From candy bars to energy bars, there is a large assortment of different food bars on the market today. All of them have their specialty niche group of consumers and all can have different effects on your health, with some having worse effects than others.
When you are trying to watching your weight and figure, candy bars are the last thing you want to be consuming, especially on a daily basis. These are chalk full of fats, calories and carbohydrates. Outside of being tasty and offering a quick boost in energy, any bar found in the candy isle, whether it be Snickers or Three Musketeers, should be avoided.
Breakfast bars are a little trickier to determine if they are causing you to gain weight. Look at the back of the box to find the nutritional values. Start with the calories per bar. If it is under 200 calories a bar (like most of the Quaker Oat meal bars), then it is perfectly fine. Even with the little bit of chocolate on them, they are all right. The chocolate will add needed calcium. Of course, you need to watch your consumption. Healthy snacks can quickly be turned into gut-busters when you start consuming three or four at one time. If at all possible, make sure the bars have some fiber and protein in them. The fiber will help block fats and carbohydrates from being absorbed into the body, and the protein will keep you feeling full, which will help prevent you from eating additional food.
Fruit-in-the-middle bars are supposedly the "healthy" version of a fig cookie bar. However, this is not always the case. Because of the fruit in the middle, many of these bars have a large amount of sugar added, which will boost the level of calories. If you eat one bar, that is typically fine as a snack, but they are not very filling, and eating one will often lead to consuming many more. If possible try to find bars with several grams of fiber as well as reduced sugar.
Unless you are working out or partaking in strenuous exercise (such as long jogs, bike rides or kayaking) you should stay far away from these bars. Energy bars will often have the calorie amount of one full meal (around 500 to 600 calories). These will most certainly give you energy, but if you will be sitting at a desk for the next four hours, this energy bar will just end up being absorbed into your bloodstream, and all of the added calories, carbohydrates and protein will be converted into fat.
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