Energy bars seem like a quick and easy solution to the nutritional needs that can arise when you are away from home, doing activities such as cycling, hiking or climbing. Despite being sold as a healthy option, something that may even appear on its packaging or in the bar’s own commercial name, many experts agree that they are not as healthy as they pretend.
“If you take a look at its nutritional value, more than half of its components are glucose and other sugars. More than healthy foods, they are treats in disguise “, explains Concepción Martínez, sports nutritionist. The expert points out that just by taking a look at the additives that they sometimes bring, such as covered with honey, chocolate or jam, it can be sensed that they contain a lot sugar.
A bar with crickets (sold at Carrefour) contains 15.3g of sugar, equivalent to 3.8 cubes. pic.twitter.com/sCZUB0BiQe
— sinAzucar.org (@SinAzucarOrg) April 19, 2018
They are not substitutes for meals
Martínez tells how he has come to find some of these bars with a nutritional value as disastrous as that of renowned chocolate and syrup snacks. In addition, another of the dangers of this preparation lies in its use. For example, some people use them as meal replacements, in order to lose weight. Something not recommended, since in itself, the nutritional contribution of the bars is not enough as to meet the needs of the body in terms of vitamins and minerals.
“It can cause nutritional imbalances,” warns Martínez. Problems that have been found on several occasions among the patients who come to your consultation. “In order to lose weight, sometimes we cling to a burning nailFurthermore, in the case of energy bars there is a lot of marketing that all it does is confuse people, “he adds.
It is better to eat fruit and nuts
Eating fruit or nuts is healthier than any of these bars, in addition, these foods are easy to transport, so it would not be a problem to take them to any sports activity outside the home. For example, bananas or dates are capable of providing that extra kick of energy that is sought with these products, but without the additions and sugars of the same and above providing fiber and potassium.
Another of the healthiest options are hummus and carrots, a nutritious snack loaded with protein and suitable for athletes and the most extreme sports. Pumpkin seeds or roasted chickpeas, they are also a perfect alternative to carry in your backpack and consume on the go. They are a great source of fiber and vegetable protein, as well as iron and folic acid, key to muscle recovery.
“Consume fiber-rich energy bars Before doing sports it is not recommended, since its slow digestion can cause diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Some of these preparations contain up to 12 or 15 grams of fiber per serving, “warns Martínez. As a comparison, an apple contains about 5 grams of fiber, while a slice of bread does not exceed three.
“As with other preparations, regularly consuming energy bars is not advisable, but you do not have to worry if it is done occasionally. a minimum in terms of nutritional values that you would require from an energy bar. For example, that contain less than three grams of saturated fat and at least four grams of fiber “, emphasizes Martínez.
The expert points out that one should pay attention to whether they mention sugar alcohols such as xylitol, erythritol and artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame among their ingredients. These are not harmful to health, as they are additives approved by the European Food Safety Authority, however, it points out that they make digestion difficult for some peopleSince they are not absorbed into the blood, they pass through the intestine and are fermented there, causing more flatulence and slow digestion.
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