The Secret To Selecting The Healthiest Snack Bars

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

You can help supplement a meal with the healthiest snack bars on any anti-aging dietNutritional bars are widely popular because of its ease of use in a high speed society where the time for a wholesome meal made from fresh vegetables and fruits may not be possible. The healthiest snack bars contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as complex carbohydrates and protein. While a nutritional bar does not replace and should not replace a meal, eating the healthiest snack bars are much better than eating junk food, in times of hunger.

Looking for the Healthiest Snack Bars

There are a variety of nutritional bars on the market. Each approach nutritional from a different perspective. For the sportsmen, a high protein bar builds muscle. For those who want instant energy, a high glycemic index carbohydrate bar is a reasonable choice. The ideal anti-aging bar should mimic the anti-aging diet modified from the famous Mediterranean Diet.

Diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining metabolic health. Food technology in the present day is able to provide more food to more people than ever before, but at the same time it has made it far too easy to consume food low in proper nutrition and packed to the brim with extra sugar and calories. Digesting, processing and then living off this food, your body experiences stress when dealing with this food it was never designed to handle in the first place. That is why you need to look for the healthiest snack bars.

As if there weren’t enough stressors in the modern world, eating convenience and fast foods can contribute significantly to the stress load your body has to deal with; and if the body’s NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM circuits are constantly switched on, their constituent systems and organs start to run down, fatigue and malfunction. These dysfunctions of the NEM response system contribute to many of the symptoms experienced when you feel stressed out.

Fatigue, joint pains and brain fog are just a few of the common symptoms of a chronic, unmitigated stress response. These are often conflated with and can be mistaken for normal signs of aging. In reality, many of these symptoms attributed to the aging body have a significant stress component as well, and the body is simply not running at optimal function. Adhering to proper anti-aging diet principles for both your meals and snacks will go a long way to maintaining metabolic health, lowering stress and keeping you young longer.

Things to Look for in the Healthiest Snack Bars

  1. Start with low-glycemic carbohydrates that help stabilize blood sugar levels and maximize your energy over a longer period of time. Stabilization of sugar and insulin levels in the body is a key element of a successful anti-aging program. Whether eating whole food or nutritional bars, the same concept applies. Eliminated are the high-fructose corn syrups which bring most bars up over 15 grams of sugar and help create a fat storage insulin effect. Select bars contain 3 grams of sugar or less and have a better quality carbohydrate. It may not be as sweet as most prefer, but a lot heartier.
  2. High quality proteins formulated with a precise balance of a complete range of amino acids are utilized to help lean muscle repair, recovery and immune function. The Biological Value, or BV, of a protein is an indicator of the quality of the protein. It is a measure of a protein’s ability to be used by the body (or its bioavailability). It is a percentage (though the scale is skewed resulting in some BV’s of greater than 100) of the absorbed protein that your body actually uses. Biological Values are indicators of which proteins are best at aiding nitrogen retention in muscles to help them maintain or grow in mass. The BV of whey protein (hydrolyzed) is higher than milk, fish, beef, soy, wheat, beans, and peanuts. Look for it in the
  3. Many bars contain hydrogenated oil or trans fatty acid. Stay away from these negative nutrients. Look for those with essential fatty acids from flaxseed and lecithin which will feed the body the hormonal building blocks necessary to reach true balance.Essential fatty acids in the healthiest snack bars
  4. The ratio of carbohydrate to protein to fat is a key factor in putting the body into true balance. The anti-aging food choice program utilizes a 50-25-25 ratio. Look for bars that maintain this ratio. Many bars are high in protein, which is good for young athletes but not ideal from an anti-aging perspective. Too much protein increases the kidney load and creates an acidic body.

High glycemic carbohydrates spike your blood sugar, leading to fat storage, while too few carbohydrates deplete your energy and have a catabolic muscle wasting effect. The carbohydrate should be low glycemic. The wrong type of fat is damaging to your cells, while the right type of fat not only builds a healthy cell wall, but also increases metabolism while optimizing hormonal function.

Healthiest snack bars
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Hello Dr. Lam,

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1 Comment

  • Deon James says:

    Interesting article, thanks for the info. Ill have to re-evaluate my typical granola bar.