What Bar Should I Pack In My Bag?

A very common question clients often ask me is: what would be a good “go to” bar for long commutes, travel days and/or days where your schedules do not allow you for a proper meal. Due to ease and convenience, clients often gravitate towards bars. Bars get a bad reputation because many options on the market are glorified chocolate bars; however, not all bars are created equal.

Here are some general questions I ask myself when I am choosing a bar to pack in my bag for days when I have no time to eat a proper meal:

  1. How many grams of protein does the bar have?

I like to see a prepared item to have at least 6 grams of protein per serving. How else can you get 6 grams of protein? 23 almonds OR 1 hard boiled large egg OR 1/2 c of roasted pumpkin seeds.

2. Where is the sugar coming from? Is it a natural source (e.g. dried fruit) or is it added (e.g. honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.)

Individuals may argue that honey or maple syrup is a natural way to sweeten a product; however, it is still an added source of sugar. When a dried fruit (e.g. apricot, date, prunes, blueberries, cherries, etc.) is used as an ingredient, the fruit will also be providing additional fibre, minerals (e.g. calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium) as well as Vitamin A & Vitamin K.

TIP: Every teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams of carbohydrate. If you ever are unsure of how many teaspoons of sugar you are eating, divide the grams of sugar by 4. A woman can have up to 6 added teaspoons of sugar per day (24 grams/day) and a man can have up to 9 added teaspoons of sugar per day (36 grams/day)

3. How many grams of fibre does the bar have?

A bar can be a source of fibre if the bar contains at least 2 grams of fibre per serving. Because the average woman needs 25 grams of fibre/day and the average man needs 38 grams of fibre/day, I encourage individuals to find products which have at least 4 grams of fibre or more per serving.

Here are my top 3 recommendations:

  1. RXBAR

Reasons Why Rowena Likes:

  1. Short ingredient List which is recognizable and readable
  2. 12 grams of protein in each bar (equivalent to eating 2 large hard boiled eggs at once)
  3. All flavours taste good and keeps you full. Rowena’s favourite flavour is: Mint Chocolate

Where to Find in Toronto, ON: Summerhill Market

Price: $3.99/ bar

RXBars2

2. Kind Bars

Reasons Why Rowena Likes:

  1. Ingredient List is recognizable and readable. There are more ingredients used in the Kind Bars as opposed to RXBars; however, Kind Bars are easier to purchase as it is more widely available.
  2. Look for flavours which have only 5 grams of sugar/bar. Flavours include: Almond Mint & Dark Chocolate as well as Almond Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate.
  3. The above mentioned 2 flavours have higher than normal fibre content due to inulin (chicory root fibre also known as soluble fibre). Fibre will help keep you fuller longer.

Where to Find in Toronto, ON: Major Grocery Retailers throughout GTA

Price: $1.99/bar

kind bars

3. Nature Valley Lunchbox Bars

Reasons Why Rowena Likes:

  1. This is a smaller than average granola bar; this is the perfect size for an individual who is craving something sweet but is not exactly hungry. This bar only has 90 calories!
  2. The first ingredients listed include oats & inulin (soluble fibre); the more fibre you get, the fuller you will feel.
  3. The chocolate chip flavour has 4 grams of sugar/ bar; therefore, this is a great way to get your chocolate fix for the day.

BONUS: This is a school safe option for children to take to school.

Where To Find in Toronto, ON: Major Grocery Retailers throughout GTA

Price: $3.49 for a box of 5 bars

nature valley lunchbox bars

 

Do You have a Favourite “Go To Bar”? Let me know! 

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