By Kate Horney
On days that I’m running errands, in a rush, or just need a quick grab & go meal or snack option, my “emergency” stock of protein bars (in my pantry, purse, and yes, even my car!) are life savers. Not all protein bars are created equally, though. In fact, some bars have just as much sugar (or even more!) than a candy bar.
(Because let’s be honest, what mom doesn’t love Target?)
You can get them in the store, OR if you want to make it super easy, you can order all of the amazing flavors online!
And if you’re wondering how to tell if your protein bar is actually healthy (or just a glorified candy bar), you need to look at the FIBER!
For fat loss, our first priority is to limit carbohydrates. But the key here is that we are concerned with hormonal carbohydrates (sugar, starch, etc) rather than total carbs. The carbohydrates that come from fiber help keep us full and actually impact hunger in a positive way, so when you’re looking at the carbohydrates, we use the label reading tool.
3 Steps to Find a Fat Loss Friendly Protein Bar:
- Find the total carbohydrate grams.
- Subtract any fiber grams.
- Subtract total protein grams.
The number you have left should be low. For fat loss, the lower the better. Negative numbers are best. 🙂
Why The Type of Fiber In Your Protein Bar Matters
With that said, let’s talk quickly about fiber and why the type of fiber in your protein bar matters. Fiber is the basic building block of most plants and has incredible benefits for human metabolism. Soluble corn fiber is the latest innovative ingredient in the fitness industry, but it should NOT be confused with high fructose corn syrup!
While no type of fiber is actually digested in your body, the United States FDA still mandates listing it as carbohydrates. Instead, soluble corn fiber is fermented by the bacteria in your gut and turned into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are then absorbed while passing through the large intestine, which is why they don’t count toward your Net Carb total.
A growing body of scientific research has affirmed numerous health benefits associated with SCFAs, so when you’re looking at protein bars, be sure to check the type of fiber that’s being used.
I love Quest Bars because they fit with this formula perfectly, they’re packed full of protein, fiber and flavor without a lot of the untrustworthy additives of other protein bars. It’s no wonder they’re well-loved by athletes and health nuts!
Each bar contains: 20g+ Protein, 4-7 Net Carbs, 170-210 Calories, 13-15g Fiber, No added sugar.
Of course you can eat them on the go straight from the wrapper, OR if you have a few minutes, give one of these quick & easy healthy dessert recipes a try.
Quest Bar Dessert recipes you can make in less than 15 minutes.
1. Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Milkshake
This drinkable dream comes packed with 23g of protein per serving and takes about five minutes out of your day. Sit back, relax and whip up something sweet, you deserve it.
- 2 scoops Protein Powder (56g)
- 1 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest® Bar (60g)
- 1 ½ C water (356.4g)
- 2 C ice (310.2g)
- 3 T zero-calorie sweetener (43.3g)
- 1 T oats (6.8g)
- ½ t peanut butter (3.4g)
- ¼ t salt (1.8g)
- ¼ t vanilla extract (1.2g)
- 2 T dark chocolate chips (24.4g)
- In a blender, combine protein powder, Quest Bar™, water, ice, sweetener, oats, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until thick and smooth.
- Pulse in the chocolate chips.
- Pour into three glasses, and serve.
2. Banana Nut Sandwich
These things are called “sandwiches,” but really they’re a pair of Quest Bar cookies slathered in a sweet banana paste with nuts and cinnamon. The best part about these (besides the taste and freedom to use any bar you want for the sandwich/cookies) is that, yeah, it’s technically a dessert, but it has 21g of protein and only 5g net carbs.
- 1 Banana Nut Muffin Quest Bar®
- 3 T Protein Powder
- 1 1⁄ 2 T banana, mashed
- 1⁄ 2 T unsweetened almond milk
- 1 t walnuts, crushed
- 1⁄ 4 t banana extract
- 1⁄ 4 t zero-calorie sweetener
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Unwrap Quest Bar® and cut into four equal pieces.
- Microwave all pieces for 5 seconds, and flatten into circles.
- Bake for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together protein powder, banana, almond milk, walnuts, banana extract, sweetener, and cinnamon. Stir until a paste is formed.
- Place 2 1⁄ 2 tablespoons filling in the center of two cookies. Top with remaining cookies, and serve.
3. Stuffed Snickerdoodles
25g of delicious protein are waiting for you in these easy and delicious stuffed snickerdoodles.
- 1 Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar®
- 1 t Protein Powder
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 T sweet potato, cooked and mashed
- 1 T fat-free cream cheese
- 1 t zero-calorie sweetener, plus extra for dusting
- 1⁄ 4 t cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Microwave unwrapped Quest Bar® for 8 seconds.
- Spray two pieces of wax paper with cooking spray.
- Cut bar into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, and place on one sheet of wax paper. Cover with the other sheet.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each piece flat and into a circle, making one circle slightly larger than the other. Sprinkle each side of both circles with your dusting cinnamon and sweetener until nicely coated.
- Stir protein powder mashed sweet potato, cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of sweetener, and 1⁄ 4 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Fill center of the larger circle with sweet potato/cream cheese filling. Lay other circle on top and press edges together, folding up and crimping shut.
- Dust the top with a pinch of cinnamon and sweetener.
- Bake on a nonstick baking sheet for 6 minutes.
It’s not technically a recipe, because the only ingredient you need is “any Quest Bar.” Unless you really worked on your forearms at the gym earlier in the day, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get your bar open in…four seconds? Either way, bonus points if you’re heating up any of the bars with chocolate in them, or berries, or nuts, or… you know what? They’re all great.
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