Protein bars are all the rage among people that want to be healthy. Individuals that frequent the gym often go on and on about their favorite protein bars, and one of the most popular companies in the world when it comes to this product is Quest. Quest’s protein bars are often considered the gold standard when it comes to this industry, but you might ask the question are Quest protein bars good for you? And by that, we mean actually good for you.
The fact of the matter is that not all protein bars are created equal. While some can be a part of a healthy diet, others are no better than chocolates or candy bars. They might taste good, and they might even be a decent source of protein, but overall they are not good for your health for a variety of reasons. They could potentially contain too much sugar, the proteins they contain could be useless for the body, or they could contain other ingredients that could cause unsuspecting harm to your body. Hence, to answer the question stated above, we must first try to understand the tenets of a good protein bar.
What Makes a Good Protein Bar?
Sugar Isn’t The First Ingredient
Let’s face it, a lot of the products we consume would be useless without sugar. Sugar is an intrinsic part of our diet, and there is no way to change that. However, just because sugar is important does not mean that it needs to be the first ingredient that is listed on the packaging. This is usually a sign that the product is loaded with sugar because the ingredients are listed in order of how much has been used, so avoid protein bars that have sugar listed as the first ingredient.
There’s No Hidden Sugar
If the first ingredient isn’t sugar but is instead something like corn or maple syrup, turbinado or dextrose, dump the bar right away. These are just different ways of saying sugar, so if your bar has something like this listed as the top ingredient, it indicates two things. Firstly, the bar is not nutritionally sound, and secondly, the manufacturers of the bar are using rather sketchy methods to hide the true face of their product.
They Have At Least Ten Grams of Protein
The primary reason anyone would eat a protein bar is to boost their protein intake. Hence, any bar worth its salt is going to have at least ten grams of protein in it. The first ingredient listed on the packaging should be a protein source of some sort. Whatever the source of protein is, the first thing you need to do is to check and make sure that there are at least ten grams of it in there. Then you can move on to the next step in ascertaining the quality of your bar.
The Protein is High Quality
You can’t just have any protein in your bar. Protein bars often have ingredients like xylitol and glycerine which are technically proteins but don’t have any actual nutritional value. One thing you should note is that these chemicals register as proteins if you analyze the bar, but since they don’t get digested as such in the body they are fillers that are put in to save costs. A company that adds ingredients like these is trying to make their products seem healthy but are not putting effort into creating healthful products for the health conscious consumer.
They Have Less Than 400 Calories
A protein bar is supposed to help you boost your protein intake, so they tend to be somewhat filling. That being said, the bars themselves are relatively small, so a ridiculously high-calorie count is unnecessary. It’s a sign that there are ingredients in the bars that are not exactly healthy. If the bar in question has more than 400 calories, it is no longer an adequate substitute to real foods that you could be eating instead such as eggs that provide lots of protein but contain very few calories. Protein bars are supposed to be convenient substitutes, but this should not come at the expense of your health.
The Final Question: Are Quest Protein Bars Good For You?
Now that you know the qualities of a good protein bar, you can compare Quest bars accordingly. Let’s start with protein content. A Quest bar contains 10 grams of protein that comes from real sources such as eggs and peas. This is a definite plus point. They don’t contain sugar, using xylitol instead as a source of sweetness. The protein filler is used for its flavor rather than a source of protein, although the fact that it is a sugar substitute (which aren’t exactly good for you) does not bode well for the bar. That being said, it does not negate the previous two plus points to a great extent.
Moving on to the other aspects of the bars, Quest bars are quite high in fat. They are almond based which is what raises the fat content. However, fat is not as bad you think it is. Indeed, a low sugar high fat bar can be pretty good for you, so this is something that works in this bars favor. Furthermore, they are pretty high in fiber and if there is one thing people need to do is keep their fiber intake up.
Hence, the answer to this question is pretty simple: yes! Quest bars are definitely good for you, better than most other protein bars. It is clear to see why they have a reputation as a gold standard in the world of protein bar. However, you should keep the sugar substitution in mind. Too much xylitol is not at all good for you, so make sure that you keep your consumption of Quest bars moderate otherwise the cons might end up outweighing the pros.