You know how the saying goes: “If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.” Is this the case with the increasingly popular, delicious, dessert-like Quest Bar?
Targeted towards fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders and athletes as a healthy post-workout protein snack, Quest Bars have received plenty of hype and raving reviews due to their mouth-watering, decadent flavors.
That said, it’s only natural for the question to arise: “How can a “healthy” protein bar taste exactly like cookies ‘n’ cream, s'mores or cookie dough, and still be good for you?” Here’s our nutrition analysis based on what we’ve learned about Quest Bar nutrition so far.
What makes Quest Bars a healthy alternative?
One of the most appealing nutrition features of Quest Bars are their low carbohydrate count, a selling feature for fitness competitors and athletes who are looking for a high protein and low carb post-workout snack.
Quest Bars use whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate as their protein sources, two extremely bioavailable forms of protein that can be readily used by the body. A protein source that your body can quickly absorb is mandatory for those who are looking to put on lean muscle mass. Many protein bars on the market use soy protein as their source which can be more difficult to digest. Quest Bars are currently one of the only bars to offer 20-21g of bioavailable protein per serving with such a low carbohydrate ratio.
No refined sugar
Now, it may seem ironic for such flavourful nutrition bars to be low in sugar, but this is made possible by using two potent zero-calorie sweeteners, stevia, and sucralose with the addition of erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is found in most fruits. Quest claims there are absolutely no refined sugar sources in their facilities, so the consumer can rest assured they’ll be consuming a protein bar that seemingly delivers on its label. Refined sugar is clearly a main contributing factor to weight gain, but also too acidic to the human body to be consumed on a regular basis.
The flavor inclusions (such as white chocolate raspberry or cookie pieces) are also manufactured in-house by Quest, to better control the formulation and nutrition labeling. This is especially important to avoid the confusion and inaccuracy that can result when receiving a product manufactured in a different facility. With flavors such as s’mores, cookies ‘n’ cream, white chocolate raspberry, and chocolate peanut butter, Quest Bars offer a more nutritious alternative over sugar-laden desserts, which can help curb cravings in those with a sweet tooth, thus promoting weight loss and overall health.
Easily digested plant-based fiber
Quest bars are gluten-free and use a plant-based fiber source called isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO’s) that is commonly found in artichokes, leeks, and onions. IMO’s are said to be easier on the digestive system in comparison to other fibers such as chicory root.
Are there any downsides to Quest Bars?
Let’s preface this answer by putting Quest Bars into perspective as a processed food- none of which are ever perfect. In comparison to fast-food and many of the sugar-laden protein bars or grab ‘n’ go snacks out there, Quest Bars are the better alternative. It’s unlikely that the source of milk protein and whey protein isolates are free of rBGH, a hormone widely used in the dairy factory farming industry throughout the US. From a purist point of view, rBGH is an unnatural substance for humans to be consuming and the long-term effects on human health are presently unknown. Sucralose, an artificial sweetener, is suggested to cause digestive upset and an increased pH balance in studies done on rats. There is much controversy over whether or not sucralose is harmful to human health in small quantities, though from a holistic perspective, unnatural substances are best avoided. In a diabetic test group, Quest Bars were also shown to increase blood sugar levels after consuming. The exact cause of this is currently unknown, though it’s suspected the IMO’s were a contributing factor. That said, even with the low carbohydrate count, Quest Bars may not be an ideal option for diabetics.
Learn more about Quest bars at Quest Nutrition. Shop all Quest protien bar flavours at Vitasave.ca