While a healthy diet is full of fruit, vegetables, whole grain and protein, there can be too much of a good thing.
According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), most of us are consuming more protein than we need.
Dr Allison told The Huffington Post: “I never eat protein bars. They tend to be highly processed and contain lots of additives that are of unknown utility.”
BHF dietitian Tracy Parker said most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight daily.
To achieve this level of protein, you can do so by eating two portions of meat, fish, nuts or tofu daily.
Parker said: “In the UK, we eat more protein than is recommended.
“Meat-heavy diets have been linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and may also shorten your life.”
While protein bars are far from meaty, better protein alternatives include:
In agreement, Dr Allison said healthier alternatives to protein bars include nuts, pumpkin seeds, or peanut butter.
Some protein bars can be high in calories and contain a lot of added sugar.
The NHS says fruit and vegetable snacks are “always the best choice”; some recommendations include:
- Yoghurt with mandarin segments
- Sugar snap peas with low-fat hummus
- Mashed avocado and boiled egg
- Peppers and low-fat hummus.
For those short on time, the health body says plain rice cakes could be a good choice.
“If you’re buying other snacks off the shelf, paying attention to the packaging and nutrition labels can also help you make a healthier choice,” the NHS says.
There is a free NHS Food Scanner app that can help you choose healthier snacks.
Also, be on the lookout for the traffic light label on the front of food packaging.
Try to pick foods that have more greens and ambers on the label, and try to cut down on snacks that show any red.
Not all packaging will have this colour-code guide so it’s useful to download the NHS Food Scanner app.