The name protein bar borders on false advertising,” says Charles Poliquin, who has designed workouts for world record holders in 10 different sports and professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and UK Premier League.
“I say that because it is simply not possible to design a protein bar that makes a significant contribution to daily protein requirements.” As proof, Poliquin provided the protein content (in grams) of the following health food bars: BTU Stoker, 10; Clif Bar, 5; Exceed Sports Bar, 12; Edgebar, 10; Forza, 10; Gator Bar, 3; K-Trainer, 10; PowerBar, 10; Thunder Bar, 10; Tiger Sport, 11. “But take these numbers with a grain of salt. ConsumerLabs evaluated 30 health food bars and found that 18 of them did not contain the levels of nutrients reported on their labels!” says Poliquin.
Poliquin says the problem with making a protein bar taste good is that protein is not sweet, and that to make a protein bar with a significant amount of protein “the product would be so dense it would taste like a hockey puck.” As an alternative, Poliquin recommends food bars.
A food bar provides a balance of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and is designed to be a healthy snack and an “occasional, lowcalorie meal replacement.” The earliest promotion of energy bars was provided by the US space program.
“In the late 1960s Dr. Howard Bauman, a food scientist at the Pillsbury Company, worked with NASA to develop a nutrient-dense food bar that could be used in zero gravity to replace the squeezable tubes of food used before,” says Poliquin. “It was cylindrical, approximately four and a half inches long, and contained just 44 calories. Although there is a question as to whether any of Pillsbury’s Space Food Sticks™ made it into orbit, a type of food stick was used in the 1973 Skylab 3. Nevertheless, Pillsbury developed a commercial version of the product called Space Food Sticks, which were wrapped in foil, not plastic, as that’s what the astronauts would use.”
Although food bars used by astronauts are a good idea, BFS has found a way to make them better. And the result is what we call Primal Bars™. According to Poliquin, “Primal Bars are food bars that present a healthy nutritional alternative to the food bars usually offered in grocery stores. Their primary value lies not in falsely claiming to be an ideal way to help you gain muscle, lose fat or replace meals – whether here or in space – but to stabilize blood sugar levels.”
Poliquin says that most health bars on the market contain fructose, which causes a high spike in blood sugar that is associated with an insulin crash that causes drowsiness and carbohydrate cravings. Poliquin says excess consumption of fructose products is considered a contributor to insulin resistance and the obesity epidemic in America. This is why instead of containing fructose or artificial sweeteners, Primal Bars contain polyols that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables.
Primal Bars do not contain soy, which Poliquin points out is associated with hypothyroidism and attention deficit disorder, and blocks mineral absorption and decreases testosterone levels in men. Also, two types of Primal Bars, the uncoated chocolate and uncoated coconut/almond varieties, are dairy free and are made with rice protein. Rice protein is the least allergenic of all protein sources available and is easy to digest. Also, all Primal Bars are free of wheat, corn, trans fats and hydrogenated fats.
With great taste and healthy ingredients, Primal Bars represent an honest end-point in the evolution of the health food bar. To order go to the BFS e-store at biggerfasterstronger.com.