A woman is clinically advised to consume around 400 calories more than her regular intake during pregnancy. Numbers can sway us away from the fact that along with getting the right amount of kcals, she also has to keep a balance between proteins and calcium, and folates.
Women looking to achieve this by ways other than supplements are turning their heads to health and energy bars.
Clif Bar! is a brand that has positioned itself not just on store shelves but also in many American homes, pantries and pockets for almost 30 years. Let’s talk about how it can or cannot fit into a pregnant woman’s diet chart.
Can you eat Clif bars during pregnancy?
Yes, Clif bars are safe for consumption during pregnancy. In fact, being a mix of proteins, carbs, and fat, it not only provides instant energy but also helps in meeting the daily nutrition requirement. It ranges from packs filled with nuts to fruit extracts, fortified with added vitamins and minerals in rich flavors like mint and cinnamon that can help with nausea during pregnancy.
ALSO READ: Are Gin Gins safe during pregnancy?
What are Clif bars made of?
Predominantly promoted as a meal replacement and a fuel for athletic performance, Clif bars consist of those ingredients that are meant to replenish you and keep you full for a long time. Although the ingredients vary across flavors, below are the common ones found in every Clif bar.
- Rolled oats
A gluten-free whole grain packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants help in controlling body weight and blood sugar levels.
- Brown rice syrup
An organic, gluten-free alternative to invert sugar syrup with 0% fructose and 100% glucose.
- Soy protein isolate
A soybean extract that contains 90% protein. The isoflavones present are known as phytoestrogens and deliver the body with protective antioxidants.
- Cane sugar
Contains over 20 micronutrients found in sugarcane which makes it a healthier alternative to refined white sugar.
- Rice flour
A versatile, gluten-free addition used as a thickening agent with high concentrations of fiber, calcium, and choline which promotes bone health, liver health and controls blood cholesterol levels.
- High-oleic Sunflower oil
The two types of acids found in sunflower oil contribute to a healthy diet. Oleic acid is monounsaturated fat which is good for heart health. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fat that reduces bad cholesterol levels and delivers the body with good cholesterol.
- Roasted soybeans
A perfect protein replacement for vegetarians and vegans which is packed with proteins, vitamins, and fiber with zero cholesterol and saturated fat.
- Barley malt extract
A natural sweetener derived from barley is used as a substitute for processed sugar. Has a rich source of soluble fiber which can enhance digestive health.
- Sea salt
A rich source of sodium and iodine, sea salt helps in fluid retention and aids digestion.
Apart from this lineup, there is also a range of healthy additions including almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, natural fruit purees, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, and flavonoids like cinnamon and mint.
What kind of protein is in Clif bars?
Similar to other energy bars, the Clif bar is packed with protein, about 10 grams per bar, to cater to all needs of the body.
This protein is entirely derived from plant-based ingredients like soybean isolate, rice flour, soy flour, roasted soybean, and other added nuts. Soy protein is extensively replacing meat-based protein in recent times since it provides a great amount of energy without any saturated fat or cholesterol found in the latter. It is easy to digest for kids and pregnant women and provides the daily requirement of nutrition without increasing body weight or blood sugar levels.
The importance of protein to the human body is indispensable. Protein is, but a chain of amino acids that are essential for every cell in the body. It provides the energy for functioning, to build and repair tissues, to regulate hormones, to transport nutrients, to balance water content, to give structure to the body, and to bolster immunity.
Protein requirement during pregnancy ranges from 1.2 to 1.52 grams per kilogram of body weight as it is absolutely necessary for fetus development.
ALSO READ: Can you eat Zax sauce when pregnant?
What are the orange specks in Clif bars?
This question must have popped in all our heads while enjoying our favorite flavor of the bar whether it is Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch or Blueberry Crisp.
On the contrary to all our speculations, the orange specks are nothing but added Vitamin-A in the form of Beta Carotenes. They are responsible for the deep orange tint in carrots and pumpkins.
The body requires Vitamin-A to regulate the immune system, maintain eye health and lung health, and lower the risk of cancer. Adding this to an energy bar not only helps us to stay nourished but also escapes the agony of eating vegetables.
How many Clif bars can a pregnant woman eat in a day?
Clif bars contain a bunch of superfoods pregnant women need to include in their diets like whole grains, nuts, healthy oils, and fortifications, which are more easily accessible than cooked meals. Many female health forums talk about Clif bars being a perfect supplement to a wholesome diet and encourage women to consume them moderately between meals as a snack to achieve their nutritional targets.
As pregnant women lose energy quickly, they are told to carry energy bars with them outdoors and munch on to give an instant energy boost.
Although, consuming Clif bars carry zero harm to prenatal health, the frequency of its consumption is of more pertinence. Too much of it can cause a surge in blood glucose levels as women are more vulnerable to diabetes during pregnancies. An upper limit of two bars per day is conclusively agreed upon by many in the medical fraternity which is to be judiciously distributed between meals.
Do all Clif bars have caffeine?
The answer is no; not all Clif bars contain caffeine. The dedicated coffee collection and selective bars with chocolate are the ones to look out for. Expecting mothers are advised to check the ingredients listed on the package before consuming to make an informed choice.
Do Clif bars have gluten?
Clif bar does offer a gluten-free range. The bars have a non-GMO tag which ensures usage of ingredients with a low glycemic index. Yet, some of the options have gluten present, so consumers are expected to check the package before proceeding with the purchase.
Gluten is a form of protein derived from grains that supply nonessential nutrients to the body, whose prolonged consumption can cause bloating, constipation, and intestinal damage. Due to its nature, it is highly avoided by weight watchers and diabetics. It is a no-go for pregnant women and to their relief.
Do Clif bars have nuts?
Clif bars have a variety of flavors that deliberately contain nuts like peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, and so on. Unfortunately, those who are allergic to nuts are not recommended to consume the nut or nut-free flavors as all Clif bars flash an allergen statement indicating that the presence of nuts in them is possible and inevitable if so.
Clif bar alternatives during pregnancy
Clif bars are safe for consumption during pregnancy as they provide the right mix of ingredients and present a wide array of flavors to choose from.
There are a number of energy bar alternatives out there but, women are advised to choose homemade nutrition bars over store-bought ones. The benefit of homemade bars is the liberty to choose your favorite ingredients and achieve the right taste and flavor. Authentic recipes available online can help save time and effort that goes into experimentation.
ALSO READ: Is Beech-Nut baby food safe?
I am Anand, and I am a business owner and consultant in my day job. I have spent years studying what’s inside the products we buy. ‘Feedrer’ is a wordplay on you-know-who and talks about all things food.