Be it a busy morning or a lazy evening, hunger pangs in between the meals is well known to all of us. Amidst the crowd and chaos of the Junk and unhealthy food around us, a healthy –wholesome choice for snacking wise, is what we yearn to bring to you. Health is the wealth we promise every time you E.A.T.
Famous as the breakfast food, granola bars are undoubtedly classified as healthy. Made from rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, granola is filling and healthy breakfast to go for. It also contains puffed rice and brown sugar occasionally and can be relished along with a bowl of yogurts or milk or just some fresh fruits tossed together.
Granola bars have taken the snacking market by storm. With rising awareness and need for healthy snacking options has greatly propelled the growth and demand of these power packed granola bars.
To keep their products better than the rest, many manufacturers fortify their granola bars with healthful omega 3 and other antioxidants. Some enrich it with nutrients like calcium and iron making it self-sufficient meal on -the- heels for everyone.
Benefits Of Healthy Granola Bars
From hikers to a cyclist, working professionals to gym-goers granola bars are ready for action. They provide quick energy refill, nutritional boost and protein perk making it too good a deal to miss. These healthy snack bars are on tip of every tongue and why not for they provide surprising benefits that are well-documented.
Cholesterol Lowering Granola Bars
Granola bars prime ingredient is rolled oats which is packed with soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is responsible for scavenging cholesterol from the blood.
Energy Boosting Granola Bars
Granola bars boost energy as it contain the ‘good carb’ which provide energy that last for a longer time without making you feel sluggish or tired. Unlike sugars and other refined carbohydrates that provide an instant hike in energy followed by a period of ‘crash.’
High Protein Granola Bars
Granola bars contain adequate amounts of protein and also with its high fiber content helps curb hunger and promote satiety- a very important attribute for people on weight loss diets or using granola bars as survival foods.
Granola Bar Ingredients & Nutrition Facts
However, one has to be vigilant while buying granola bars for there are some energy bars that are just sugar filled candy bars. Always read ingredients and look for –
Added sugar content
total fat content
Artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, saccharin etc.
Look for trans fat and saturated fat content
Presence of artificial colors, flavors and other chemicals.
Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
Granola bars are fairly easy to make at home. You can try this recipe given below to make a healthy granola bar for yourself at home. This recipe gives you 12 bars of delicious, gooey granola bars
List Of Granola Ingredients
Rolled oats- 2 ½ cup
Nuts, roughly chopped- ½ cup
Honey- ¼ cup
1 unsalted butter-¼ cup
Brown sugar 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Kosher salt- ¼ tsp
Total extra mix-ins (about 1/4 cup of 3 different ingredients such as dried fruits, coconut, etc.)- ¾ cup
Baked Granola Bars – Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Place the oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.
While the oats are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. When butter mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine. Add any extra ingredients and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry.
Place all of the oat mixture in the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula or the bottom of a greased measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan. Chill the granola bars for at least 2 hours. Lift the bars from the pan using the edges of the foil or parchment and place them on a cutting board. Cut into desired shape/sizes and serve.
Energy bars have become quite ‘the talk of the town’, as a new emerging health trend. Energy bars have proven their versatility and are now not limited to sports fraternity or body builder’s guild. In this article, we have summarized all the health benefits of energy bars & which is the healthiest energy bar for you, which you can use to meet different health goals.
ENERGY BARS – Portable Meal That You Can Eat By One Hand
In today’s time, we rarely find time to sit for a quite healthy wholesome meal. In addition, we find ourselves skipping meals trying to make our ends meet leading to longer gaps between meals, increased cravings for fatty and sugary foods and overeating. This unhealthy eating practice leads to health issues like diabetes, obesity, heart diseases etc.
Three things make energy bar popular i.e. they are portable, healthy and tasty. Energy bars gained popularity because they make eating healthy and wholesome foods less time-consuming. Energy bars are small, pocket-sized snacks, which you can carry in your purse or pocket and nourish your body while on-the-run.
These small nutritious energy bars can be used as breakfast bars, quick energy refills, meal replacers, mid-meal snack or for an increased protein punch.
