Protein Bar and Diabetes

Today we are going to take a closer look at the use of Protein Bars, in planning a good diet for someone with type 2 diabetes.

It is always better to eat as many fresh ingredients from your salads to your protein choices.

But what do you do when you are on the go, and you need to eat something?

Protein bars can be a better choice to a candy bar, and it is essential to know what to look for when choosing the protein bars or you may be getting a candy bar disguised as a protein bar.

Protein bars have been delicious for me to use in changing my eating habits on the job.

Before I was allowing myself to eat all kinds of things that are not good for you; mainly because it was so accessible, but once the decision was made to change the way food was viewed, having protein bars on hand made it easier to stick to the plan.

Are Protein Bars Good for Diabetics

To answer whether or not a protein bar is right for your diet or not comes down to the choice we make and how it affects our body in particular.

People are going to respond to protein bars in different ways; this is something that makes perfect sense, but we seem to forget that sometimes.

People with diabetes with type 2 diabetes need to be aware of how the food they are eating is affecting their blood glucose readings.

These readings are something that people do not think about; even with my background in operations and my job consist of monitoring operating conditions and adjusting the inputs to get the desired readings. I did not monitor my dietary intake very well!

Learning to read and interpret the nutrition labels is very important to know how a particular protein bar, or any food for that matter, will affect your blood sugar.

The only way to know is to how a blood glucose meter and use it to check out how each food is affecting you. The results of the glucose readings will answer the question of how the protein bar effects you.

Ingredients are the place to start, and then the company that is manufacturing the product must be an established company with good operating practices. Quality control is something that must be a priority to the company as well!

Healthy Protein Bars Diabetics

Protein bars for people with diabetes are going to need to fall with the zero net carb count or as close to it as possible.

A quick way to look at this is to take the Carbohydrate number on the nutrition label and subtract the Dietary Fiber and the Protein numbers, and the result is the Net Carbs.

Another point to make here is the Sugars number is usually in grams and is broke down in Sugar and Sugar Alcohol separately.

Suagr

The Sugar Alcohol portion will not affect your blood glucose reading as much as regular sugar because it is broke down by the body much slower. This reading is about half as much as regular sugar so that you can subtract half from the text.

Amount of calories are significant too; when considering the addition of these bars, it is easy to overlook the calories they have, and if you’re not careful you could very easily consume more calories than you wanted.

Just like choosing the size of our plate and the breakdown of the contents; 50% from veggies, 25% protein, and 25% carbs, use the same approach in picking the right protein bar for your needs. I look for more protein content which helps to balance the extra carbs from salad dressings.

Protein Bars Diabetics Recipes

One of the best ways to know what you are getting is to make it yourself at home. When time permits there are many good recipes to experiment with and make your protein bar at home.

The consistency is the hardest thing to get right; at least that has been my experience, but the good thing is we tend to be more forgiving about the texture if we know what the ingredients are!

I started with making fat bombs when we both were looking into the ketogenic diet plan and trying to get the fat-bombs that I liked.

I have backed away from trying to do the keto plan diet because of the risk involved, and it just does not seem like I can sustain that diet plan for life.

Making a life change is why I am trying to learn what I can from experience and adapt it to a modified protein bar recipes that will work for a diabetic diet and for a regular diet that is low carb, low fat and higher in protein content which is better suited for the diabetic diet.

Homemade Protein Bars Diabetics

Here is a good recipe for a snack that does not spike my blood sugar and maybe you could try for yourself.

Two tablespoons of peanut butter
Four tablespoons of Erythritol
1 cup Bear Naked granola with Almonds
1 cup unsweetened raw coconut
1/4 cup of lily chocolate chips sweetened with Stevia
1 scoop of Avisae Indulge Protein Shake

The best way that works for me is to take the Erythritol and place it in the mixing bowl first. The Erythritol allows the peanut butter to be mixed and it does not stick to the sides of the dish very much.

Stir it until all the Erythritol is mixed into the peanut butter, then add in the granola and stir it in until mixed up well, then add the coconut and continue to mix until everything is blended up, lastly add the chocolate chips and mix them until evenly distributed.

It is ready to eat with a spoon but if you put it into a pyrex square glass bowl and place it into the refrigerator for a few hours or let sit overnight, it will get hard enough to cut into bars, but they will not be hard enough to carry around without a paper towel under it.

PB CC Coconut Granola

This dish is the most friendly homemade recipe for craving something sweet that I have tried.

There is a good reason for this; which is funny to me, I never figured out the nutritional information until just now, and it surprised me a little. When adding up all the ingredients it looks like this:

Here are the totals for the whole 2 cup serving in the picture:
Carbs = 170 grams
Fiber = 57 grams
Protein = 50 grams

That comes out to a Net of +63 carbs; which if you divide into 1/2 cup portions, that gives you eight servings at 7.8 grams each.

That is not very good when comparing to the Pure Protein Bars, but these are much more satisfying to a sweet tooth.

Oh well, I guess we all can pay closer attention to what we are doing. Just goes to show you that even though our intentions are right, the outcome can be wrong.

I am looking for something to replace the Granola that will bring down the carb content and make this balance out to a net zero carbs but will still taste good. If anyone has any good ideas that would be nice.

Follow Up

It falls to each of us to follow up on our choices and to verify that we are getting the response that we are searching to find.

This result is one of the biggest things that I have had to change about my outlook and approach to my diet. We can so easily dilute yourself and even lie to ourselves if we are not careful.

The demands on our time can so easily distract us and derail any of the best intentions, its best to take some time to care for yourself, which at times can be hard to do when you are looking out for other people all the time.

