web MD RD Applegate reports that many people are over relying on protein bars. “Some people go to Costco and buy boxes of energy bars and feel “I’m doing a good thing by eating them.” One bar a day can be handy but more can take the place of other nutrients found in whole, unprocessed food.

  1. Pre-workout or post-workout.
  2. Travel snacks.
  3. Hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities.
  4. Emergency fuel.
  5. Occasional treat.

An alternative quick snack could be an apple with 2 tbsp. of peanut butter. Read here to find a list a great substitutions for those “nutrition” bars.

About the Author: Patti Miller, R.D. 

Patti Miller is a Registered Dietitian having completed her B.S. in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics as well as a dietetic internship. Patti’s professional background includes clinical nutrition support within hospitals and inpatient facilities as well as outpatient counseling and home care visits. Patti has worked as a consultant for BaySport providing one-on-one counseling. She has consulted with private fitness clients and provided nutritional assessments for a healthy, ready-to-cook meal preparation service.  She belongs to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and California Dietetics Association. Patti enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two sons and enjoys weight training, golf, games and travel.

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