Toxic Snack: Picking The Right Protein Bar

You stop by the grocery store to pick up a simple snack…how can it be so complicated and confusing? With so many choices, picking out a protein bar can be an incredibly tough decision! Is this the right calorie count for me? Will I like this flavor? How much protein do I need? And now news reports are warning of the dangers of too high levels of arsenic in some protein bars!

Here are the basics. Some protein bars contain organic brown rice syrup, an ingredient which has been found to have more trace amounts of arsenic than is healthy to consume. But in small quantities, as in, ONCE IN A WHILE, it won’t harm you. It only becomes a problem when you’re eating products with organic brown rice syrup every day, and protein bars should not be an everyday snack. They should be what you reach for (or keep in your purse or gym bag) when you don’t have time to grab real food.

Personally, I’d rather be safe and avoid organic brown rice syrup completely. Call me crazy, but the scare of arsenic does not sound appealing to me.  So, where does this leave you when selecting a protein bar? Unfortunately, organic brown rice syrup is listed (and almost always first) on the ingredients of most protein bars on the market. But don’t worry, the couple of protein bars that don’t have it are thankfully some of the healthiest options available! Here are the few that I’ve found and liked*:

KIND – These bars are by far my favorite! Sweet and sticky, few ingredients, and a great calorie count.

LARABAR – One of the most popular among fit people everywhere, a few of the flavors can be a bit high in calories, so break a part of it off for later! (I don’t recommend more than 200 calories for a snack for anyone unless you are currently training for mass gain).

THINK THIN – These bars have a few more ingredients than I like in a snack, but they’re still a good choice in a pinch.  These can also be a bit high in calories, so as always, read the label!

*click on the protein bar name to purchase online