ENERGY BARS – Convenient Source of Nutrition in Wide Variety of Flavors
There are different types of energy bars available in the market, ranging from low-calorie energy bars, perfect for weight loss and maintenance, to high-calories bars for athletes and trainers. The best part about these energy bars or nutrition bars (called aptly as they contain many vital nutrients like vitamin A, B-complex, selenium, zinc, calcium etc.) is that they are filling and help you count your calories.
Energy bars or nutrition bars are always a better option than other deep fried crisps and refined flour filled cookies. They are great as snacks between meals, keeping you off the unhealthy junk.
ENERGY BARS – Rich in Proteins
Proteins are in generally lacking in our diets, especially the Indian vegetarian diet. Even the non-vegetarian eating communities in India are found to be deficient in proteins. Proteins are the important part of healthy eating be it for weight loss, sugar management, sports, muscle building, resistance training etc.
Earlier energy bars were basically protein bars formulated specifically to help sportsman, athletes and gymnasts. However, now the use of energy bars have diversified, the protein still remains an integral part of the make-up. The healthiest energy bars contain adequate amounts and good quality of proteins like soy, whey and casein.
ENERGY BARS – Best Carbohydrate Sources For Runners
Newer research and studies have highlighted the role of carbohydrates in maintaining good health. Good carbohydrates i.e our whole grain cereals, granola, oats, quinoa, dried fruits and fruits are basic ingredients found in all the healthiest energy bars. Packed with fiber and good carbohydrates these energy bars are ideal snack or energy fuel for Runners. They provide a sustained release of energy that keeps you energized for the day and also fuels your training sessions, workouts, runs and hikes.
The market for energy bars has seen a tremendous rise and the supermarkets and online shops are overflowing with varieties and types of the energy bar- the low-calorie nutrition bars and high calorie, high protein energy bars, the gluten-free, vegan and organic nutrition bars to low fat and cholesterol-free varieties.
Choosing a healthy nutrition bar is important criteria when it comes to reaping the aforementioned health benefits because most of the bars available in the markets are just sugar-filled candies replicating a healthy energy bar. To sum it up, an energy bar is as healthy as you choose.
Nutrition bar or more commonly known as energy bars are quite the talk of the town. Moving out from its niche of sportsman and bodybuilder the energy bars or protein bars have strung a cord with general masses too, especially the ones who take their health seriously. Earlier energy bars concentrated more on proteins and hence most of these bars are still famously called the protein bars but now the use of diverse ingredients and fulfilling a majority of different health goals, energy bars are nutritionally balanced to provide all the essential nutrients a person needs to get through the day. Hence calling them nutrition bars is more apt than ever.
We will take a look at what these nutrition bars are and how they help you with your health goals.
What Are Nutrition Bars
Nutrition bar provides a balanced mix of right nutrients you need to fuel and revive your body. These bars are small and pocket-sized; therefore they easily fit into your backpack or purse. They are perfectly healthy meals and snacks for anyone on the go.
With our fast-paced lifestyle, we rarely have time to sit for a proper filling breakfast or a well-balanced lunch. More than often we find ourselves stuck in traffic, unplanned meetings or extended commitments which lead to skipping meals more than often leaving our body carving for energy and desiring the junk and sugar-filled treats. Nutrition bars are just the option for all the people who find themselves unable to sit for a proper meal and yet aspire to eat healthy.
These small pocket-sized bars are handy nutritional boosters that keep you going through the day without having to give up your health goals.
What Are Nutrition Bar Made Of?
Nutritional bars, mind you the healthy ones, are mostly made up of oats, whole grain cereals or granola. This ensures a steady supply of energy with good fibre to keep you sated and energized for the day. In addition, they contain the healthful ingredients like superseeds, nuts & dried fruits, fruit, honey quinoa etc which offer quality nourishment with their bountiful nutrients.
Most of these healthiest nutrition bars contain a hearty mix of these healthful ingredients with lip-smacking flavors to please your sense of taste. Depending on the purpose for which you choose bars, the nutrient content will vary.
For example- a post workout bar will be high in proteins with moderate carbohydrates to help build and recover your muscles whereas a bar for a cyclist or a runner needs to be high in calories to thrust his/her ride or run. Similarly, a nutrition bar to be used as a weight loss aid or meal replacer will be high in fibre and proteins.
