In this day and age, everyone wants a quick, easy fix with everything. This quick fix approach not only applies to our health, but it also applies to the food we eat. Nobody wants to spend time on anything anymore, and to be honest, many just do not have the time to prepare wholesome foods. Well, so they think.
Protein bars and shakes have now become a staple in many people's lives, opting for what is marketed as healthy foods and nutrients in a packet, over delicious, freshly prepared foods. What is worrying is how these protein bars and shakes are being marketed, and what people believe they are eating.
While protein bars and shakes can be a great source of getting extra fuel into the body prior to a workout or exercise, eating or drinking them while being sedentary many be akin to the affects of eating junk food.
People may look at this as being a bit of an alarmist statement, but if you take the time to see how many additives, fillers, gums and sugars (even artificial sugars which are worse) that are in the bars and shakes you are eating on a daily basis, it might just change the way you view those apparently healthy bars and shakes you are consuming.
There are so many bars and shakes on the market these days, and because of clever marketing and labelling, many of the bars and shakes can promote themselves as being a protein substitute, while actually having very little protein in them at all. They say nothing about being jammed packed with calories and sugar, which could rival some of the products in the confectionary aisles.
There are also the latest trends of shakes and bars being marketed through multi-level marketing, promising miracle cures, miracle body transformations and more, while being nothing more than a cash cow for a big corporation. Worse still, these products are full of fillers, additives, gums, preservatives, sugars and goodness knows what else, all being sold as a miracle cure for weight loss and a healthy meal replacement. They tend to have a cult like, brain washing, marketing spiel behind them, to make the old Amway hard sell look like child’s play.
Before I go into the 11 BS facts about protein bars and snacks, I do have to make one thing clear. Nothing can replace the amazing benefits of freshly prepared, wholesome, nutritious, clean foods. NOTHING!
Can Protein Bars And Protein Shakes Be Of Benefit To People?
Of course they can, but they should never ever be used as a meal replacement, and should only be used as a tool to get extra nutrients and proteins into the body, much the same way as we use vitamins to assist nutrient deficient diets and foods.
They are called a supplement for a reason. They are there to supplement a need for extra nutrients, glucose, proteins etc. They should never ever be used as a meal replacement.
Nothing can replace real foods or real drinks. You also need to do some thorough research to find ones that have little additives, small amounts of sugars and have good quality proteins and ingredients in them. They are out there, but you really need to search for them.
Protein bars and shakes should really be only used on days when we are exercising or just before a workout, to help get in extra energy and to assist with muscle repair. Too many people these days are relying on them as a food substitute, and wondering why they are putting on weight and rebounding when they come off these so called weight loss shake plans.
The worst part about protein bars and shakes is that they don't teach you healthy eating. These products just teach us to be lazy (most of the time) and we then forget the value of freshly made foods. Many shakes and smoothies you could make from scratch are far healthier and contain more live nutrients and proteins than any protein powder or bar could ever provide. Not to mention the beneficial enzymes and vitamins that fresh foods provide.
There is always time to make healthy clean eating foods – it just takes preparation and commitment to do so. Having the pantry and refrigerator stocked with healthy foods rather than unhealthy options, is a good start. Seeing a nutritionist or health care practitioner is a good idea as well, to help you have a plan and teach you healthy eating habits. Many people actually just don't know what healthy foods are.
Here are the 11 BS facts about protein shakes and bars, debunked with REAL facts:
1. Protein bars and protein shakes are not a meal substitute and should never be used as such.
2. Many of the shakes and bars on the market (not all), are filled with artificial flavours, sugars, gums, trans fats, additives, preservatives, fillers, phyto-estrogens and all many other nasty things
3. Just because it’s labelled as a protein bar or shake, it does not mean that it’s healthy. Many have little amounts of protein and are full of sugars that are the equivalent to candy bars.
4. Most of the multi-level marketed shakes and bars are full of harmful ingredients, and worse still, they are being prescribed by non-qualified lay people who are not trained in any form of health care or health management. Many are not even listed with regulatory bodies such as the TGA or FDA.
5. Protein bars and shakes are not good for controlling cravings and controlling hunger. Because so many are filled with hidden artificial sugars and additives, most of them will have you craving more sugar than you normally would without them.
6. Just because it has a celebrity or health industry personal trainer marketing them, it doesn't mean they are a healthy food choice.
7. Protein bars and shakes should never replace good clean health foods. NEVER!
8. Protein bars and shakes do not teach healthy eating habits
9. Just because they are made from supposed raw ingredients, doesn't mean they are necessarily healthy for you. Raw ingredients that are highly refined, are still refined processed foods.
10. Making homemade doesn't necessarily make them healthy either. Might not have all the fillers or additives, but it could still be high in sugars and calories.
11. Protein bars and shakes are not always a weight loss, health management product.
So, what does your protein shake or bar label say?
Dr Andrew Orr recommends the paleo/primal style of diets. he is a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer amongst his other impressive qualifications, which include double masters degrees in Women’s Health and Reproductive Medicine, Bachelor of Health Science and he is a qualified Doctor of Chinese medicine, naturopath and some much more!
For help with weight loss or other issues, you can see Dr Orr in his clinic in Brisbane.
Articles posted on BellyBelly which are not written by Doctor Andrew Orr are the opinions of BellyBelly and not necessarily the opinion of Doctor Andrew Orr.