The Pure Protein bar is a protein supplement bar that contains 21g of protein per bar. Protein bars like Pure Protein can make a convenient, portable, and tasty snack or mini meal that provides protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. When evaluating the nutritional value of a protein bar, key factors to consider include the calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, sugar, fiber, sodium, vitamins, and minerals in each serving. This article will provide a detailed nutritional breakdown of the Pure Protein bar and assess how its nutritional value compares to other protein bars and dietary recommendations.
Calories in Pure Protein Bars
Each Pure Protein bar contains 210 calories. For comparison, this calorie count is:
- Higher than some low-calorie protein bars which can range from 100-200 calories
- Typical for an average protein bar
- Lower than high-calorie, meal-replacement protein bars that may contain 300+ calories
210 calories is 10.5% of a standard 2,000 calorie diet. This calorie level can fit into a weight loss plan as a snack or mini meal, though higher calorie protein bars may comprise too large a portion of total calories.
Calories from Macronutrients in Pure Protein Bars
The 210 calories in a Pure Protein bar come from:
As shown, the calories mainly come from protein, followed by fat and carbohydrates. The significant protein content aligns with Pure Protein’s goal of providing ample protein in a convenient bar form.
Protein Content in Pure Protein Bars
Each Pure Protein bar contains 21g of protein, which is a moderate to high amount compared to other protein bars:
- Lower protein bars may contain 5-15g protein
- Average protein bars contain 15-20g
- Higher protein bars can contain 20-30g
The 21g protein in a Pure Protein bar represents 42% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for protein for the average adult. This makes it a significant source of this important macronutrient.
Getting enough protein is crucial for building and maintaining muscle mass, supporting weight loss, keeping metabolism high, and controlling appetite between meals. Research suggests that eating 25-30g of protein per meal can be optimal for these benefits. A Pure Protein bar can therefore serve as a high-protein mini-meal or substantial snack.
Protein Sources in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein uses a blend of proteins including:
- Whey protein isolate
- Milk protein isolate
- Calcium caseinate
Whey and casein, the proteins found in milk, are considered high quality, complete proteins. Whey protein is absorbed particularly quickly, while casein digests slower for longer lasting amino acid delivery.
These diverse protein sources provide a complete amino acid profile to support muscle protein synthesis and recovery after exercise.
Carbohydrate Content in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars contain 16g total carbohydrates, which includes:
- 2g fiber
- 2g sugar alcohols (glycerin)
This leaves 12g net carbs that will directly impact blood sugar levels.
The carbohydrate sources in Pure Protein bars include:
- Brown rice syrup
- Oat fiber
Compared to some protein bars that may contain 20-30g total carbs or 5-15g sugar, Pure Protein bars contain a moderate carb and sugar level. This makes them a good choice for people monitoring their carb intake.
Glycemic Index and Load of Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars have a low glycemic index (GI) of 32 and glycemic load (GL) of 4. This means they should only cause a gradual, small rise in blood sugar levels.
For comparison, glucose has a GI of 100 and GL of 15. Therefore, Pure Protein bars are considered a low GI and GL food.
This is beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes and anyone aiming to control their blood sugar response.
Fat Content in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars contain 7g of fat per bar, which includes:
- 5g saturated fat
- 0g trans fat
This fat content is considered moderate. Many protein bars deliver 5-10g fat, while some higher fat options provide 15-20g.
The main fat sources in Pure Protein bars are:
- Palm kernel oil
- Canola oil
- Cocoa butter
These natural fats add creaminess, flavor, and satisfaction to the bars. However, the relatively high saturated fat content from palm oil and cocoa butter may be concerning for those limiting saturated fats for heart health.
Cholesterol Content in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars contain 10mg cholesterol per bar.
The RDI for cholesterol is 300mg per day. A Pure Protein bar therefore provides just 3% of the RDI for cholesterol.
This makes Pure Protein bars a very low cholesterol option suitable for any heart healthy eating plan.
Fiber Content in Pure Protein Bars
Each Pure Protein bar provides 2g of dietary fiber. This accounts for about 7-10% of the daily fiber recommendations for adults of 25-30g.
While not a high fiber food, a Pure Protein bar contributes a small amount of this important nutrient. Getting enough fiber promotes healthy digestion and cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood sugar, and aids weight control.
The main fiber sources in Pure Protein bars are oat fiber and chicory root fiber. These provide a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Some high fiber protein bars may contain 5-10g fiber from sources like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. So, the fiber content of Pure Protein bars is relatively low. But it’s comparable to many mixed-ingredient protein bars.
