Have you ever tried a protein bar? Which kinds are your favorites?
No matter why you choose to eat them, sales of protein bars have almost doubled since last year, and it’s now a 45 Billion dollar industry worldwide. With 40% of those purchases occurring in North America, it’s clear that the US is at the forefront of the popularity of protein bars. With so many Americans consuming protein supplements, it’s worth considering how they’re affecting our oral health.
Protein Bars – Key to Muscle Growth or Basically Candy?
Protein bars differ wildly in their ingredients and nutrients, but have one thing in common – all of them are marketed like they’re the healthiest thing you can eat after a workout. Adorned with words like “all-natural”, “low-calorie”, and “organic”, it’s easy to read the package of your average protein bar and have a sense that you’re eating something that’s really good for you. However, the nutrition facts will often tell a different story.
The Nutrition Facts – The Truth about Protein Bars
Although the outer packaging makes it seem like protein bars are the perfect supplement to a fitness plan, a quick glance at the nutrition facts can say otherwise. Specifically, the sugar content of most protein bars often rivals that of candy bars. Not only does this additional sugar add empty calories to your diet, but it also takes a vicious toll on your teeth, especially if you eat them frequently.
Sugar and Its Many Names
Manufacturers of protein bars know that a high sugar content is an instant turn off for those people that are educated about nutrition. For example, at first glance, the Green Superfood bar has every indication that it’s a healthy snack, but when you read the nutrition label, it confirms that there are 25g of sugar per serving. Even in the cases where sugar is low, it’s important to look for the other derivatives that are essentially sugar by other names – these include:
- High-fructose Corn Syrup
- Rice Syrup
- Raw Sugar
- Cane Sugar
- Beet Sugar
- Brown Sugar
Protein Bars that Won’t Harm Your Teeth
The fact that many protein bars are loaded with hidden sugars shouldn’t dissuade you from finding some that aren’t. Some protein bars have all the nutrients you need without harming your smile or resorting to synthetic fillers. Try these options for a high-quality protein bar with the best ingredients and little to no sugar to affect your teeth:
Be Mindful of the Sugar in Your Foods for a Healthy Smile
From protein bars to BBQ sauce, sugar is hidden in many of the products we eat on a regular basis. Even in seemingly harmless amounts, the frequent consumption of these products can lead to cavities and other problems. The combination of immaculate oral care at home and attending your professional dental appointments twice a year is your best bet for a healthy smile. Contact Dr. Li and his dental team in Millville when you’re ready to schedule your next appointment.