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Can you eat protein bars every day?

Can you eat protein bars every day?

 

If you head to the supermarket snack aisle, you might have noticed a considerable range of protein bars stacking the shelves. Many promises to be a 'healthy' snack that will taste nice and be good for you…but are they really?

A closer look at the ingredients and sugar levels in some of these bars can make you question whether they're a good idea to eat every day.

While there's no problem with the occasional sugary snack or 'unhealthy' treat, eating certain types of protein bars every day might be problematic long term.

Fortunately, there are healthy options out there that can be eaten every day!

This article will run you through what's actually in protein bars, their benefits and downsides, and our recommendation for the healthiest protein bar.

Want to jump straight to our recommendation on a protein bar you can eat on the daily? Try the Plant Protein Bar


What Are Protein Bars?

Well, they're exactly what they sound like: a 'bar' high in protein! Of course, it's not a source of 100% protein. These bars are a blend of a protein source, carbohydrates (like fruit, oats, and grains), and fats (from nuts, oils, and/or seeds).

Depending on the product, some bars also contain added sources of vitamins and minerals.

The protein sources tend to be one of the following:

Whey Protein Powder: A byproduct of cheese production, whey is probably the most common type of protein used in protein bar supplements. It's a complete protein source; however, many people find that it negatively affects their digestion and skin quality. [1]

Plant protein: Increasingly more popular, plant protein is derived from a whole food plant source. For instance, in our protein bars, we use pea protein. We use this because it's allergen-free and contains many BCAAS (branch-chain amino acids). Other popular sources of plant-based proteins are soy protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin seed, and hemp protein.

Nuts and seeds: As well as a protein powder, many bars contain nuts, like cashews and almonds, that help to up the protein content of the bar. These nuts are also an excellent source of healthy fats. We use a blend of cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts and add hemp hearts to boost protein, iron, and magnesium.


Protein bars can vary in their objective. Some are designed to be a simple boost of protein, while others have a good source of carbs for use post-workout. Increasingly more popular, meal replacement protein bars have come to the forefront - with high calories and a complete nutritional profile intended to replace a full meal.

What are the benefits of protein bars?

We live in an age where convenience is king. Many of us have hectic lives, and maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging - particularly when so many easy, tasty, but ultimately unhealthy choices are always on hand.

By stocking up on a high-quality protein bar, you can ensure you always have a convenient source of nutrition.

Here are the main benefits of protein bars:

Portable: Protein bars are space efficient, and you can fire a few in your bag when you're out and about.

Convenient: Unlike a prepped meal, eating a protein bar is simple. You won't make a mess, you don't have to use cutlery, and you don't need to heat it up - simply open the wrapper and eat it!

Healthy: If you're working in an office and are constantly tempted by the pastries at the coffee shop, having a protein bar in your bag can be an excellent way to stay on track with your health goals (of course, assuming you choose a high-quality protein bar - more on that later).

Good source of protein: Protein is essential for effectively building and repairing muscles. Adding a daily protein bar to your diet can be an easy way to get an extra protein boost.

Fullness: Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. A mid-morning protein bar can keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.


What are the downsides of eating protein bars every day?

As the old saying goes - everything in moderation. That being said, there's no problem eating protein bars every day…assuming you choose a quality product.

Unfortunately, not all of the products on the market are good for you (one of the reasons we decided to make our own).

Here are some red flags to look out for in protein bars:

They are high in sugars:  Many commonly available protein bars at the supermarket contain added sugars. Eating these daily can be harmful in the long run, as we all know that high sugar intake can increase weight, body fat, and tooth decay. [2]

It can negatively affect digestion: If you opt for a whey protein, you may find that your digestion is negatively affected. Plant-based protein sources are typically well tolerated by most people. [1]

They contain artificial flavourings and preservatives: Ideally, you want a protein bar with whole food ingredients. Artificial flavourings and preservatives have been linked to adverse health issues when consumed over time.

They can be expensive: The cost can add up if you buy a bar at the supermarket each day. It's usually more affordable to buy a larger pack (we sell our bars in packs of 12).

It would be best if you also didn't rely on protein bars as your only source of protein. Eating a wide variety of whole foods is essential to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.


How to choose the right protein bar:

All in all, eating a protein bar daily can be a really healthy part of your diet. This is one of the reasons we decided to create the Vivo Life Plant Protein Bar. We realised that so many of the bars on the market weren't actually good for you!

We wanted to create a protein bar to help you improve your health and be a reliable part of your daily nutrition.

We made sure it had the following:

A balanced macronutrient profile: A protein bar shouldn't contain just pure protein! It's important to have a balanced macronutrient profile in your chosen bar. For instance, our protein bar contains 21% protein, 29% carbs, and 47% healthy fats. This means it's full of vital nutrients your body needs.

No harmful contaminants: Unfortunately, many protein supplements are not sourced or tested responsibly. They can contain dangerous levels of heavy metals and contaminants, like mercury, lead, herbicides, and pesticides. Our protein bar is third-party tested for safe levels of these contaminants.

A plant-based source of protein: Whey isn't good for digestion and can negatively affect your skin. A plant-based source of protein is a better option for your health, and it's also far kinder to the environment.

Recyclable packaging: If you're out and about, it's important to choose a bar with recyclable packaging - so you can dispose of it responsibly when you're finished.


Try the Vivo Life Plant Protein Bar for a convenient boost of protein:

If you're looking for a protein bar to add to your daily routine, consider the Vivo Life Plant Protein Bar.

It's got 16 grams of protein from whole foods, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats.

Available in boxes of 12, each bar is only £2.34 per serving: less than the price of a sugar-filled muffin at the coffee shop. You can also pick up a single bar on its own.

With our subscription service, you'll get the packs delivered straight to your door via carbon-neutral delivery, so you'll never run out.

Try the Plant Protein Bar!

Sources:

[1] Vasconcelos QDJS, Bachur TPR, Aragão GF. Whey protein supplementation and its potentially adverse effects on health: a systematic review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2021 Jan;46(1):27-33. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2020-0370. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32702243.

[2] Delli Bovi AP, Di Michele L, Laino G, Vajro P. Obesity and Obesity Related Diseases, Sugar Consumption and Bad Oral Health: A Fatal Epidemic Mixtures: The Pediatric and Odontologist Point of View. Transl Med UniSa. 2017 Jul 1;16:11-16. PMID: 28775964; PMCID: PMC5536157.