By: Sarah Frazier ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Intern
Most college students can agree that a busy schedule can lead to a decreased emphasis on food and nutrition at times.
One of the biggest things we hear as nutrition peer educators is that sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to eat!
At times it is necessary to have a grab-and-go snack to keep us going until we have time to sit down to our next meal.
But there are so many different bars out there: how do you know which one is the best choice?
Get the most out of your bar. Continue reading for a list of some of the best bars available on campus, and what to look for in your favorites!
- Fiber One Protein™– What’s great about these bars is that they are packed with fiber! These bars contain 5 grams of fiber, where some bars only contain 1 gram, if any. Fiber is essential to a healthy digestive tract and regularity. Fiber also keeps you feeling full longer.
- CLIF Builder’s Snack Size™– These bars have 10 grams of protein in them and they come in a smaller size, which makes them so easy to toss in your bag and take with you anywhere. Protein is important to build muscle and keep you going throughout the day.
- LUNA Nutrition Bars™– The best thing about these bars is that along with a balance of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein, they are also packed with other vitamins and minerals. A variety of the flavors contain vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, and folic acid. These vitamins and minerals are essential to your body performing in tip-top shape every day.
- Balance Bars™- Just like the name suggests, these bars have a great balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These three macronutrients are what your body goes after for fuel, hormone production, and muscle building respectively. They come in a lot of great flavors and are perfect for on the go!
Now that you have some examples, how can you tell if your favorites are “good for you”?
Balanced nutrients are key when selecting a meal bar.
You want to have enough carbohydrates to keep your energy level up until your next meal, a reasonable amount of protein, and try to get some fiber as well.
Your best choice would be a bar that contains at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, 5-15 grams of protein, and at least 1 gram of fiber (but always aim for more fiber whenever possible).
Always watch for trans fats and remember that nutrients are best when they come from whole foods.
Quick bars are a great option to keep you fueled while on the go – you just need to be choosy!
To learn more about choosing the best on-the-go snacks and whole food alternatives, reserve a free diet analysis session at the Health Center. For more information visit http://ter.ps/dietanalysis or call 301-314-5664.