So whenever you choose a bar, be clear regarding your health goals so that you reap the benefits you desire and deserve.
How To Select a Healthy Bar?
There are numerous energy bars brands, types and flavors of bar available in the market. One thing you should keep in mind while shopping for nutritional bars is that not all nutritional bars are same and not all bars offer what they claim. Following tips will help you select the healthiest nutrition bars.
Natural and Organic
Always read the ingredient list before buying any bar. The ingredients present in the bar of your choice should be natural and not artificial chemicals. If the ingredients are organic then it’s for the best.
Sugar-Free Nutrition Bars
A nutrition bar you choose for yourself shouldn’t have any added sugar in it. Look for maple sugar syrup or corn sugars which are variations of sugar. A nutrition bar with natural sweetening agents like fruits, dried fruits and honey should be the steal deal.
Good Quality Protein Bars
The protein content of the bar should be based on the time and purpose of eating it. However, a bar with 10-20gms is ideal. The type of protein used in the bar is important. Whey and casein based proteins are ideal to select over soy-based proteins.
Watch Out For The Low Fat Bars
The little amount of fat is important especially the healthy omega 3. However, look out for the saturated fat and Tran’s fat. The hydrogenated vegetable oils are the name behind which the Tran’s fat is hidden.
Which Nutrition Bars Are Available In India?
India as a market for nutrition bar is fast expanding. With globalization, many famous international brands have successfully established their products like Clif bars and Quest Nutrition protein bar. At the same time, Indian companies have also ventured headlong into the race. The top and best energy bars to look for India include- Yoga energy bars, Ritebite max protein and nutrition bars, Eat anytime nutrition bar, Nature Valley granola bars.
To conclude, there are many conflicting views and opinions when it comes to nutrition bars and energy bars. If you see, these convenient portable meals or snacks are always a better and healthier option compared junk we call snack like chips, fries, crisp, Maida-filled biscuits and sugar-packed soft drinks and energy drinks. A healthful dose of natural ingredients and bountiful nutrients in every bite of a healthy nutrition bar help you stay healthy and eat healthy anywhere and anytime.
Cycling as sport and exercise to stay fit has gained lot of popularity and with it has grown the variety and types of energy bars for cycling. Packed with healthy nutrients and burst of energy, pocket-sized energy bars can be your ally to power your rides.
Cycling, whether done for fun or as exercise, takes a toll on the body. Long rides on the cycle can leave you fatigued and eating healthy is equally important. This is especially consequential for the cyclist who rides professional and spends hours training and riding. Light-headedness, disorientation, cold sweats are few symptoms cyclist experience and are termed as “bonking”.
Feeling low in energy and tired while racing or riding over hilly regions can spoil the fun as well as harm the cyclist. There are many nutritional supplements, energy drinks, gels etc. available in the market other than natural healthy food. However, when it comes eating healthy, nutritious and handy food, the energy bar is a wise choice.
Energy bars have come a long way in terms of taste and nutritional composition. Not all energy bars are equally and nutrition bars for cyclist are specially formulated to boost energy, enhance performance and power up your ride.
Choose Nutrition Rich Bars for Cycling
Not all bars available in the market are healthy; some are just sugar-filled candy bar without any nutritional benefit. While selecting any energy bar make sure to check nutritional labels and ingredient list. An ideal healthy energy bar for cyclist should be nutritionally balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
you burn some fat cycling and during other types of aerobic exercise, however, your body still needs energy and this is where carbohydrates (essentially, sugars), become important. In absence of carbohydrates or say energy from carbohydrates, cyclist as well as other sports athletes can suffer from the adverse effects of bonking.
An ideal energy bars for cyclist should provide up to 60gms of carbohydrates to maintain the blood sugar levels.
Proteins are very important nutrients when it comes to repair and maintenance of muscles. They are extremely essential for post-ride recovery. Energy bars for cyclist and sportsperson or for gymnast should contain good quality proteins along with carbohydrates to prevent muscle protein breakdown. Whey or soy-based protein bars for cyclist work best to power up your ride.
The energy bar you choose as your riding companion should provide adequate calories to sustain the twists and turn of your cycle ride. Whether you ride professionally or for fitness, banking up on calories during your ride is important. Your carry-along energy bar during the ride should provide 300-350kcals.
