convenient yet so full of garbage. They hold
the promise of being healthy, easy and full
of life-giving, muscle-building protein.
But have you
ever taken a few minutes to look at what's actually
I think you're
going to be in for a shock when you read the
TRUTH about the ingredients in some of the most
popular protein bars on the market right now.
Let's get right
#1 - Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)
This is, unfortunately,
one of the most prevalent protein sources you'll
find in protein bars, especially those marketed
to women. This marketing would have you believe
that soy is an excellent protein source for
women because of the isoflavones found in it.
In reality, studies have indicated that these
soy isoflavones can actually be TOXIC because
of how the soy is processed (fermented soy products
such as tofu are fine, just fyi).
SPI was actually considered a WASTE product
in soy processing until recently, when it was
discovered that money could be made by passing
it off as a protein source. It's cheap and definitely
NOT a high-quality protein. It should be avoided.
And the final
nail in the soy coffin: GMO. A very high percentage
of the soy grown in the United States is from
genetically modified organisms (GMO). They don't
currently have to be labeled as such but if
you're buying any sort of processed food, chances
are very good you're getting a GMO-sourced product.
#2 - High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is an easy
one to figure out...the adverse health effects
of it are well documented (contrary to what
the commercials from the Corn Growers Association
claim - those are truly among the most annoying
commercials in existence, trying to make people
who question corn syrup look stupid). It's one
of the WORST things you can eat and yet there
are still bars that use it as a primary ingredient.
#3 - Fractionated Palm Kernel
Palm kernel oil
is a cheap, unhealthy fat. Unlike plain palm
oil, palm kernel oil can't be obtained organically.
Instead, the oil must be extracted from the
pit with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent.
The fractioned form is the most processed...if
you so that in the ingredients, you should definitely
#4 - Sugar Alcohols
ingredients like Maltitol Syrup, Xylitol, Sorbitol,
Lactitol, Mannitol, and Erythritol. Sugar alcohols
are included in bars for sweetness...especially
in 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...and when things aren't
well absorbed in the digestive tract, things
happen (if you know what I mean).
In small amounts,
sugar alcohols aren't a big problem, but if
you start getting into the double digits of
grams of sugar alcohol (and many low-carb bars
are in the 20 gram range), THEN you can start
to see unpleasant digestive issues.
#5 - Artificial Sweeteners
I won't get into
the whole debate about whether artificial sweeteners
are bad for you or not and what they turn into
in your body, etc. Personally, I'm of the mindset
that if it's created by science, chances are
good your body won't recognize it and won't
be able to metabolize it into something actually
good for you. Therefore, I try and stay away
from artificial sweeteners as much as I possibly
can. I find the actual natural flavor of real
food to be pretty good :).
Those are my top
5 worst protein bar ingredients...and you will
actually find bars that contain ALL of these
ingredients in them.
The main problem
I have with the vast majority of protein bars
today is that at their most base level, they're
deceptive. The bars are put forward as convenient,
healthy alternatives to food for "on the
go" people. Yet when you take a close look
at the ingredients, they're actually WORSE for
you than most candy bars.
is the biggest factor...companies that use high-quality
ingredients in their bars have to charge more
for them in order to stay in business. Hence
the brick-like slop sold in bar form that you'll
find in the grocery store aisles today.
A New Breed of Protein
One of my most trusted supplement companies, Biotrust, makes an extremely delicous, completely ORGANIC protein bar containing NONE of these ingredients.
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