People who love exercise are better at healthy eating than the rest of us. It’s probably because they work so hard to achieve and maintain their lean muscle and trim bodies that they have an easier time ‘just saying no’. Of course getting into shape in the first place requires a lot of will power, so it makes sense that some of it is channelled into avoiding empty calories.
As for the rest of us, we have to be tricked into eating things that are good for us. We dehydrate fruit to make it sweeter, coat nuts in chocolate to make it more palatable, and dip whole grains in honey just to make it past our tongues. Fortunately, the exercise industry has been kind to us, specifically a firm called Quest.
If there’s ever a diet that lets you eat cake, you’re sure to sign up! Well, Quest Bars have been kind enough to develop protein bars in birthday cake flavour, and its packaging is good enough to eat! A small slice of birthday cake (about 60g) contains 200 calories with frosting. Similarly, a 60g protein bar has between 160 and 200 calories, depending on the flavour.
However, while the cake has 27mg of cholesterol, 10g of fat, 35g of carbs, and 2.6g of protein, your matching protein bar has 20g of protein, 0.5 mg of fat, and 5mg of cholesterol. It comes in vanilla almond crunch and chocolate peanut butter flavours. Yum! Plus, with 18g of fibre, it will keep you full far longer than a slice of cake, reducing your overall caloric consumption.
No gluten, no soy, no added sugar … that doesn’t sound like much of a cookie. But it does give you 15g of protein, 9g of fibre, and 4g of carbs. They’re rather large cookies at 60g a piece, with each one bearing 250 calories. And it does have real chocolate and promises a soft, chewy texture. But because it’s such a large portion, you’d have to stop at one.
A single Maryland cookie weighs a little over 10g, so you’d need 5 or 6 to match one from Quest. And 6 Maryland cookies would clock over 300 calories, combining for a total of 45g of carbs and 6g of protein with no fibre at all. It’s interesting to note though that 6 Maryland’s contain 15g of fat while a single Quest cookie has 17g, so they’re not too far apart.
The trouble with chips (that’s crisps to us) is it’s hard to just have one. You’ll often end up clearing the whole pack. Nuts have the same problem, so while 6 to 10 cashews is a healthy snack, a 30g bag is less so. Still, it’s hard to resist the crunchy comfort of crisps. Their main trouble is they’re drowned in cooking oil. Quest chips are dried and baked rather than deep fried, so that’s one problem solved right there.
Every 30g pack has barely 1.5g of fat, none of it saturated. It also has 21g of protein and just 5g of carbs. It offers 120 calories and is flavoured with sea salt (that’s the good kind because it’s not processed and has no additives.) To compare, 30g of regular crisps offer 161 calories, 10g of fat (15% saturated), 16g of carbs, and 2g of protein.
Quest peanut butter cups
Planning to fill your Easter basket with Reese’s? At 515 calories for 100g, that’s a rich, decadent snack. So if you prefer them to chocolate eggs, you might consider getting the wholesome version. A single Reese’s weighs roughly 25g and has 88 calories, 5g of fat, 9g of carbs, and nearly 2g of protein. In comparison, a Cravings Peanut Butter Cup from Quest has 10g of protein, and just 2g of carbs. Yes, they contain real unprocessed chocolate, but they have no soy or sugar. You should note though, that each Quest cup has 120 calories so…
However you choose to ‘get your snack on’, healthy options are generally better. Still … keep in mind that while commercial health snacks have less fat and sugar, fewer carbs, more protein, and vitamin supplements, they often have more calories, so don’t gobble too many.
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