The Pros and Cons of Atkins Bars

Atkins BarsAtkins bars are high-protein, low-carb snack bars meant to help you shed the pounds.

By replacing one of your regular snacks or small meals with a bar, you are cutting down on calories and carbohydrate consumption without having to count carbs or worry about portion size.

Like with every other diet and weight loss tool out there, Atkins bars are not for everybody, so it’s important that you weigh their pros and cons before you make the decision of including them in your eating plan. If you’re a diabetic or suffer from a medical condition, please talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your diet.

CON: Lots of processed ingredients and additives

Like most snack and weight loss bars, Atkins bars are made using a high-protein ingredient such as whey protein isolate.

The Atkins bars, however, also contain a long list of additional ingredients that either provide flavor and texture or work as fillers.

This means you’re eating lots of things that don’t provide any nutrition, such as maltitol, polydextrose, hydrolyzed gelatin, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, and more.

PRO: They are low glycemic

The glycemic index measures how fast a food impacts your  blood sugar — on a scale of 1 to 100 — when consumed. For example, a handful of peanuts has a glycemic index of 7 (very low) while instant oatmeal has a glycemic index of 83.

Foods that rate low in the glycemic index are not only ideal for a low-carb diet, but they can also be a good choice for diabetics or those who want to keep their glucose under control. Because they’re very low in carbs and they also contain fiber, Atkins bars rate very low in the glycemic index.

CON: They are high in fat

Since Atkins’ emphasis is not on the fat content of food, so many of their snacks and prepackaged foods end up being high in fat. For example, an Atkins Meal Advantage Chocolate Peanut Butter bar contains 14 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are saturated fat. That’s 40 percent of your daily allowance in a single snack bar.

PRO: The variety of flavors is quite large

If you miss the taste of chocolate, peanut butter or fudge when on a low-carb diet, the Atkins bars could help you fix that.  Available in flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies n’ Crème, Mudslide, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, the variety of flavors means you can mix and match without getting tired of any specific flavor too soon.

CON: They contain very few nutrients

Atkins bars were designed to fill you up and provide you with a quick and easy high-protein meal on the go — and not necessarily meant to provide you with the nutrients you need.

For example, the Advantage Chocolate Peanut Butter bar mentioned above contains 3 percent of your daily requirement of potassium but no other vitamin or mineral.

The same is true for most of their other bars, including meal replacement and breakfast bars.

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