Cycling is a strenuous sport and accompanied by dehydration due to sweating. Imbalance of electrolytes, namely sodium, potassium and chloride, is quite common and an energy bar fortified with these minerals or contains food rich these nutrients are a perfect package to pack in your bag pack.
Along with energy bars, a nutrient-rich diet is also vital for the cyclist who trains rigorously and hit the road for long durations. A well-balanced meal containing all the food groups is advised with plenty of water.
Type Of The Energy Bar Available for Cycling
There are many different types of bars available in the market and you should select a bar that meets your requirements and fulfills the purpose.
High carbohydrates bars – these bars are best to be eaten on long-duration, difficult rides to ensure the steady supply of energy to keep your body fuelled.
Protein bars – help cyclist to build muscle, repair and recover. They are best snack option post ride.
Meal replacement bars – A perfect nutritious wholesome meal while on the way.
Energy bars are just the thing for your ride, whether long or short. However, whether your bar actually provides all the benefits it claims or is just a sugar filled candy bar in disguise needs to be carefully scrutinized.
Best Time to Eat Energy Bars
When you eat the energy bar to reap the best of it benefits depends upon the kind of rider you are.
1. Before the ride – Eating energy bar before the ride is ideally for athletes preparing for a long ride or riding races.
2. After the ride – If you are adopting cycling as a means to stay fit and burn down the fat or amateur cycling fan then eating your energy bar after the hard ride is ideal as it helps preserve the muscle glycogen stores and prevents muscle protein breakdown.
3. While on the bike – replenishing your energy stores while riding lengthy routes, hilly terrains and for longer durations. An energy bar that provides 350kcals or up to 80gms of carbohydrates is a sure bar to pack up.
Energy bars are indeed the fun, easy and healthy way to snack while on the run. Depending on when and how you are going to eat it plays an important role in its selection. For example, before a run you need a high carbohydrate energy bar is ideal to replenish your energy stores and after your run, a protein bar to support muscle build up and injury repair. Here we are discussing how to find the perfect energy nutrition bar for every running situation.
Running for physical fitness and sports definitely works for your best but can leave you quite drained of energy and vigor. Without a doubt eating healthy, wholesome food while undertaking such arduous activity is critical to your health. However, we live in the real world and often find ourselves in a fix when it comes to eating healthy. Carrying whole foods while sprinting your way can slow you down and terribly affect your performance.
Energy bars are well established as a healthy, handy and hassle-free snack. Easing comfortably in your pocket, energy bars restore and enhance your energy levels before, during and after the run. Energy bars provide calories for extra fuel as well as proteins that aids in muscle building and injury repair.
The market for energy bars is endless. A wide array of brands and products are at your disposal to choose from. One must remember that not all bars are equally and selecting a bar that meets your requirement and fulfills its health claims is one to go for.
Choosing A Right Energy Bar for Runners
All the energy bars that throng the market hype their products and lay heavy health claims, which can confuse you. While Screening and selecting a bar that will boost your run and keep you fit, remember the following guidelines –
1. Sugar Check
Whether you run for fitness or sport, staying healthy is one consideration you cannot overlook. One rule to remember when it comes to sugar is – lesser the better. Surely your energy bars should be nutritious and not a regular candy bar filled with sugar.
A daily 5-6 tsp of sugar is recommended for an adult and an energy bar you choose should contain less than 14 gm of sugar.
2. Calories Count
Serving size and the calories are a second most important consideration to look for. Read labels to understand calories provided per bar. High calories bars up to 500kcals are ideal as the meal replacer and not a quick snack. A bar that provided up to 250 calories is recommended.
3. Go Real
The energy bar that will power your runs should be made with natural wholesome ingredients like whole grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, fruits and etc. read your ingredients list carefully and look for any item you don’t understand. An ideal energy bar should have natural foods and not artificial chemicals.
4. Protein Punch
Whey proteins or soy proteins are what you should look for in the bar. Many bars contain hydrolyzed proteins which are good as they are easily digested. A protein content of 5-8gms in the energy bar is ideal.
