Are Plant-based Protein Bars Really Good for You?

June 05, 2018 0 Comments

Are Plant-based Protein Bars Really Good for You?

I have been traveling extensively for the last year throughout the US and Europe and having Amrita protein bars with me has been a lifesaver (and huge cost saver).  So let's talk about why plant-based protein bars are your best snack whether you're traveling or on the way to the gym or just having a long day at the office!  A lot of people tend to think about plant-based as not being very delicious and preparing food without animal products as mission impossible. That is where a plant-based protein bar can be a handy option! 

Even though vegan diet is dairy free and meat free, it includes a wide range of  healthy foods - vegetable proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats that can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains, nuts and seeds, spices and vegetable oils (especially olive, coconut oil). It is full of important nutrients that our body may lack and that meat does not provide.

Fresh Vegan Food  Photo credit by  Fresh food

Plant-based protein bars are a healthy snack and sometimes they can replace a meal because they are packed with superfood. Let's analyze a little bit their content.  When you look at the most vegan protein bars, the first thing you can see is a lot of fresh dried fruits or grains and seeds like Quinoa, chia, sunflower, oats, flax etc.                      

It is commonly thought that grains are full of useless carbohydrates, but unrefined grains can be a quality source of proteins. One cup of cooked quinoa supplies 9 g of protein, and a cup of chia seeds has similar nutrition profile as an egg.   

Grain and Seeds
The base of most vegan protein bars are sticky dried fruits. They are perfect source of natural sugars and minerals. In those bars, we can find dried datesberries, apples, plums, figs, bananas and raisins. Dried fruit contains the similar amount of nutrients as a fresh ones and a lot of fibers, omega 3 fats and antioxidants which improve our blood flow, digestive health and reduce the risk of many diseases.  Dried Fruits
 In order to be compact and not to crumble, vegan protein bars must have some binder - dates, maple syrup, fig paste, honey, etc are the common binders.  Stay away from any artificial fibers and isolate binders. Also steer clear of any bars or food products with corn syrup - you will be surprised how common corn syrup is in the cheaper packaged foods.  Also the use of healthy fats is important to balance blood sugars - ideally coconut, sunflower, chia, hemp or avocado oil. These good fats contain common elements such as vitamin E (Tocopherol), omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are very important for our blood system and for  providing us energy and for transport of vitamins which are soluble in fats throughout our body.

Sesame Oils

The market is flooded with protein bars, but most of them are not clean nutrition, or plant-based, mainly due to their over reliance on dairy and whey protein. So what exactly is whey? It is the byproduct from the dairy industry - that is highly processed.  Instead we recommend plant-based proteins such as brown rice protein, hemp protein or pea protein powder to fulfill all the macronutrients that your body needs. They are easily digestible and  provide necessary amino acids and vitamins.   I hope you have a good overview of what makes plant-based protein bars good for you and your family.