Sodium Content in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars contain 250mg of sodium per bar.
This represents about 10% of the daily upper limit for sodium of 2,300mg. Some key considerations for this sodium content:
- It is higher than unsalted nuts and seeds. But it is lower than many salty packaged or processed snacks.
- It may fit into a heart healthy diet aiming for 2,300mg sodium daily at most. But it exceeds general recommendations to limit sodium to 1,500mg per day.
- Protein bars with 350-400mg+ sodium should be limited by those monitoring sodium intake.
Overall, Pure Protein bars offer a moderate sodium content that many find acceptable for an indulgent snack/mini-meal. But they should be consumed in moderation by those limiting salt intake.
Vitamin and Mineral Content in Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars provide 10-15% of the RDI for several key micronutrients:
These percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Higher and lower calorie intakes would change the percentages provided.
The protein, milk ingredients, and added vitamins and minerals boost the nutritional value of Pure Protein bars beyond just protein, carbs, and fat.
However, Pure Protein bars are not intended to replace a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, and healthy fats. They simply provide a convenient mini-meal or snack option.
Nutritional Value of Pure Protein Bars vs. Recommendations
Here is how the key nutrient contents of Pure Protein bars stack up to general dietary recommendations for active adults:
|Per Pure Protein Bar
|0.5-0.8g per lb bodyweight
|2-4g per lb bodyweight
|0.4-0.6g per lb bodyweight
|500-750mg per meal
|Minimize added sugars
Based on these nutrition targets, Pure Protein bars can fit into a healthy diet for active individuals when consumed in moderation as a snack or mini meal. They supply a substantial protein serving with moderate carbs, fat, and other nutrients.
The Pros and Cons of Pure Protein Bars
Here is a summary of the main pros and cons associated with Pure Protein bars:
- High protein content from quality protein sources
- Moderate calorie level for a protein bar
- Low in sugar and net carbs
- Provides about 10% of key micronutrients
- Only 3% of the RDI for cholesterol
- Low glycemic index and load
- No artificial sweeteners
- No hydrogenated oils or trans fats
- Plant-based ingredients like brown rice syrup and oat fiber
- Moderately high in saturated fat
- Contains palm oil, which has sustainability concerns
- Higher sodium than unsalted whole foods
- Lower in fiber than bars with whole grains, fruit, nuts
- Contains “processed free” label, but has multiple processed ingredients
- Expensive compared to other snack options
Overall, Pure Protein bars offer a convenient high protein snack or mini-meal, but should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall nutritious diet.
Cost of Pure Protein Bars
Pure Protein bars are sold online and in stores in boxes of 12 bars, with each bar containing 1.41oz or 40g.
Typical costs are:
- One box of 12 bars: $20-25
- Cost per bar: $1.65-2
This is pricier than snacks like whole fruit, nuts, jerky, or even many candy/granola bars that can cost under $1 per bar or serving. However, it is a typical price point for commercial protein bars with niche protein blends and functional ingredients.
Pure Protein bars offer a significant protein dose for a pre/post workout meal or a filling snack throughout the day. The price may be worthwhile for some consumers given this nutritional profile. But for others, the cost could be prohibitive, especially if consuming one or more bars daily.
Comparisons to Other Protein Bars
Here is how Pure Protein bars stack up to some other popular protein bar brands:
Compared to these alternatives, Pure Protein bars offer:
- Lower calories than Clif
- Comparable protein to Quest
- Less sugar than Clif and Think
- Lower carb than Clif
- Lower fiber than Quest and Think
They provide a balanced macronutrient profile, but are not as high fiber or low carb/sugar as some bars.
Overall, Pure Protein bars live up to their name by delivering 21g of high quality protein in just 210 calories with limited carbs, sugar, and fat. This makes them a nutritious choice pre or post workout or as an on-the-go mini meal.
However, they are relatively processed and high in sodium and saturated fat. So they should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.
Pure Protein bars offer a good protein to calorie ratio and glycemic control compared to many competitors. But there are also high protein bars available with fewer additives and more fiber and micronutrients from whole foods.
At around $2 per bar, Pure Protein is reasonably priced but still costly compared to basic snacks like fruit and nuts.
In the end, Pure Protein bars can provide a solid protein boost, but their overall nutritional value depends on your dietary priorities and needs. They make a fine occasional snack or mini meal, but shouldn’t replace regular intake of more nutrient-dense whole foods.