5. No Artificial Sugar
Energy bars which artificial sugars like sucralose, aspartame, sugar alcohols, Saccharin etc are better avoided. Artificial sugars are added to lower the sugar content of the bar however, these added artificial sugars do not come without harmful effects. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, Xylitol, and malitol are low-calorie sweeteners but are known to cause diarrhea. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener not broken down by the body.
6. A Big No
Other ingredients to watch out for are- partially or fully hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, shortening agents, artificial flavors and colors. These are chemicals and not natural therefore not of any importance in our body.
Reading nutritional labels and ingredients list helps make a wise choice when it comes to choosing a healthy energy bar for the runners. Evaluating the purpose and time when you will be eating the bar is also an important criterion to be kept in mind.
Selecting Energy Bars Based On Your Run
1. Pre Or Mid-Run Boost
Before hitting the road or midway through your run a maltodextrin-based energy bars are ideal for a quick blood sugar rise and instant energy. Furthermore, maltodextrin is light on the stomach and tasteless and doesn’t leave an aftertaste like other sweetened drinks, gels and candies.
2. Long – Distance Run Snack
When running longer miles, you need a consistent supply of energy. In this instance go for high fiber energy bars which provide a slow release of energy rather than an instant blood sugar spike. Bars with whole grain cereals and honey-based are ideal as they provide long-lasting energy along with essential vitamin b-complex.
3. Immunity Boosters
Runners are often susceptible to colds and flus due to Long duration and distance of training marathons. An energy bar packed with antioxidants and nutrients like selenium, vitamin E, zinc etc can help recover and boost the immune system. When selecting a bar look for ingredients like dried fruits, seeds, cherries, and nuts.
4. Post-Run Recovery
After a long run, you need nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. These nutrients can help improve recovery and curb hunger. An energy bar with 40gms of carbohydrates, 10gms of fiber and 5 gm of proteins is best.
We hope, next time you find yourself confused by the numerous options of energy bars, you will be prepared to select the healthiest energy bar brand that will fit your workout needs and lifestyle.
Eating most of our meals out has become very common nowadays. Most city folks no longer confirm with the idea of carrying a home cooked meal daily to work. Most prefer eating meals out rather than having the hassle of carrying meals from home. The same trend is observed when one’s profession involves frequent trips around the country or abroad. During several work trips, availability of healthy food is the issue. Sometimes, there is no alternative than to having all three main meals out. However, limiting the intake of snacks from roadside eateries & hotels can prevent a lot of harm to our health in the long run. Arming ourselves with a good supply of healthy snack bars for the work trip can be a solution for this issue.
Travel & Dietary Pattern
People in different regions of the world and the country consume a variety of foods. However, meals & snacks served in hotels & restaurants definitely have more additives, preservatives and fat to make them more appealing to the palate of consumers. Consuming outside meals for several years at a stretch can contribute to causing obesity or metabolic syndrome in the long run.
Often business trips arranged serve buffet meals and the snacks served are catered from nearby food joints or vending machines. So, definitely the snacks comprise of junk foods majority of the times. Choosing snack bars as an alternative for evening snacks instead of junk foods can minimize the intake of unhealthy foods.
Snack Bars During Travel
Adding adequate supply of snack bars to your travel checklist can serve as a handy, mini, wholesome meal during the course of the trip. Travelling through trains or buses, we often, tend to buy food items from vendors. Carrying adequate packs of snack bars can save your money spent on these miscellaneous snack items bought through the course of the trip.
Few Tips To Eat Healthy While On Work Trips
Avoid buying snacks while travelling. Carry adequate amount of dry snacks with you in the form of snack bars, chivdas, khakras (homemade / healthy if store bought).
Hydrate yourself well during the travel. Drink minimum 2-3 ltrs of total fluids per day.
During buffet meals, choose a serving of salad or soup before beginning the meal, if available.
While having meals in hotels or restaurants, choose meal items in the menu which have names such as grilled / steamed / baked / shallow fried/ roasted instead of names such as deep fried / barbecued / charred / crispy / fritters since most of these have more fat and preservatives in them.
Snacking is one of the most sought after habits engaged in by students to give vent to their stress levels during periods of exam preparation. But, students often make the mistake of choosing the wrong kinds of foods to snack on during such periods. The snacks which they usually choose is fatty and rich in sugar & additives which is usually harmful to health. Ensuring that they choose their snacks wisely is important. Fat free snacks can well satisfy their urge to snack during such times, without harming their health.
