Posted on December 6, 2018
Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board-certified sports activities chiropractor, useful drugs practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host, and founding father of Good Keto.
What’s one of the best low carb protein bar available on the market?
When you’re struggling to seek out one which tastes good, doesn’t kick you out of ketosis, or crumble into one million tiny items earlier than you even open it, this useful resource will help.
I’ll be evaluating 4 totally different low carb protein bars to see how they rank for these on a ketogenic eating regimen.
However we’ll be overlaying far more than macros right here.
Low carb protein bars are extra than simply their elements. Their place in your weight-reduction plan additionally is determined by how they have an effect on your blood sugar ranges.
So to place all of the items collectively, this information will cowl:
When you realize what to search for in a low carb keto bar, you’ll be able to carry out your personal private experiments to seek out out which one works greatest for you.
And whereas ingredient high quality completely issues, there’s one facet of selecting a low carb protein bar which may matter extra: determining how sure meals have an effect on your blood sugar ranges.
- 1 Why Blood Sugar Issues When It Involves Discovering the Best Low Carb Protein Bars
- 2 Right here’s Why You Have to Set up Your Blood Sugar Baseline
- 3 Right here’s How These 4 Low Carb Protein Bars Examine
- 4 The Verdict: The Best Low Carb Protein Bars Ranked
Why Blood Sugar Issues When It Involves Discovering the Best Low Carb Protein Bars
Why does your blood glucose response matter when selecting a protein bar?
The brief reply: You simply can’t belief vitamin labels.
Although most of the bars I’m going to match are low in internet carbs and corporations promote them as low-carb or keto, sure ones raised my blood sugar ranges to an alarmingly excessive quantity.
So regardless of the vitamin labels claiming that these bars are low sugar, the glucose response in my physique prompt in any other case.
See, whenever you eat or drink something, it naturally triggers a response in your blood sugar ranges. The degree of that spike will depend on the meals you eat.
It’s a standard false impression that prime carb meals are the one ones that may increase your blood sugar ranges. Protein and fats can nonetheless trigger your blood sugar to rise.
The distinction is a spike brought on by protein or fats gained’t be almost as massive or have as a lot of an influence as one brought on by carbs and sugar.
However meals isn’t the one solution to increase or decrease your blood sugar ranges.
Stress and a sedentary way of life can even trigger your blood sugar ranges to remain excessive for for much longer than they need to.
So if all these elements are working towards your physique, you’ll wind up with extra sugar in your blood than your physique can adequately deal with.
The Drawback With Persistent Excessive Blood Sugar Ranges
You could have heard on this podcast episode on all issues glucose that chronically excessive blood sugar ranges don’t simply put you into fats storage mode; additionally they result in insulin resistance.
Excessive blood sugar ranges and insulin resistance then contribute to continual irritation all through your physique and the event of lethal circumstances reminiscent of coronary heart illness, neurodegenerative illnesses, and most cancers.
This implies for those who’re unknowingly consuming a low carb bar that’s presupposed to be keto pleasant, but it raises your blood sugar to unnecessarily excessive ranges, you’re doing all of your well being an enormous disservice.
The objective together with your food plan is to maintain your blood sugar as little as potential.
Wholesome blood glucose ranges are:
Should you keep inside this vary, you’ll flip the change on your physique to:
- Burn fats
- Regulate and keep regular power ranges
- Stabilize your urge for food
- Produce ketones
- Enhance your mind perform
- Scale back your danger of creating continual illnesses
It’s necessary to know this earlier than diving into the outcomes of this comparability because the knowledge is from postprandial (post-meal) glucose ranges.
Discovering the perfect low carb protein bars isn’t nearly weight reduction and ketosis; it’s additionally about serving to your physique return to and keep at its blood sugar baseline.
Right here’s Why You Have to Set up Your Blood Sugar Baseline
Blood sugar is a a lot better indicator than monitoring your ketones to find out the way you react to meals and whether or not they’re keto pleasant.
Ketones have a slower physiological suggestions loop than blood glucose, so ketones gained’t offer you a direct or correct image of the way you react to sure meals.
For instance, once I lately traveled to Asia and ate sushi, I didn’t see the change in my ketones for at the least two days later.
However had I checked my blood sugar ranges on the time, I might have seen the distinction in as little as 20 minutes.
Monitoring your blood sugar also can aid you slender down which meals work higher for you.
You could not react as strongly as I do to sure meals and vice versa.
Everybody has a unique baseline.
My blood sugar baseline usually runs between 75 and 80 mg/dl, however this might be drastically totally different for you.
That’s why it’s essential so that you can set up your personal baseline so you’ll be able to see how sure meals hit your system.
Ideally, you ought to be selecting meals that create the bottom spike in insulin and make it straightforward on your physique to return to baseline ranges shortly.
The extra you do that, the better will probably be to trace which meals are keto-friendly in your physique, so you possibly can keep in ketosis with out second-guessing your vitamin.
To point out you ways to try this, I’ll be sharing my experiment on how the 4 hottest low carb protein bars affected my blood sugar outcomes subsequent.
Right here’s How These 4 Low Carb Protein Bars Examine
I attempted a bunch of keto bars, so that you don’t should.
Right here’s how they every stack up, in no specific order:
#1: Bulletproof Apple Pie Collagen Protein Bar
To be clear, I’m not a Bulletproof hater by any means.
I like their bars.
Earlier than creating Good Keto, these have been my favourite ones available on the market they usually proceed to be one of many main low carb protein bars on the market.
Whereas I usually attain for lemon, I made a decision to go together with their Apple Pie Collagen Protein Bar taste for this comparability.
Let’s take a look at the macros first.
Every bar accommodates[*]:
- 210 energy
- 12g of fats, 5g of that are from saturated fat
- 11g of internet carbs because of the chicory
- 4g of sugar
- 0g of added sugar
- 12g of protein
Based mostly on these stats, this bar doesn’t sound too horrible for you, regardless of the comparatively excessive internet carbs if you’re particularly speaking keto.
As for the feel, I used to be fairly disillusioned.
One among my largest pet peeves relating to consuming bars like these is that they crumble into 100 totally different items, making it robust to eat one-handed and on-the-go.
The place this low carb protein bar scores excessive marks is within the ingredient listing, which can also be one of many the reason why I used to eat them.
As you possibly can see, there are numerous clear elements on the label, like[*]:
- Natural cashew butter
- Grass-fed collagen protein
- Inulin (chicory)
- Bulletproof XCT oil energy
- Natural apples
- Natural cashews
- Bulletproof Mind Octane
- Natural maple extract
- Natural coconut oil
- Vanilla extract
- Natural cinnamon
- Natural stevia leaf
Once more, these don’t sound too dangerous.
However right here’s the place issues get fascinating:
Earlier than consuming this low carb protein bar, my blood glucose baseline measured at an 80.
Inside 20 minutes of consuming it, my blood sugar shot as much as 108.
Simply 40 minutes later my blood sugar was 109 and ultimately reached 116 on the one-hour mark.
My blood sugar dropped again right down to 109 once I reached 1 hour and 20 minutes. Nevertheless, it was nonetheless excessive three hours later once I clocked it at 93.
This implies my blood sugar by no means acquired the prospect to return to baseline as a result of I turned too hungry to attend any longer for it to degree out.
Not solely is a 36-point improve in blood sugar ranges (at its max) an enormous drawback, however taking up three hours to get anyplace near baseline can also be troublesome.
And that is coming from a well known and supposedly keto-friendly protein bar.
Earlier than sharing my last verdict, let’s see how the subsequent protein bar compares.
#2: Quest Bars Birthday Cake Taste
Just like Bulletproof, Quest vitamin protein bars have grow to be a family identify for a lot of low carb dieters.
And it’s no marvel since individuals purchase them for his or her high-protein and low internet carb counts.
To be trustworthy, I’ve to confess I’ve by no means been an enormous fan of Quest bars due to their ingredient listing. And I don’t assume they style that nice.
So I do have a little bit of a bias right here.
Pushing these apart, let’s dive into the info and take a look at the chilly exhausting information.
First up is the dietary breakdown of those Birthday Cake Quest bars.
Every bar accommodates[*]:
- 180 energy
- 6g of complete fats, three.5g of saturated fats
- 24g of complete carbs, technically solely 4g internet carbs
- 1g of sugar
- 6g of erythritol (sugar alcohol)
- 21g of protein
These bars are barely decrease in energy and greater than double the grams of protein of others on this listing.
Whereas the Bulletproof bar could also be double the fats — together with complete and saturated — it’s additionally greater than double the web carbs of Quest bars too.