So for the caretakers just a friendly reminder to take care of yourself!

Thanks for stopping by,

Please leave any comments or suggestion below.

16 comments on “Protein Bar and Diabetes

  • Jenny Hennig says:

    Besides making homemade protein bars, are there any brands that you would suggest for diabetics?  You also mentioned that you plan on staying away from the ketogenic diet plan because of the risk involved, I am curious to know what the risk is?  I am not a diabetic person, but I am always looking for ways to reduce my sugar intake, and it is often hard when life gets busy and you reach for a candy bar because it’s fast and convenient.  Your recipe for homemade protein bars sounds good, and I’m sure it will satisfy my sweet tooth as well.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for your comments and question Jenny, so far the best protein bars I have seen and tried is the Pure Protein Bars they have the best nutrition and the highest amount of protein by weight. 

      I am sure to find some more that will be suitable for diabetics but so far those are the best. 

      RX bars are pretty good and contain all natural ingredients. 

      My reason for not pursuing the ketogenic diet is the high amounts of fat content can really be bad for you. You must keep the right amount of intake; which would be less than what your body is burning so that it all gets used up. That is just to risky and there is no good way to monitor if you are doing it right.

      So my plan now is to stay on a 1800 to 2000 calorie diet and follow an Intermittent fasting plan where I only eat between 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. 

      Just started this Intermittent fasting routine two weeks ago and it looks like my weight is starting to drop again. Hope it continues!

  • Reyhana says:

    My grandfather is diabetic and he’s been diabetic now for over 40 years. He’s in his mid 80s and probably even more energetic than me. From my point of view, he gets great nutrition because he always eats at home, almost never out in restaurants but when we go out, specially on long walks while on vacation, he needs something on-the-go to keep his energy up, because he’s not as young anymore. And he needs to eat to be able to take his medication.

    That’s why I have been researching energy bars for him because they’re so small and easy to carry but can keep hunger at bay in times of need. Thanks so much for this recipe. I will try it the next time I drop by his place. I hope he likes it.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank for your comment Reyhana, it is kinda sweet with four tablespoons of the Erythritol but you can adjust to his taste. It does give an energy boost when you eat it so hope that he likes it.

  • Shy says:

    I really like the idea of the homemade protien bars, even though I don’t have diabetes myself.I do know someone who does have diabetes and could use some of this information.  I don’t know if he would want to make his own protein bars, but I really think he should try it.  It is really important to take care of your health in any way possible.  This is really great information, thank you!

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thanks for your comment Shy, this recipe only takes about five minutes to prepare once you have all the stuff on the counter ready to go.

  • Eden says:

    It is really important to look at the nutritional values of a protein bar, because some can be very high in sugar. I like the recipe of your protein bar, looks tasty and would be satisfying and filling for a diabetic type 2 to eat. When you are on the go and live a very hectic lifestyle protein bars like you say can be that better healthier alternative, that can still fit into a lunchbox. There are so many high sugary snacks on the market today, I wish the sugar would be cut down. Its really great that you have included your own recipe for a protein bar. 

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you Eden for your comment and you are right about that label I just grabbed it for this post because it was right here on the desk but will be doing a review of it and some other protein bars shortly.

  • Chrissie Spurgeon says:

    I too have been experimenting with making my own protein bars, not because I am diabetic but because I do not like all the additives which tend to be in proprietary protein bars.

    I do like the sound of your recipe, and I will certainly give it a try.

    My own preference is a protein and energy bar which includes nuts, fruit and seeds, so they do not need any sugar or sweetener. I do realise that diabetics have to moderate their fruit intake because of the natural sugar there, but I believe that some berries such as blueberries are suitable for diabetics, is that correct? I also include extra protein powders which are naturally derived. Would that make a suitable bar for diabetics?

    I think that you are doing a really great job in offering diabetics alternatives to such things as candy bars, and your advice to check labels of all proprietary foods is very important.

    Many thanks for your post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you for your comments Chrissie, and it depends on the person as to how much fruit they can add to their diets. As long as their blood sugar does not spike or go too high they will be okay. The only way to know that is by checking it regularly, and especially after introducing something new to their diets. 

      Good point to add some protein powder to the mix it could help with the consistency as well, will try to add some that I always keep on hand in the next batch to see how it comes out. Thanks for the idea!

  • Cathy Cavarzan says:

    I really like the idea of making your own protien bars for diabetes 2 at home. Often times it is difficult while in the store or shopping in a hurry to be able to read the packages and make the right choice. When you mke them at home you have the dded insurance of know exactly what is in your bars.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you for your comments Cathy, agree with you on knowing what you are about to eat and all the ingredients are fresh.

  • Melissa says:

    I always think it’s a good idea to make things yourself, then you know exactly what’s in it. You can also keep improving the recipe or make variants to it so you have a suite of things that you know are good for your body, and that you also love. The only downer is that it’s time consuming, but so worth it in the end. I invested in a high powered blender so that I can make things from scratch, and I haven’t looked back. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chad Trader says:

      Thank you for your input Melissa, I have thought about a blender we use the little one for Protein Shakes but this recipe actually works better by hand and only takes about five minutes to prepare once you get used to it.

  • Barry Bullard says:

    My aunt is diabetic and i’ve been researching different ideas on protein bars for her and i’m eternally grateful for finding this post!

    I think i’m going to give your homemade protein bar recipe a shot and make this part of her christmas present.

    Thank you so much!  This post was a huge help and time saver!

    • Chad Trader says:

      Glad that you enjoyed the information Barry and hope that your aunt enjoys the recipe.

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