Low-calorie Nutrition bars are a fast and convenient snack for anyone on a calorie restricted diet, or for kids or adults that don’t require a significant daily caloric intake. Although all of the custom bars we sell at The Bar Shack are the same size (55g), the ingredients you choose when creating a bar can be calibrated to minimize calorie count.
How to Build a Low Calorie Bar
We’ve outlined how to create a bar with the lowest possible calories in the steps below:
Option #1 – Base
First you’ll want to select the ‘Soft & Chewy‘ base with ‘Fiber Syrup‘ as your binding ingredient. The fiber syrup helps keep sugar levels low, increases the overall fiber content and allows a higher percentage of powders to be mixed together. This way you get a bar that is lower in sugar, higher in fiber and protein, yet lower in overall calories than other options. Option #2 – Nut & Seed Butters
Cashew butter on its own will keep the calorie count as low as possible, but you can mix it with sunflower or almond butter is options as it won’t increase the calories too much. Cashew butter has a nice creamy texture and relatively neutral taste. Option #3 – Protein Powders & Flours
Whey protein isolate is over 90% protein and has the fewest calories in this category. If you prefer to choose a vegan protein instead, the calorie count will increase by a small margin. Option #4 – Nuts & Seeds
Adding nuts or seeds will increase the overall calorie count of your bars, so don’t add any ingredients form this section if your goal is to keep your bar under 200 calories. Ingredients from this section are not required.
Options #5,6,7 – Dried Fruit, Flavour Enhancers, & Boosters In the final three sections, you’ll want to avoid the ingredients that are higher in calories. These are the ‘usual suspects’ – cacao/chocolate, dried coconut, and coconut oil. Since these ingredients are higher in fat they have more overall calories than the other ingredients and for this reason, should be avoided. *Please contact us if you need more help creating your bar!
Who Benefits Most from Low Calorie Bars?
Low calorie bars may not be the best choice for everyone, so below we’ll take a brief look at who should, and who shouldn’t consider adding them to their daily meal plan. If you fall into one of the two categories below, nutrition bars with low calories probably make sense:
1 – You’re on a calorie restricted diet
Whether it’s for medical reasons or your goal is simply to lose body fat, low-calorie bars are very convenient in this scenario. Not only are they convenient because they don’t require any preparation, but they also make it effortless to know exactly how many calories and macronutrients you are consuming at that meal or snack. Every custom bar you make at The Bar Shack comes with detailed nutrition chart on the package that specifies the exact specs of your bar.
2 – You have low daily caloric requirements
Children and some adults require lower than average daily caloric intakes. If you fall into either of these categories, low-calorie bars in the 100-200 cal range make perfect sense. Although some people consume bars as meal replacements, we’ve found that the majority of our customers eat them between meals in situations where healthy whole foods aren’t easily accessible. Having a 100-200 calorie snack as opposed to a 300-400 calories snack makes much more sense in this situation.
*A note for those feeding protein bars to children: Consider breaking the bars into two or three pieces as an entire bar may be too many calories for them to eat at one sitting.
When are Low Cal Bars a Bad Choice?
Lower calorie bars aren’t necessarily a ‘bad’ choice for anyone, in particular, however, if you’re trying to increase body weight or need more calories in your diet for medical reasons, then higher calorie bars might make more sense. This way you’ll get more ‘bang for your buck’ since the cost of each box is the same regardless of the ingredients selected.
Calories aren’t all that matter. When adding low-calorie bars to your nutrition plan it’s important to consider the actual ingredients and macronutrient ratios as opposed to just looking at the overall calorie count of the bars. Just because a protein bar is low in calories doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a healthier choice for you.
For example, if the majority of calories come from simple sugars you might be better off consuming a bar that has more calories but contains more fiber and lower levels of sugars. Although higher in overall calories, the right types of fat may actually help with weight loss despite the fact that it contains more calories. The actual ingredients you choose will depend on factors such as your overall caloric requirements, medical history, digestive system health, and short and long term goals.
Low-calorie nutrition bars may be a solid addition to your daily eating plan if you meet the criteria outlined above. However, don’t overlook the possibility that a higher calorie bar with the right ratio of healthy ingredients might actually be a more viable choice.
If you are considering creating your own low-calorie nutrition bar and need some help, please contact us. We’d be more than happy to walk you through the process and help you build the perfect bar!