In these modern times, we are always in a rush and our time to make and consume food has been drastically reduced. Although it is not the best approach to a healthy diet, from time to time we are in need of taking something to replace our meals and usually this involves meal replacement bars or shakes.
A meal replacement is anything intended to be a substitute for a solid food meal. It should be nutritious, fulfilling and weight-loss friendly.
Nutritionally complete meal substitutes are shown to be useful at the start of weight reduction programs and for weight maintenance because of their nutrition adequacy. The important thing is planning ahead and selecting the right kind of meal replacements that have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
What are Nutrition Bars?
Nutrition bars were originally developed for athletes that needed extra energy because of the hard training they did throughout the day. Today, everyone use these because they are easy to carry and stash, you can have them anywhere and they provide a quick boost of energy.
These bars are available in a variety of flavors and there are literally thousands of different brands to choose from. Most popular flavors are chocolate, nut and fruit flavors.
How to Make the Right Choice
As there are so many brands out there that put profit instead of quality on the first place, it is hard to find that many healthy choices when looking for a meal substitute.
To be sure you’re making the right choice, it is important to read the ingredients before buying anything and compare products for best results.
Here are a few things that you should watch for when buying meal substitute bars:
- High fructose corn syrup and other commercial sweeteners should be avoided
- Ingredients that you don’t recognize and would not be able to buy at the grocery store by yourself are not weight-loss friendly
- The amount of calories should range between 220-230 kcal per serving
- Main nutrients should be carbohydrates
- There should also be 3-5 g of fiber per serving
- Moderate amount of protein (10-15 g)
For best results, limit the intake of meal substitutes to once a day, or even three times per week.
Best Meal Replacement Bars
Here are some meal replacement bars that are considered healthy and nutritious:
Bumble Bar Chai With Almonds – has 210 calories and instead of corn syrup, they use organic brown rice syrup and contains crispy sesame seeds, flax and almonds.
Luna Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Bar – 70% organic, 190 calories and contains 35% daily needs for Calcium
Clif Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bar – has 190 calories, extra crunchy and contains low-fat Greek yogurt
ThinkThin Crunch – 170 calories, gluten-free, has half the sugar than average bar
Zing Nutrition Bar (Almond & Blueberry) – 220 calories, high in fiber and contains wild and organic blueberries
How to Make Homemade Meal Replacement Bars
If you are interested in making your own bars, check out this video: