Experts say that snacking is the key to successful weight loss. That’s because it gives your body an extra kick of nutrients and energy to promote a stable blood pressure and metabolism. “Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals,” nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet, tells Health.com.
But that doesn’t mean that every snack is good for you. In fact, there’s one popular snack food that fitness experts say dieters should avoid because of its negative effect on the metabolism–it’s granola bars!
Granola bars may seem innocent upfront with their oat toppings and fruity fillings, but Maya Feller, RDN, says they're actually filled with refined carbs that slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss.
“Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy and can provide the brain with the pick-me-up that it’s looking for,” Feller tells Well+Good. “But these are simple carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike and crash, leaving you feeling tired.”
She also warns that most granola bars are actually lurking with sugar and unhealthy additives that contribute to weight gain.
“Some are made with oats, sugar, honey, and fruit,” Feller continues. “Yes, the ingredients are healthy—however the amount used and combination can lead to a glucose spike, followed by a rapid dip.”
Don't think you'll be able to make it through the day without nibbling on a granola bar? Feller says it's best to opt for bars that have 5g of sugar or less per serving to ensure that you're not consuming excess sugar. She also recommends glancing over the ingredients list to make sure that you recognize what's listed to eliminate consuming any unhealthy additives.
Erin Palinski-Wade, a registered dietitian, says you also need to be wary of your go-to granola bar's saturated fat content. "Just watch out for bars that contain more than 20% daily value of saturated fat," she told Time.
from Minimalist Baker
-1 cup packed dates (pitted // deglet noor or medjool)*
-1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
-1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
-1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped // see instructions for roasting nuts)
-1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)