That’s as a result of the Quest manufactures subtract 14g of fiber together with 6g of erythritol to chop the 24g of complete carbs to only 4g internet.
Nevertheless, don’t rush to make a last determination on macros alone.
The consistency and style of this bar had some execs and cons:
On the plus aspect, it was a very good, strong bar.
It didn’t disintegrate into tiny items upon opening it and it required me to chew for some time, which is an effective factor since chewing could make you are feeling full and such as you’re truly consuming actual meals as an alternative of a meal alternative or snack.
However I’ve to say, this bar didn’t style like a slice of birthday cake as marketed.
The style was unusual and a bit off — and it was undoubtedly too artificially candy for me.
This isn’t a shock because you’ll discover sucralose listed as one of many sweeteners on this Quest Birthday Cake bar taste.
Right here’s what else is lurking behind the label, which isn’t as clear because the Bulletproof bar:
- Protein mix consisting of milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate
- Soluble corn fiber
- Palm kernel oil
- Pure flavors
- Sodium caseinate
- Sea salt
- Gum arabic
- Spirulina extract
- Purple cabbage extract
- Turmeric extract
- Radish extract
- Sunflower lecithin
The soluble corn fiber and sucralose are two questionable components that stick out to me. I attempt to keep away from each in any respect prices.
Right here’s how my blood sugar reacted to this well-liked excessive protein bar:
First, my baseline began at 80 mg/dl.
Then 20 minutes after I ate the bar, my blood sugar went to 85.
On the 40-minute and 1-hour marks, it jumped to 97 and 107 respectively.
An hour and 20 minutes later, my blood sugar lastly began going again down and reached 95.
It will definitely took my physique two hours to return near baseline at 84.
General, the spike in my blood sugar was fairly vital at 27 at its peak. However that’s nonetheless 9 factors decrease than the 36-point improve the Bulletproof protein bar prompted.
Earlier than you name this one a win, taking two hours to get again to baseline must be a pink flag as a result of it’s nonetheless a extra substantial spike than it must be.
Learn how the Good Keto Almond Butter Brownie bar compares and also you’ll see what I’m referring to.
#three: Good Keto Almond Butter Brownie Keto Bar
Earlier than you declare bias on this low carb protein bar, I’ll present you the stats first this time earlier than explaining my ideas on the bar itself.
Our Good Keto Almond Butter Brownie bar has an identical macro breakdown to Bulletproof’s Collagen Protein Apple Pie bar.
It’s not tremendous excessive in protein like a Quest bar, nevertheless it’s larger in wholesome fat and decrease in internet carbs than each bars.
So that you’ll see the next macros on the vitamin label:
- 230 energy
- 19g of wholesome fat, 5g of that are saturated
- 12g of complete carbs, 3g of internet carbs
- 0g of sugar alcohols
- 10g of protein
You’ll additionally discover a clear ingredient label with our keto bar full of:
- Natural almond butter
- Soluble tapioca fiber
- Cacao butter
- Collagen protein
- Natural cocoa
- Sunflower lecithin
- Natural coconut oil
- Sea salt
- Pure flavors
And whereas there are a couple of similarities with the macro breakdown and high-quality ingredient record, that’s about the place the similarities cease on this comparability as a result of my blood sugar outcomes are drastically totally different.
Right here’s what occurred:
I began at an 80 baseline.
Twenty minutes after consuming a Good Keto Almond Butter Brownie bar, my glucose rose to an 84.
On the 40-minute mark, I dropped right down to 83.
And one hour later, I used to be at 81, and I returned to baseline in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
That’s the most important distinction between our bar and the opposite ones available on the market.
As an alternative of elevating your blood sugar by 36 factors and retaining it there for over three hours, Good Keto bars solely elevated my readings by 4 factors at its max — and for lower than one and a half hours.
Now that you understand the stats, you’re in all probability questioning what these bars style like.
The excellent news is you don’t should accept a crumbly texture or the style of cardboard simply to remain wholesome.
I admit I’m a freak about style and it took me a strong 18 months to good the flavour of those bars.
However now our Almond Butter Brownie bar truly tastes like an actual brownie with almond butter.
And since we solely use high-quality elements and no synthetic sweeteners or added sugars, these bars aren’t too candy on the style buds, they usually don’t depart you with a bizarre aftertaste.
Now, for those who’re questioning if this bar will arrive in one million totally different items by the point you lastly get to crack it open, the reply is not any, it gained’t.
