This article was written by guest, Lisa Marie Rosati.
One food product that has really skyrocketed in popularity is the energy bar. Ladies everywhere are spotted ripping open and eating little, convenient, foil-wrapped bars while running their errands or as a post-workout snack. Not that long ago, energy bars could only be found at health-food stores. Now you can find them everywhere, including supermarkets, your local drugstore, 7-11, BJ’s Wholesale or Costco.
Good ole’ corporate America never misses a golden opportunity to make lots of money, so many companies have created their own specialty energy bar specifically aimed to suck you in. There are energy bars made especially for women, children, men, high protein, moderate protein, high carbohydrate, low carbohydrate, meal replacement, weight loss, etc. Americans spend more than one billion dollars on energy bars every year!
As the name implies, energy bars were originally developed to “fuel” an athlete’s performance, by supplying them with both energy and endurance. Of late, they’ve turned into a convenient snack or quick, “on the go” meal for many. People are always asking me about energy bars. Are they really as nutritious and healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Are they good to eat for breakfast or as a meal replacement?
Here’s the scoop about energy bars…
Most energy bars are candy bars in disguise! They’re little, rectangle “sugar bombs” that are fortified with vitamins and minerals in colorful and attractive packaging. Inevitably, most energy bars will just end up sticking to your waistline or your ass (not the result you were hoping for)! In addition, any “energy” experienced is usually due to a sugar spike. Inevitably, the spike will lead to a crash a short while later leaving you exhausted and reaching for something else to boost your “energy”. There is a law in physics that goes something like this; “what goes up, must come down”!
Worry not… there is good news! Some energy bars are actually okay to eat in a pinch. The key is its sugar content. You want to choose a bar that is low in sugar, preferably 10 grams of sugar or less. The lower the sugar, the less it will impact on your blood sugar. All energy bar’s ingredients and contents can be found on the nutritional label located on the back of the package. There are a few energy bars that are much lower in sugars and therefore healthier for you to eat. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Raw Crunch Bars – they come in flavors chocolate, goji berry, blueberry and cranberry. Each bar is gluten-free, dairy-free, and GMO-free. They contain only 5 grams of sugar and 10 carbs ( in comparison; an Oatmeal Raisin Power Bar contains 22 grams of sugar and 43 grams of carbohydrates. Yikes!)
- Quest Bars – they come in flavors such as vanilla almond crunch, chocolate peanut butter, apple pie, cinnamon roll, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate brownie, coconut cashew, etc… Low in carbs and gluten-free.
Perhaps you’re a little adventurous and would like to try and make your own health-i-fied Energy Bars. Here is a link to a recipe I found on Mark’s Daily Apple that is super-healthy and nutritious. Make a batch and carry a few bars around with you for a quick snack.
Primal Energy Bars
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup almond or sesame seed meal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (check your local health food store)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
- On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown (you may need to shake the tray once or twice to make sure they cook evenly).
- Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground.
- In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 20 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Fold in nut mixture and almond (or sesame seed) meal until mixed thoroughly.
- Fold in blueberries/cranberries.
- Press mixture into an 8 by 4 loaf pan.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Cut “loaf” width wise. Should make 6 good-sized bars.
Enjoy! (or, if you don’t plan to eat immediately, you can store the bars in the refrigerator, covered loosely with a paper towel and plastic wrap.
Lisa Marie Rosati is an Amazon International Best Selling Author, International Health, Wellness & Lifestyle Goddess and Health Expert for www.sharecare.com. Lisa teaches women around the globe how to ROCK their Goddess, get their sexy back, attain optimal holistic health, ignite their mojo and create a kick-ass life through their Divine Feminine Gifts at her website, www.LisaMarieRosati.com.