Many people following a diet plan turn to low calorie bars as an option for some meals and snacks. There are several kinds of low calorie bars, including breakfast bars, protein bars, and meal replacement bars. Each kind of bar can be a helpful part of a low calorie diet as long as the ingredients are nutritionally sound.
Breakfast bars tend to contain ingredients most often found in breakfast foods. This can include granola, fruit, and cereal. Usually, it is recommended that low calorie bars be eaten for breakfast along with other healthy foods such as fruit or juice, but some people enjoy just grabbing a bar out of the package for a quick, already made breakfast before dashing off to work or school. Often, people attempting to add a specific nutrient such as fiber or protein turn to bars to reach those goals. Fiber and protein bars usually have all of the ingredients of regular low calorie bars, with added protein, fiber, or both.
Low calorie snack bars may also contain granola, fruit, and cereal, but sometimes also have added ingredients such as chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, and other snack foods. Low calorie bars can be an excellent way to stave off hunger while getting some nutrition, but sometimes the bars, especially sweet snack bars, are also loaded with sugar or sugar replacements. This is fine for some people who are simply worried about the calories and not the nutritional content, but for more nutritionally conscious people, it might be a good idea to keep a close eye on the amount of sugar or sugar substitutes in each bar.
Meal replacement bars are different from most low calorie bars in that they usually have a long list of added nutrients. They are, as the name implies, meant to replace a regular meal, usually because they provide the same level of vitamins and minerals found in a regular healthy meal with much fewer calories. Meal replacement bars can be a viable option for people trying to lose weight without sacrificing proper nutrition, however, even these “healthy” bars can sometimes be packed with sugar or sugar substitutes. Some people enjoy using meal replacement bars as meal supplements instead of replacements, using the benefits of the added nutritional value to round out a healthy meal with very little preparation time.