This Is How to Pick Keto Bars You'll Love

This Is How to Pick Keto Bars You'll Love

August 02, 2021

Did you know that not all protein bars are keto-friendly? 

Many protein bars on the market either have too many carbs in them or not enough fat. Worst of all, they might be full of sugar and not have any nutritional benefits.

But by following some key pointers, you can find keto bars that fit your diet and taste delicious.

This article will show you what to look for to select the perfect keto bar for you.

Look at the Carb Count

If you're looking at how to start a keto diet, then you've probably read that you need to keep your carbohydrates to a minimum. In fact, eating too many carbs can be the reason why you're not losing weight on keto.

While 20-50 grams of carbs or less may sound like a lot, you can eat this amount very quickly, especially if your food is full of sugar.

But looking at carb counts when you're picking a keto bar isn't enough. You need to be aware of the difference between carb counts.

Net Carbs vs. Total Carbs

Total carbs are all the types of carbs you can find in a meal. These include sugar, starch, and fiber. 

Net carbs are carbs that your body can digest and convert into glucose.

On many keto diet products, you'll see a calculation of net carbs on the packaging. This is the number you want to look at, as this is the number of carbs that your body will absorb and use for energy.

While there are formulas for calculating net carbs, protein bar companies have already calculated the net carbs for you. All you need to do is add this number to your diet tracker, and you're good to go.

 

Keep an Eye on Sugars in Keto Bars

When choosing a keto bar, make sure to familiarize yourself with the most common keto sweeteners. Some of them may have 0 net carbs, while some may have a few.

Just because a protein bar is marked as healthy or unprocessed doesn't mean it's okay to eat on a keto diet. Even natural sweeteners like honey and dates have too many carbs to be eaten regularly on a keto diet. 

Common Keto Sweeteners

Some common keto sweeteners include:

  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Monk fruit extract

Stevia is made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is a relative of the sunflower. It has no calories, no carbs, and doesn't raise insulin levels.

Erythritol is made from fermented corn starch and is a sugar alcohol. It has very low carbs and doesn't raise blood sugar. Monk fruit extract is very sweet, and people tend to prefer its taste over stevia.

Although you may have had xylitol in other sugar-free foods, it contains carbs and should be used in minimal amounts while you're on the keto diet.

While on keto, it's best to stick to stevia and sweeteners made from sugar alcohols, as these will not increase your net carb count by very much.

 

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Go for Healthy Fats

The best keto bars are made of healthy fats. To stay in ketosis and get all your energy requirements for the day, you need to pick high-fat and healthy bars.

For the most keto-friendly bar, look for bars that have at least 50% fat. 

One way to determine whether a fat is a high quality is to learn which fats have been damaged in production.

Some examples of fats to avoid include:

  • Corn oil
  • Palm oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Peanut oil

Instead, look for fats such as:

  • Coconut oil
  • Keto Blends
  • Ghee/butter
  • Nut butter
  • MCT oil

If you're getting a bar with nut butter, make sure that there are no additives like sugar. The nutrition label lists the nut butter and checks the brackets to see the ingredients in the nut butter itself.

MCTs

If you've been following the keto diet for a while, you might have heard of something called MCTs. 

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat that is easily absorbed into your bloodstream. This gives you a quick energy boost, especially keto, since you are keeping your carbohydrates low.

MCT is also helpful for weight loss and gives you more energy for exercise, making it the perfect addition to the keto diet. 

MCT comes in either oil form or as MCT powder, making a great addition to smoothies, coffee, or other drinks. When looking for a keto protein bar, keep an eye out for bars that contain MCT oil or MCT powder for a healthy energy boost.

Get Good-Quality Protein

In addition to healthy fats, keto protein bars also need to have high-quality protein. Protein is also where companies may cut corners on quality to save money.

While whey and soy protein are keto-friendly, other proteins have better nutritional benefits, especially when you're on keto.

Higher quality proteins include:

  • Grass-fed collagen
  • Grass-fed whey
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein

If you can't find high-quality whey protein, then grass-fed collagen is a great option. Plus, you get the added benefits of collagen for your joints and skin.

Pea protein is also a good choice as it has fewer carbs than other plant-based proteins.

Regular Whey vs. Grass-Fed Whey

While regular whey and grass-fed whey have the same amount of protein, grass-fed whey has more Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for joint health and mental health. 

Grass-fed whey also has more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), linked to lower body fat and lower inflammation. This type of whey also contains more Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.

 

Be Cautious of Keto Certification

One piece of keto diet advice that you might not expect is to be wary of keto certification. You'd think that a keto certification would make a bar safe to eat while on keto, but some non-keto companies may use this label for marketing. 

For example, a keto-certified snack must have less than 8 carbs per serving. Yet, this product could still be full of unhealthy ingredients.

This is why it's best to choose a company that focuses on making keto products, as they have the best knowledge of ingredients.

Companies that specialize in keto are also more likely to use higher quality ingredients with better nutritional benefits.

 

Ingredients to Absolutely Avoid in Keto Bars

Another way to check if your protein bar is keto-friendly is to learn which ingredients you should avoid at all costs. If you see even one of these ingredients on the packaging, chances are the bar is not keto-friendly.

Even if a bar has a keto certification, you need to watch that the ingredients are healthy. A keto diet can (and should be) healthy, and just because you're on keto doesn't mean you have to compromise nutrition.

Especially when you're traveling on keto, it's a good idea to learn which foods to avoid so that you're not stressed if you have to step into the grocery store. 

Another good idea is to buy your keto bars and snacks ahead of time, as regular grocery stores may not have many (or any) keto-friendly options.

Artificial Flavors and Additives

Not only are artificial flavors synthetically made, but they have been linked to a myriad of health problems like allergies, fatigue, and even cancer.

Additives can be dangerous for the same reasons. They have also been linked to increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

Food additives include preservatives, color additives (including artificial colors), emulsifiers, and flavor enhancers like MSG. Some additives to absolutely avoid include partially hydrogenated oil, calcium sorbate, and sodium nitrite.

Sugars

While healthier sugars are available these days, such as organic, evaporated cane juice, you shouldn't be eating high amounts of these on keto due to their high carb count.

Sugars to avoid in keto bars include regular sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Not only are these ingredients unhealthy, but they're guaranteed to put you out of ketosis in large amounts.

If you see any of these ingredients in a protein bar, chances are it's not keto. 

 

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Pick the Right Keto Bar for You

Choosing the right keto bar doesn't have to be overwhelming. By keeping an eye out for a few key ingredients, you can find your next go-to keto bar.

Additionally, choosing a trusted brand can help take the guesswork out of choosing the best keto bar.

Check out our delicious keto snack bars for keto bars made with healthy fats and just 3 net carbs. With flavors like chocolate, salted caramel, and birthday cake, you'll find that wholesome nutrition never tasted better.



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