I additionally spent a substantial amount of effort tweaking the recipe a number of occasions to get a consistency that’s strong and compact sufficient that it stays collectively till you’re able to eat it, however can also be smooth and chewy like a decadent brownie.
Earlier than handing out the ultimate verdict, there’s yet one more low carb protein bar to match that’s extraordinarily in style on the keto food plan.
#4: Keto Almond Vanilla Dang Bar
Except for ours, Dang bars are the one different ones on this record marketed explicitly to keto dieters.
You’ll even see this in Dang’s on-line spec snapshot[*]:
To seek out out if all this hype is true, I examined their Keto Almond Vanilla bar.
Right here’s what the macronutrient breakdown seems like:
Every Almond Vanilla Dang bar is[*]:
- 200 energy
- 14g of complete fats, 4.5g of saturated fats
- 11g of complete carbs, 5g internet carbs
- 9g of protein
So this bar is nearer in energy to Bulletproof, however not as little as Quest bar’s 180.
It additionally has extra fats than each these bars — 14g versus 12g and 6g with Bulletproof and Quest, respectively.
However they nonetheless aren’t as excessive fats as ours, which clocks in at 19g of fats, or the very best of all of the bars on this record.
This Dang bar additionally has the bottom quantity of protein when in comparison with the remaining.
Now for the ingredient listing.
For probably the most half, this Almond Vanilla taste is fairly clear and incorporates:
- Chicory root fiber
- Pea protein
- Cocoa butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Pea protein crisps (pea protein and rice flour)
- Pure flavors
- Chia seeds
- Sea salt
- Stevia extract
- Combined tocopherols (vitamin E)
Now, the chicory root fiber stands out solely as a result of I’ve had issues with it up to now. I’m additionally not an enormous fan of remoted pea protein and pea protein crisps.
Aside from these elements, I’d say the Dang workforce did a reasonably good job right here.
I additionally will say they nailed the consistency of those bars.
There’s good chunks of almonds and the inclusions are actually seen on this bar.
As for the style, there was undoubtedly vanilla coming by way of, however there was additionally a touch of one thing bitter. And the bar itself was a bit dry to me.
Right here’s how my blood sugar reacted once I ate this keto bar:
First, I began at 84 blood glucose.
After 20 minutes, I shot as much as 99.
One other 20 minutes later and I reached 105.
This went down about 20 factors after that (on the 1-hour mark), however took roughly three hours to return to baseline.
I might anticipate regular meals to take one to 4 hours to do that, however not one listed as keto-friendly.
So whereas the macros of this bar are perfect for a keto food plan, the blood sugar response is simply the other.
With all this info in thoughts, right here’s how these bars stack up towards one another.
The Verdict: The Best Low Carb Protein Bars Ranked
So which one wins the award for greatest low carb protein bar?
Based mostly on the outcomes from this check, the most effective to worst decisions on a keto weight loss plan are:
- Good Keto Almond Butter Brownie bar
- Quest Birthday Cake dietary bar
- Keto Almond Vanilla Dang bar
- Bulletproof Apple Pie Collagen Protein bar
And, as I proved within the experiment, this isn’t only a private bias to advertise my very own bars.
I spent months perfecting the components to make sure these bars style good, don’t crumble, meet the best keto macros, and most significantly, gained’t trigger unnecessarily excessive spikes to your blood sugar.
Keep in mind, the decrease you possibly can hold your blood sugar, and the shorter the time it takes your physique to return to baseline, the higher.
Do that and also you’ll drastically scale back your dangers of creating lethal continual illnesses and irritation.
I want extra corporations would check how their merchandise have an effect on blood sugar ranges earlier than making claims that they’re keto-friendly.
As talked about within the video, you possibly can ship me your questions or requests for brand spanking new merchandise to check and I’ll reply again and should even embrace one in my subsequent video.
Discover me on Instagram and shoot me a DM to try this.
In the long run, you must check your personal blood sugar after consuming something, keto-friendly meals or not.
Not solely will this assist you slender down the meals that react properly together with your physique, you’ll additionally uncover the supposedly wholesome meals that could possibly be kicking you out of ketosis.
I had no concept Bulletproof bars have been elevating my blood sugar ranges like that, and now that I do, I gained’t be consuming them anytime quickly.
Do this experiment for your self and also you’ll be shocked by the outcomes too.
You possibly can even begin by testing our new Almond Butter Brownie bar first.
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