Breakfast bars have forever changed the breakfast game. They’re easy to grab on your way out the door, appealing to both adults and children, and small enough to throw in your bag for whenever hunger strikes. Unfortunately, not all breakfast bars are created equal. But how can you know which ones are good and which ones leave nutrition off the table?
Over Easy created an entire brand around the idea of developing a breakfast bar that’s just as tasty as it is good for you, and we’re pretty sure that we’ve got the formula down. Want to know what it is?
Why Does It Matter How Nutritious My Breakfast Bar Is?
Unfortunately, we often have to make a decision between our health and our wallet. Unhealthy foods are often cheaper, mostly because they’re made out of cheaper, more processed ingredients. If finances are a concern, it makes sense to want to grab whatever is least expensive, especially if you’re trying to feed a family.
However, when you have the right information, you don’t have to make a choice between eating healthy and not spending your entire paycheck.
Nutrition impacts literally every single avenue of our lives. People who choose to eat healthier diets have a decreased risk of developing various serious health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
When it comes down to it, though, less than one out of every ten American children and adults eats the daily recommended amount of vegetables. And only one in seven adults and four in ten children eat the daily recommended amount of fruit.
But it doesn’t have to be like that, and it all starts by focusing on how you start your day.
Is Breakfast Really All That Important?
Most of us grew up with that old saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Now that we’re a little older, of course, we realize that our parents used that as a way to get us to eat in the morning, even if we didn’t necessarily want to. It was just one of those things that gets into your psyche, and we wanted to create a breakfast bar that not only met but exceeded the expectations that our parents had for us as children.
Breakfast provides a whole slew of benefits for people who focus on making healthy choices.
Breakfast Gives You Fuel
When we pay attention to the nutritional quality of the things we choose to eat for breakfast, specifically protein, fiber, and carbs, we’re giving our bodies the energy they need to kick ass all day. We have the opportunity to start fresh every day and make good choices when it comes to filling our bodies with the right kind of fuel, so take advantage of it.
Breakfast Helps You Maintain A Healthy Weight
In addition to attacking your day without succumbing to the inevitable sugar crash from eating a bunch of toaster pastries, eating breakfast on a regular basis also helps you maintain a healthy weight. This is ironic, considering that many of the people who choose to skip breakfast do so in an attempt to cut calories. Breakfast triggers your metabolism, and not eating breakfast sends the message that your body should hold onto calories because it’s in starvation mode.
Breakfast Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar
Even people without diabetes are impacted by what their blood sugar does. When you don’t eat breakfast, your blood sugar level stays as low as it is when you’re sleeping. The way that your blood sugar changes impacts your mood, your insulin levels, your energy, and even your mental health. When you eat breakfast, it helps regulate and control your blood sugar, which can help protect you from those extreme variations.
Breakfast Is Good For Your Heart
One of the lesser-known benefits of eating a healthy breakfast is that it’s tied to a lower risk of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a big sciencey word for one of the leading factors in heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. If you could reduce that risk by eating a bar made from real, delicious ingredients, why wouldn’t you?
The Components Of A Healthy Breakfast Bar
Learning what to look for in a breakfast bar is the key to finding the option that’s going to make you tick. Combining the following three components with a delicious taste, no refined sugars, and no gluten, soy, or dairy is what we based our entire brand around.
When looking at the protein level of a breakfast bar, what you’re really looking at is the amount of energy it will provide. As the body consumes protein, it converts it into fuel for our body. What fuel we choose impacts how long that energy stays in the body. It also helps to keep our blood sugar levels more stable, works to build and repair muscle and other body tissues, and can help keep hunger under control so that we can focus and concentrate more.
Our protein bars contain between 9 and 10 grams of protein in a single bar. Our protein comes from healthy, whole food sources like cage-free egg whites—we’re keeping it real.
Fiber is another important component of any healthy breakfast.
Fiber keeps the body feeling full and satisfied for longer. It’s also excellent for keeping the GI system, ehem, regular, and reducing the risk of having high LDL cholesterol levels. Fiber works as a kind of sponge, soaking up any cholesterol floating around in the body before it can enter the bloodstream and form plaques.
Many people also associate fiber with weight loss. Not only does it keep you feeling full, but it also takes a longer time for your body to process and digest. That means your body is working harder, which also burns more calories.
The last important component of a good breakfast bar is carbohydrates. While carbohydrates have recently gotten a bad rap, they aren’t the devil that many people think they are.
Carbs are the body’s main source of energy. However, there are two different types of carbs—simple and complex. Simple carbs include things like refined sugars, whereas complex carbs are foods like whole fruits and vegetables. Complex carbs are better, in the long run, because they take more time for the body to process. So, yes, while carbs are good for you, we’re not telling you to slam a box of pasta with every meal.
The carbohydrates in our breakfast bars come from organic oats to help provide you with a sustained, long-lasting energy source. Those oats also help increase the fiber content, filling you up without dragging you down later.
Why No Refined Sugar, Dairy, Gluten Or Soy?
You may have noticed that we specifically left certain things out of our ingredient list. If you didn’t, we’re going to tell you about it anyway—oops.
Sugar is commonly used to make things taste sweeter, which many taste buds interpret as being “better.” That’s because sugar can be physiologically addictive, making us crave it unconsciously. Aren’t you relieved that you have an explanation for constantly craving chocolate? It also has a huge impact on our blood sugar, for obvious reasons. The issue is, the energy boost we get from sugar can feel like a good idea when it first happens, but we quickly forget that energy when the crash happens. It just isn’t worth it.
Dairy is a much more controversial issue, as is gluten. While people often try to cut both out in an attempt to lose weight, there are also certain issues that can be associated with it. Bloating, gassiness, GI issues—those just didn’t seem like a risk we wanted to take. With so much going on, why deal with health struggles too?
And finally, soy. There are plenty of reasons that people choose to avoid soy, although the research is still ongoing. Ultimately, we were able to get the same nutritious benefits that soy provides by not including an ingredient that some people go out of their way to avoid. We just didn’t think it was a necessary addition.
Knowing what to look for in a healthy breakfast, as well as why eating breakfast is important, can majorly turn your entire day around. As we always say, you’ll become a morning person whether you like it or not. Over Easy created our breakfast bars with that in mind. Having a nutritious option that you or your child can grab on the go can be the start of a new routine and a healthier, happier you!