Updated: Apr 9, 2022
First of all, I eat and love protein bars! I’m not here to rain on anyone’s protein parade, but walk down the grocery aisle and you’ll quickly notice many varieties of protein bars plastered with different health claims, like “organic”, ”fermented”, and “natural”.
What people fail to realize is that some protein bars have more sugar than candy bars. Although protein bars do offer some nutrition on the go, they are often marketed as nutritious and filling, but they are NOT health foods or meal replacements, and it’s important for people to avoid using them as food crutches. I’ll break down what they are, and how to choose the healthiest ones! Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to make a more informed choice about which protein bar is right for you.
There’s a general fear of protein deficiency out there, even if practically zero cases have ever been reported in the modernized western world. More than 95% of North America’s population is deficient in fiber though, but no one seems to care, since we’re too busy worrying about protein. Where does this protein hype come from?
In the 1970s, dairy corporations were looking for a way to increase profits and efficiency. Cheese making led to the formation of large quantities of wasted milk protein by-products, whey and casein. To avoid waste and increase efficiency and profit, these by-products were extracted, then powdered into protein isolates that we call whey protein powder. These products were among the first protein supplements directly marketed to body builders, and soon enough, they were being marketed to athletes all over. Shortly after, protein supplements were being sold in the form of powders, bars and drinks. People soon associated athletic performance to health, and corporations noticed as well. P