Stress & Snacking
Studies have shown that subjecting the body to prolonged periods of stress results in the release of cortisol hormone which is an appetite enhancer. So cortisol impels to binge more that too on sugar & fat-rich foods. Consuming sugar-rich foods tend to give a sense of relief from the stressful situation we are facing since it inhibits the activity in that part of the brain where stress and pain are processed. Hence, facing stressful situations tends to act as trigger for binging on these calorie dense foods to gain that sense of temporary relief. However, stressful snacking can play havoc for our health in the long run since it can cause weight gain.
Switching to Fat free Snacks
Fat free snacks can act as a great substitute for the harmful comfort foods. We need to make conscious food choices especially when preparing for exams since this is the time when food, sleep and health takes backseat. But, what can happen is choices made during such times can tend to develop into habits.
Fat free snacks are foods which have minimum artificial fats & additives which are naturally harmful for health. Fat free snacks need not be store-bought, they can also be simple home foods such as fruits or puffed rice snacks. However, they can also be other yummy snack options such as protein or energy bars, baked banana or potato or tapioca chips, roasted peanuts or chana, or roasted oilseeds which all contain good fats.
Nutrition bars containing these seeds such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds or chia seeds can also be one of the many wholesome fat-free snacks.
Dealing with Stress Snacking
Few strategies can be employed to avoid stress snacking :
Avoid stocking & storing sugar & fat-rich snacks at home.
If present at home, ask your family members to keep the harmful comfort foods far away from your reach in the kitchen, so that you can’t reach it easily.
Avoid keeping such snacks in your study table or within easy reach.
Eat at regular intervals and avoid skipping any main meals.
Children often dislike what their mothers pack for them in their tiffins or lunch boxes for their short breaks. They prefer having more junk snacks rather than something healthy which has been packed. They may go out of the way to avoid having their home-packed tiffins and may go for choosing junk options from the canteen. Mothers have a tough preparing delicious, novel quick snacks which may appeal to the palate of their tiny tots. Catching the interest of young children in matters of food can be quite a daunting task.
Quick Snacks & Your Child’s Health
With most of the working mothers today, packing a healthy tiffin item for their child every morning is quite a challenge, since there is paucity of time as they themselves have to rush to work as well. Often, parents choose to pack biscuits, chips, pretzels or other fried & junk snacks which can apparently spoil the child’s health in the long run.
Its time that mothers need to introspect of what they are packing for their children. Since the unhealthy snacks provided to them can make them addicted to it, without knowing its several adverse impact on their child’s health. Its necessary that mothers plan their childrens’ meals well to effectively deaddict their children from binging on unhealthy snacks & junk foods.
Quick Snacks For Making Wise Food Choices For Your Child
Few quick snacks can be prepared at home over the weekends and stored for a long time. Preparing dry quick snacks in adequate amounts over the weekends can solve the problem of early morning hassle for packing your child’s tiffin.
Following are few of the quick snacks which are healthy and you can pack them for your kids without worrying about their health.
Tricolour Veg Sandwich
Prepare the filling in more amount on weekends and store in refrigerator. Apply these fillings on bread slices alternately and grill them if your child them so. Prepare carrot filling, pudina and cabbage filling for the three colours.
Yummy, healthy nuts & oats bars are available in several shops or online as well. You can also prepare these bars at home choosing your own set of healthy ingredients.
Puffed Lotus Seeds Chivda
Roasted lotus seeds or makhana are crunchy & yummy to munch on during short breaks. Prepare this in bulk on weekends and pack this for your child’s tiffin on mornings during weekdays.
Veg Paneer/Soya Wraps
Prepare filling of cabbage, bell peppers and cottage cheese or soya nuggets and store. Serve with chapattis or parathas in kids’ tiffin.
Dates & Sesame Balls (ladoos)
Rich in iron and calories, this healthy item can serve as healthy quick snacks for tiffin.
Granola is mainly prepared baking a mixture of various ingredients such as quick cooking oats, maple syrup, nuts and at times, also added is puffed rice. Granola is rich in calories contributed mainly through carbohydrate & fat sources such as cereals and nuts respectively. Granola bars also comprise somewhat same composition, except that they may vary in their composition of nuts & cereals.
