Columns, Opinion

Baran Breakdown: Protein bars aren’t that great

Students must balance school work, jobs, sports and clubs and they are often left with little time to carefully choose their meals. College students are sometimes so consumed by their schedules they end up reaching for a controversial fast food: protein bars. 

As college students are exerting more energy than ever before in their lives, it is paramount that they are properly fueling their bodies. 

When we are young, the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was common. This phrase holds a significant meaning — its purpose is to push forward the notion that healthy foods should be eaten every day in order to maintain good physical health. 

Apples are a whole, natural food that, in their original state, have no preservatives, chemicals or any additives.The phrase is a microcosm for how human beings should eat — they should be consuming natural, nutritious foods on a daily basis. 

Children usually have their parents providing them with proper fruits and veggies for their meals, but as toddlers become teenagers, things start to shift and kids are more independent. In their high school years, adolescents have the freedom to choose what they put into their body in their school’s territory, but back at home they are eating whatever’s cooked for them, usually something inclusive of whole, natural foods. 

College is a huge step in one’s life. It gives one a newfound independence never known before, especially if the school is far away. Students have to adjust to their new lifestyle, and now, they are making their decisions about what to eat apart from their family. They have to decide how they want to fuel their body.

With college students seeming to get busier and busier, they may feel inclined to start their day with a quick and easy protein bar. Minimal calories, high fiber and convenient. What’s not to like? Well, it turns out, a lot. 

I am not immune to the allure of the protein bar. After all, I am a college student.

I was drawn to protein bars because they boast a seemingly first-rate dietary makeup and are not full of excess ingredients. But in reality, protein bars are often highly processed and contain unhealthy and artificial additives. They may seem like an optimal option from the nutrition label, but our bodies crave whole, natural foods.

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