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Nutrition: By Jack Weber

1. Carbohydrates

2. Proteins

3. Fat

4. Vitamins

5. Minerals

6. Water

7. Protein bars

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are sugars and starches that provide the body energy. There are two types of carbohydrates - simple and complex. Examples of simple carbohydrates (also known as refined sugars) include fruit juice, milk, yogurt, and honey. Examples of complex carbohydrates include green vegetables, sweet potatoes, corn, and whole grain bread. Every day you should have at least 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates, both simple and complex. Too many carbohydrates can result in food cravings, insulin blockage, and weight gain. That goes for simple carbs more than complex carbs so try to stick whole grain bread and rice. Without carbohydrates, we would not have enough energy to take part in exercise and sports.

Proteins

Our body is full of protein. We need it because it helps build, maintain, and replace the tissues in your body. Even our immune system, organs, and muscles are made of protein. Proteins also help build cardiac muscle, more commonly known as the heart. Protein is found in items like steak, poultry, tofu, nuts, seeds, and beans. Results of too much protein can be weight gain, yeast overgrowth, and Cancer. When proteins are broken down, they form amino acids. The average amount of protein we should eat in a day is about 56 grams. 

Fats

Fat is used as a fuel source for the body and is used to build nerve tissue. Fat comes in several forms including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Too much fat or too much of the wrong types of fat can be very unhealthy. Stay away from saturated fats because they can lead to weight gain. Foods that contain fats include butter, oil, nuts, meat, and ice cream. Fat gives food a lot of their flavor and texture. We should eat between 44 to 78 grams per day.

Vitamins

Vitamins are a very important part of your body.  There are Vitamin A, C, D, E, B12, B6, B1, B3, B2, and B9. Most vitamins help red blood cell production and nerve cell function. B6 helps with normal brain and nerve function. B1 helps the body convert carbohydrates to energy. Vitamin A prevents eye problems and promotes a healthy immune system. Most vitamin types can be found in milk, fruit, vegetables, and eggs. High doses of one particular vitamin can lead to liver damage. Without Vitamin D, you would have brittle bones and unclean teeth. There is no limit to vitamins but do not eat a ton of one kind.

Minerals

Minerals help the body in many ways like building strong bones and strong transmitting nerve pulses. They are used to maintain your heartbeat and make hormones. There are two kinds of minerals: Macro minerals and trace minerals. The top macro mineral is calcium which can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Most minerals are found in red meat, like beef. Trace minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, chloride, and sulfur. Without minerals like calcium, we would suffer from low brain function, low bone mineral density, and muscular symptoms like spasms and cramps. There are a total of 16 different minerals that can be found in our diet. Like vitamins, there is no actual limit to mineral intake.

Water

Why is water so important to our bodies? It helps maintain our body fluids, control calories, helps energize muscles, keeps skin in good condition, helps prevent kidney failure, and helps maintain normal bowel function. In fact, about 65% of our bodies are made out of water. Almost 92% of vegetables contain water like cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers, and spinach. Fruits like grapefruits, apricots, apples, pears, cherries, and grapes are made of over 50% water. Doctors say we should drink about 2 liters of water per day. Water can sometimes damage your teeth but that is only if it is something unhealthy like unclean well water. Even our bones are 25% water.

#10

Healthiest- Rx Bar Coffee Chocolate                                              Unhealthiest- Probar Wholeberry Blast

The Coffee Chocolate bar is healthier because it has less grams of sugar. It only has 12 grams where the Pro Bar has 26 total grams  of sugar.  The Coffee Chocolate bar also has more protein than the Pro Bar. While it is only 4 grams difference, it is still a little healthier. The Pro Bar has more total carbohydrates than the Coffee Chocolate bar. The Pro Bar is also higher in total fat than the other bar. Coffee Chocolate has 10 grams while the Pro Bar has 16 grams. The Coffee Chocolate bar is high in protein which means that it can help build and repair body tissue. The Pro Bar is high in sugar which means it gives the body a strong boost. While that may seem like a good thing, too much sugar can result in weight gain and blood sugar level spikes. The Coffee Chocolate bar can fall into 2 categories: Protein and Carbohydrates. It is full of both of these which means that it will help build and body tissue and prevent insulin increases. A Coffee Chocolate bar costs $1.89 and Pro Bar Wholeberry Blast costs $2.69.

#9 

Healthiest-Think Thin Protein Nut Bar, Chocolate Coconut Almond               Unhealthiest- Clif Blueberry Crisp

The Think Thin Protein Nut Bar has less protein than the Clif Blueberry Crisp but it still has less sugar. The Clif bar is higher in calories and has more total carbohydrates, which means that it has more refined sugars. While sugar helps your body function, it does not always benefit the body in a positive way. That is why we need to look for more items with protein, fats (not saturated), carbohydrates, and fiber. Try to avoid sugars and and high saturated fat foods.  The Think Thin Protein Nut Bar can fit into two categories: Protein and carbohydrates. This means that it will help prevent weight gain and store energy properly in the body. One Think Thin Protein Nut Bar  costs $1.78 while one Clif Blueberry Crisp costs $.95.

