Snack Bars And Shakes – Make It A Healthy Choice

I did some research and discovered that some snack bars and shakes may not be the healthiest but the choice is yours. Because unfortunately it may come down to how something tastes regardless of the amount of sugar. You’ll want that snack bar to be high in fiber, low in sugar and have some protein. And with that shake or smoothie you’ll want it to be high in protein, low in calories and sugar free. Research shows that the average American consumes 156 lbs of sugar a year. That comes to 13 lbs of sugar consumed in a month. That’s a ton of sugar. Is that amount healthy? If you’re a diabetic like me it’s not. That’s why I take the time to read how many grams of sugar are in whatever snack bar I’m buying. The same applies to a shake or smoothie. All the ingredients have to be natural not concentrated. Adding concentrated juice means a higher concentration of sugar.

Ask yourself how often do you snack during the day? And when you snack what are snacking on? Is it a candy bar, like a Snickers, that’s high in sugar and calories. When you check the ingredients you’ll learn that a Snickers bar has 270 calories. For those that count calories, like me, you don’t want to exceed 2000 calories a day. That Snickers bar represents over 10% of that total amount. You want to be careful when you choose a candy bar that’s full of sugar and calories. That’s why replacing a candy bar with a healthy snack bar or a delicious healthy shake/smoothie is the best way to go.

It’s common knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal because eating breakfast gives our body the fuel we need to get started in the morning. Before I head out the door in the morning I make sure to eat a bowl of fiber laden cereal with lactose and soy free milk. I prefer Kashi Heart to Heart honey toasted oat cereal and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze milk. A very tasty combination!

Meanwhile back to snack bars and shakes. One issue regarding snack bars is some taste like cardboard covered with chocolate or an interesting tasting glaze. Fortunately today’s snack bars are tastier and void of the cardboard texture. Now if you graze like me you’ll want to add fruits and/or vegetables, some protein, and/or a whole grain to your daily diet. Let’s take a look at list of some healthy choices:

Here are a few healthy snack examples:

  • Half a sandwich on whole wheat bread with baby carrots
  • Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
  • Bowl of high fiber cereal with an orange
  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Cheese and fruit
  • Small bowl of soup with whole grain crackers

When choosing a snack bar look for with the following ingredients:

  • Little or no saturated fat
  • Fiber (at least 3 grams per serving)
  • Protein (at least one serving of protein = 7 grams)
  • Relatively low in sugar (9 grams or less, which is a little more than 2 teaspoons)

Here are some of the best snack bars:

  • Fiber One 90 calorie (i.e. chocolate, 5 grams of sugar)
  • Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 (i.e. peanut butter chocolate, 7 grams of sugar)
  • Kashi TLC (i.e. cherry dark chocolate, 8 grams of sugar)
  • Here are some of the worst snack bars:
  • Cliff bar (i.e. blueberry crisp, 21 grams of sugar)
  • Balance Bar (i.e. honey yogurt peanut, 17 grams of sugar)
  • Odwalla Bar (i.e. super protein, 17 grams of sugar)

As for shakes you don’t want to spend a lot to get a lot. One popular smoothie is WonderSlim Protein Diet Smoothies with 7 Servings Per Box. You can also try Slim-Fast and Atkins shakes. And make sure the shake you choose has the following features:

  • High Protein
  • Low Calorie
  • Enriched with Vitamins and Minerals
  • Trans Fat Free
  • Saturated Fat Free
  • Aspartame Free
  • Use as a Meal Replacement Shake for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
  • Can Fit Into any VLCD, Modified VLCD, or LCD Weight Loss Plan
  • Quick and Easy to Make
  • Easily Mixes with Water

Please keep in mind that adding a snack bar and/or shake will not guarantee weight loss. Both are designed to enhance your healthy diet not replace it. Of equal importance is a regular exercise regimen. And what write about I do. Following my weekly stay in the hospital in October 2010 I changed my diet and began eating healthier. I also included a daily exercise regimen. The result is I’ve lost over 50 lbs and feel much better and I have more energy. I personally recommend the Kashi bars. They are tasty and give you energy to last to the next meal.