Dec 11th, 2013
Author: CrossFit CDR
Category: CDR Community
What’s in Your Protein Bar?
Protein bars have been gaining some momentum these past couple of years in order capitalize on people’s growing concern for health, but who are also on the go. Now don’t be fooled, some of your favorite bars touting phrases like “muscle-building” and “weight management” might actually be candy bars in disguise. There is NO substitute for real, whole food, but I know not everyone has the time and money to always take a second and eat before or after a workout. Now what really is a protein bar? Well…its a processed food that’s designed to be self-stable for perhaps months to years at a time, so its made with preservatives and binders in order to prevent the growth of bacteria and to keep it from becoming stale. However, newer companies are coming out with bars that are made with quality whole foods that you can actually pronounce! Let’s really quickly examine the ingredients found in the average “Protein Bar”
Partially Defatted Peanut Flour
- Partially defatted peanut flour is basically peanut meal with the flavor of peanut butter in dry powder form. It increases the self-life of the product, imparts more texture control, and eliminates the problem of “bloom” or the migrating of oil to the surface of the bar. Look for whole natural peanuts in your bar instead.
Soy Protein Isolate
- Soy Protein Isolate contains soy isoflavones that can be toxic because of how the soy is processed. SPI wasn’t actually considered a waste product until recently, when companies discovered that money could be made by passing it off as a protein source. It’s cheap and not a source of high-quality protein. Look for whey or dried whole egg protein instead.
Fractioned Palm Kernal Oil
- Palm kernel oil is a cheap, unhealthy fat. Unlike regular palm oil, palm kernel oil is not organically made, and instead is extracted with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent. This is the most processed form of the oil–you should definitely avoid it! Look for fats such as olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, and flaxseed oil.
- Malitol syrup is a sugar alcohol that is sometimes included in bars for sweetness, and used for bars that are “carb controlled”. Sugar alcohols don’t impact blood sugar as much as regular sugar because they’re not well absorbed in the digestive tract. They are osmotic, which means they draw in water, and can cause gastrointestinal problems such gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Look for real sugars such as honey or agave.
- There is much debate surrounding artificial sweetners and cancer growth, and whether or not they are cause cancer. Artificial sugars are created by science, and your body does not recognize them as sugar. This leads to them passing through your digestive tract and being eliminated as waste. Therefore you do not absorb the calories, so manufactures can say the product has “0 grams of sugar.” However this can actually lead to an increase in total sugar intake as your body will still crave the sweetness that it does not get from the artificial sugars.
So the next time you check out a protein bar, take a quick look at the ingredients list and if you can’t pronounce all of them–ditch it! Some good brands to try are Quest bars and Perfect Foods Bar.
Workout of the Day
- Pajama workout this Thursday! Make sure to come dressed in your best Christmas pjs for the infamous 12 days of Christmas WOD!
- Anniversary Party is this Friday at 6pm! There will be no afternoon classes! There will be heaters!
Sign up for class here!