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Protein Bars for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.

Protein Bars for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: February 27, 2022   
Published: February 27, 2022   

Protein Bars for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.Protein Bars for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.
© Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com

You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Now what? The answer to this question can fill a library. There are so many variables associated with the disease that have to be taken into account, so many personal characteristics of each patient that need to be considered to develop an individual treatment plan that will work best for a specific patient, that it often requires expertise of multiple specialists to build a defense strategy against the disease that accounted for more than 100 thousand deaths in the United States according to CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and over 700 thousand deaths globally just in 2021.

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, over 34 million people in America have diabetes, which is more than 1 in 10 people in the country, and 88 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, which is about every third person of the American population. In an effort to fight the disease, many treatments have been developed since the first insulin injection was administered in 1922, but with all the variety of modern treatment choices, certain things are common for many diabetic patients when it comes to keeping diabetes on a short leash. There are two simple words that you have heard so many times and that identify a staple of diabetes control that have proven to be highly effective – diet and exercise.

Nowadays, it’s not a secret for most diabetic patients why diet and exercise are so important for successful diabetes management. The general rule is quite simple – if you have diabetes, you must control you blood sugar (blood glucose) levels because either your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, or your body is unable to properly process insulin that the pancreas produces to bring sugar you get from food into your body cells for energy. As a result, the unused sugar get accumulated in the blood and that’s where all the problems begin; including unneeded weight gain, because usually, your appetite increases when your blood glucose is higher.

Your doctor and nutritionist have plenty of options at their disposal to come up with the combination of medications and dietary choices that will help you manage your diabetes. You will get the idea of what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in what quantities, and what to stay away from. You will begin exercising too as a part of your lifestyle change, but exercising and eating go hand in hand since they balance each other out. Every person who exercises needs a snack that fits into the agenda of healthy eating and a healthy snack means that you eat food that can provide you with a proper amount of healthy nutrients such as proteins, fiber, healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc. The snack has to give you more energy so you will not feel exhausted after your exercise. The same applies if you are having a long and hectic work day and there is no time for a full meal. – A snack can be your only option to quickly recharge your batteries.

When it comes to healthy snacks, protein bars is a great and convenient solution. There is an abundance of them on the market, ensuring that you will never get bored with the available variety of choices. But with abundance of choices comes danger. – Quite a few of those protein bars are not suitable for people with diabetes. Some bars have such a high sugar content that they will catapult your blood glucose levels into the stratosphere before you say “yummy”. Some other protein bars may contain low or even zero sugar, but high level of sodium or saturated fat should keep you away from them.

For example, a protein bar from a popular RXBar brand, RXBar Chocolate Sea Salt, has 12g protein, just 2g saturated fat, and 0g trans-fat, which looks attractive, but 260mg sodium and 13g sugar should make you think twice about buying this bar. Another popular product, think! Chocolate Fudge, although boasts hefty 20g protein and 0g sugar, contains just 1g fiber, which is also not the best possible choice. As another example, Perfect Bar Coconut Peanut Butter, turns out not that perfect if you look carefully at its content. – On the good side, the bar packs 16g protein and just 55mg of sodium, but 19g sugar and 340 calories per bar are quite far from perfect.

At the same time, Aloha Organic Plant Based Protein Bars are a much better choice for a person with diabetes, as it contains just 85mg of sodium, and 4g sugar, while offering 14g protein and 13g fiber. Another good examples of a protein bar that are suitable for people with diabetes are Raw Rev Glo bars with 11g protein, 100mg sodium, 13g fiber, and 3g sugar; Mosh The Brain Brand Protein Bar that contains 12g protein, 4g fiber, 95mg sodium, and less than 1g sugar; ONE Gluten Free, Low Sugar Protein Bars featuring 20g protein, 8g fiber, 140mg sodium, and just 1g sugar.

So how not to get lost in the ocean of protein bars overflowing the shelves of supermarkets? – Read the packaging labels carefully. Although certain bars are better not to put in your shopping cart if you have diabetes, there are many great protein bars that you may enjoy and keep your energy high after a good workout or a long day at the office. Don’t get carried away with colorful packaging or a large “Zero Sugar” label. Patiently scrutinize the nutritional facts on the bars that grab your attention to ensure that you get the best possible combination of ingredients that will help you get the best possible results in your fight with diabetes.
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