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Health Food Bars: 5 Brands I recommend

Take a walk down the supermarket health food isle and you are bombarded with choices - but how do you choose which product is best? Food labels are deceiving and unless you know what you are looking for, you might as well just shop in the confectionery isle as some of the 'healthy' products available should move there. Many well known brands marketed as 'healthy' contain vegetable oils, sugar, preservatives, soy and MSG - ingredients you want to stay away from.

When looking for a protein/health bar, look for the following:

1. How 'clean' are the ingredients, look for as fewer wholefood ingredients as you can.

2. Yes the sugar content is important, but I think the source of the sugar is more important. Steer away from bars that contain refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and corn syrups and opt for brands containing unrefined sugars, such as dates, honey, rice malt syrup and dried fruit. The less sugar the better.

3. If you are wanting the bar as a post-workout protein snack, opt for ones that have at least 10g of protein per serve.

I have looked through many brands to find the best options in regards to the top three points and here are my top 5 picks:

1. Emma and Tom's: these guys have a huge range and I love that their products are conveniently available at supermarkets. They don't have a large range of nut free products, which limits their use as a school snack, however, the Ginger Bread bar below is nut free. Here are some of my favourites:

2. NutraOrganics: I love this brand! They are paving the way forward by offering an innovative range of organic products that taste great and are packed full of wholefoods and superfoods. Their kids range of bars and lunchbox snacks is limited, however, they are clever with their marketing and the products really do appeal to kids, and taste great too! They also have a great range of superfood powders for kids that can be added into almost anything for a nutritional kick.

3. Planet Food: Also available at supermarkets, this brand ticks all the boxes: clean, wholefood ingredients, good amount of protein per serve and sweetened naturally.

4. Kuranda Wholefoods: I recently discovered this brand through one of my suppliers for the co-op I run and it is amazing! All gluten free and they have a range of low GI bars too, perfect for if you are diabetic or are following a low carb diet. There are also nut free options too.

5. Googys: as the packaging states, these bars are super clean. With five or less ingredients, these bars have a mega 12g of protein! I'm keen to try the one with coffee beans.

I personally prefer to make my own protein snacks from scratch, but it is great knowing that on those weeks where you just don't find the time there are incredible brands out there who offer healthy, convenient options.

Just a quick point for people trying to lose weight - one of the most difficult parts about losing weight is the initial stage where you need to train your body to kick the cravings for junk foods and sugary treats. The best way is to just go cold turkey! However, when looking for a nutritious, sweet snack, opt for low GI and sweetened with ingredients such as stevia and erythritol as they don't cause blood sugars to rise. Natural sugars that are high in fructose, eg: dates, honey and maple syrup should be avoided when you are aiming for weight loss.

Please note: this blog contains my own personal opinions and reviews, it was not sponsored by any of the above brands.

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