Like saturated fat, trans fat is also known to raise bad cholesterol as well as reduce our good cholesterol. “Keep this number at 0 when looking at nutrition labels. Even small amounts of trans fat increase your risk for heart disease,” Samuels cautioned. “If you see ‘partially hydrogenated’ on a food label, this is an indicator that there are trans-fats present in the product.”
While it may enhance the flavor, you’ll also want to be mindful of protein bars made with added sugar. “Too much added sugar can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes,” Samuels explained. “Overtime, excess intake of added sugar can also increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.” Therefore, it’s best to keep our sugar consumption to a minimum. “To help decrease your added sugar intake, choose protein bars that have no more than 5 grams per serving,” Samuels advised.
Just like some protein bars come with added sugar, some come with excess sodium. This, too, can boost one’s susceptibility to cardiovascular disease as well as water retention, particularly for people with high blood pressure. “While we need some sodium each day, many packaged foods including protein bars are high in sodium,” Samuels told Health Digest. “Choose low sodium products containing no more than 140 milligrams per serving.”