The Met Rx Big 100 bar is unhealthier because it is higher in sugar and has a higher amount of saturated fat. The Exo Bar only has 260 calories where the Met-Rx Big 100 Super Cookie Crunch has a total of 410 calories. The amount of calories should be something you look at but it depends on where the calories are coming from. The Exo Bar contains trace amounts of fat which help with cell growth and gives your body a fuel storage source. Most protein bars contain a little sugar but the Super Cookie Crunch contains a high amount of it. While both bars contain fat grams, the Met-Rx contains a higher amount of saturated fats which are the worst kind. People should try to stay away from saturated fats as much as possible. An Exo Bar Cocoa Nut cost $2.56 while a Met-Rx Big 100 Super Cookie Crunch costs $2.05

#8

Healthiest-Exo Bar Cocoa Nut                                    Unhealthiest-Met-Rx Big 100 Super Cookie Crunch

#7

Healthy -22 Days Enlightened Pumpkinseed                    Unhealthy -Power Bar Protein Plus Redufced Sugar Lemon Poppyseed

You may think the Lemon Poppyseed bar is healthy because it has a fruit in its name but it is not. It has more sugars and total carbohydrates than the Pumpkinseed bar. The Poppyseed bar has large amounts of carbohydrates which means it can involve weight gain and improper energy storage in the body. If you eat the Pumpkinseed bar, it will help properly store energy and give a strong boost for sports and exercise. One category the Pumpkinseed bar might fit into is carbohydrates. It has a good amount of them which means it can give you a boost of energy. One Poppyseed bar costs $1.54 and one Pumpkinseed bar costs $2.79.

#6

Healthy - Rise Bar Lemon Cashew                                                                     Unhealthy - Pure Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter

The Lemon Bar is healthier because of one reason - more natural ingredients.  Both bars have 20 grams of protein but in this case, you really have to look at what goes into the bar.  The Lemon Bar has four simple ingredients - organic cashew, coconut nectar, pea protein and lemon extract.  The Chocolate Peanut Butter bar contains artificial sweeteners, palm kernel oil and sugar alcohols.  The one nutrition category it would fit would be proteins. Both bars appear to be high in protein and low in sugar which is what you should be looking for but when there is no sugar, you have to wonder where the sweet flavor comes from.  Artificial sweeteners have been proven to be bad for you.  One Lemon Bar costs $1.75 and one Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar costs .74 cents.

#5

Healthy - Go Macro Protein Paradise Cashew Carmel                                Unhealthy - QuestBar Protein Cookies and Cream Flavor

The Cashew Caramel bar is healthy as it contains many healthy fats from the cashews and other ingredients.  There are also 11 grams of protein that come from rice and pea protein which makes this a more natural option.  The QuestBar is high in protein and is listed as being sugar free.  The only natural food listed as an ingredient are almonds.  Otherwise, there are many additives and chemicals in its list of ingredients including Sucralose, an artificial sweetener.  In this case, the labels are a bit misleading.  The QuestBar is high in fiber and protein which are good things but the sodium level is very high meaning they add that to make it taste good. One Cashew Caramel bar costs $2.20 and one Cookies and Cream bar costs $2.49.

#4

Healthy - Luna Protein Mint Chocolate Chip                  Unhealthy - Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar Dark Chocolate Almond

When comparing these two bars we see that the mint Chocolate one contains 13 grams of protein while the Zone dark chocolate almond bar contains 11 grams. The Zone bar has lots of added sugars and much more fat. The Luna bar has high amounts of carbohydrates which in the end gives a more energized boost for physical activity. There are two categories that these bars can go including proteins and carbohydrates. Both have high amounts of them which mean that you can get a high energy boost from both but can will get a more healthier quality bar from the mint chocolate chip bar. One mint chocolate chip bar costs $1.30 while one dark chocolate almond bar costs $1.16.

#3

Healthy -Soul Sprout Sweet N Salty Spouted Nut Bar                                        Unhealthy - Simply Protein Bars

While both bars have similar labels, the Simply Protein bars have are made with lots of chemicals to help keep the sugars down. The Soul Sprout bar uses active micronutrients in the protein to help your body access it easier when needed. This makes the Sprout bar much better for you and will help you more when you body needs the protein. The Sprout bar does fit in some of the nutrient categories because it is a good source of protein and natural whole foods. One Soul Sprout Sweet N' Salty Sprouted Nut Bar costs $3.00 while one simply protein bar costs only $1.93 which is a big difference in price.

#2

Healthy - Epic Bar Bacon                                                                   Unhealthy- Nature Valley Coconut Almond Protein Chewy Bars

The epic bacon bar is better for you because it is sugar free and contains a very small amount of saturated fats which are the bad type of fats. It also contains more protein as it basically pork meat.  EPIC bacon bar will help build and repair your boy's tissues and make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. The Nature Valley bar uses soy proteins and lots of filler instead of whole foods to get you its nutrients.The best nutrition category that this fits under is protein. It contains a good amount of it which means it will help build your body better and create strong body chemicals. The difference in price is that one EPIC bacon bar costs $2.06 and one Nature Valley Coconut Almond Protein Chewy Bar only costs .88 cents. 

#1

Healthy - Kind Strong & Kind Honey Smoked BBQ                                      Unhealthy - Think Thin Chocolate Strawberry

One reason the Think Thin Chocolate Strawberry bar is unhealthy is because it contains more grams of Saturated fats than the KIND STRONG &  Kind Honey Smoked BBQ. The Chocolate Strawberry bar also contains more calories which makes it even more unhealthy besides the saturated fats. The Strong bar contains almonds that are know to help build lean muscles, as well as help promote a healthy metabolism.  The Think Thin bar uses sugar alcohols to make it a sugar free product. Studies have show that these can lead to stomach issues. The nutrient category it might go into are fats and carbohydrates. The difference in cost for these two bars are that KIND STRONG bar costs $1.42 and one Think Thin bar costs $1.65, so you are paying more for a product that is not as good for you.