What makes a nutritional bar different from a candy bar? Quite simply, the addition of nutritional supplements. A candy bar is mostly sugar, and provides little nutrition. A nutritional bar, while it can often have just as many calories, or the same amount of carbohydrates, provides vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and/or greens.
When choosing a nutritional, or protein bar it is important to read the amount of carbohydrates present, specifically the amount of sugars. Each 5 grams of carbohydrates is equal to one teaspoon of sugar, so a product that contains 25 g of refined carbs is equal to eating 5 teaspoons of sugar. Unless we’re exercising, the only time that is a reasonable amount of carbs is post-exercise, when it constitutes part of “carb-loading”. At other times it can be fattening, or cause an insulin spike, followed later by an energy “crash”.