Importance Of Breakfast
It is important to begin our day with a wholesome meal since it sets the metabolism going after the night long fast. It maintains the pace of the metabolic rate in the body throughout the day. Studies have well elucidated the correlation between beginning the day with a wholsome breakfast with sustained attention spans, improved concentration levels through the day and commendable productivity among subjects having breakfast.
Subjects starting their day skipping breakfast have found themselves feel more sluggish halfway through the day and also reported to have more junk food cravings to satisfy their hunger pangs. Skipping breakfast also leads to overeating in the next main meal to compensate for the previous skipped meal. Making a habit of skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain in the long run. Hence, including a healthy breakfast is one of the first strategies for facilitating weight loss.
Choosing Breakfast Options
Nowadays, with the early morning hours being a rush time for most people to reach their workplaces in time, finding time to have a wholesome breakfast is quite difficult to manage. Also, not many have the time to cook breakfast in the morning. It is, however, important to include all macronutrients in the breakfast such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats in proportionate amounts.
An easy to carry travel snacks option like granola bars can be had while travelling and also solve the problem of having to cook breakfast daily.
How Is Granola Bars A Better Option Than Granola Breakfast Cereal
As mentioned previously, the composition of granola bars and the granola breakfast cereal are quite similar to each other. The latter may require milk to be added which acts as a disadvantage for it since it can’t be portable to be consumed while travelling.
On the other hand, choosing a granola bar on extremely busy days can save your breakfast time by having them while travelling, without having to skip your breakfast. Carry a tetra pack of soya milk or almond milk and a granola bar; both these can serve a wholesome quick, on-the-go breakfast.
Wish to make your quick breakfast more wholesome? Include a bowl of sprouts or a medium serving of fruit smoothie or plain greek yoghurt and you are done with sorting your breakfast for the day!
Comfort foods are referred to those foods which are consumed in periods of emotional stress, and is believed to provide a psychological relief from negative feelings and boost positive emotions. Choosing comfort foods rich in sugar & fried foods can risk the obesity setting in earlier than expected. Sugar rich foods happen to give a feeling of illusory happiness and relief, but in turn, they happen to increase cravings for more such foods. Including protein foods such as protein bars can reduce the ill effects of binging on junk foods.
Choosing Comfort Foods
Studies have shown that psychological triggers vary among males & females for the consumption of comfort foods. It has been found that men mainly treat themselves with comfort foods during periods of mirth & celebration whereas women go for comfort foods while undergoing negative emotions. Also, women choose more snack related convenience foods as comfort foods whereas men chose meal related comfort foods.
This well illustrates the fact the struggle women have to go through while losing weight because of their snack related comfort foods cravings and their weight-conscious mindsets.
The Brain & Comfort Food Connection
Studies has shown that serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which gives rise to feelings of happiness and good mood. Serotonin is produced from an amino acid called tryptophan which is supplemented through the diet. Tryptophan is called as the essential brain nutrient which helps maintain mood stability.
Consumption of alcohol, sugar rich foods, processed foods, increased amounts of stress can all cause fluctuations in the serotonin levels in the brain, depleting their stores, causing frequent mood swings. Hence, protein rich foods such as protein bars, supplement the diet with good quality proteins and prevent frequent cravings for sugar rich foods. Protein bars can thus be vouched as the best comfort foods for the brain.
Protein Bars As Comfort Foods
Protein bars contain good quality proteins from whey or soya source and certain essential fats from nuts as well. These bars can serve as excellent comfort snacks for women even aiming to shed few pounds. Proteins are known for their satiety factor in weight loss efforts, moreover, they stabilize serotonin levels as well, which are known to affect mood, behavior, appetite and digestion.
Nuts added in protein bars helps to provide essential fatty acids, which also contribute in improving mood. Fatty acids help in enhancing mood and improve thinking, feeling during periods of depression. They have recognized for having mood-stabilizing and anti-depressant actions. Both proteins as well as good fats help in improving mood, which is the purpose of comfort foods.
So, the next time you feel low, keep protein bars within your reach to treat yourself!