Protein Bar Guide
Updated: Mar 14
Protein bars are an easy on the go "healthy snack"... right? The real answer is - sometimes. It depends on the brand, the type and quality of the protein used, the sweetener, and the balance of carbs, protein and sugar per bar. A lot of companies go the easy route and use fake sweeteners, additives, and highly processed proteins that can affect your stomach and energy levels. However, there are some brands that do pay attention to proper nutritional value in a minimally processed, packaged bar.
Here is what to look for next time you are shopping for bars:
Ingredients you can pronounce
Stay away from soy protein isolate and whey protein as they tend to be lesser quality (cheaper)
Decide if you want a "snack" or a "meal replacement"
Make sure you are getting at least a few grams of fiber
Be ware of sweeteners - try to choose a brand that uses fruit to sweeten. Say no to high fructose corn syrup and hidden sugars (sucrose, dextrose, fructose...)
No preservatives - freshness matters (especially with 'real food' ingredients)
Primal Kitchen Collagen Nut and Seed Bars - All of the four flavors are free of gluten, grains, dairy and soy while packing 15 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar. It reminds me of trail mix in bar form, with added collagen! Personally I love the Dark Chocolate Almond, and Coconut Cashew.
Bulletproof - The Bulletproof Collagen Protein bars are perfect for anyone looking to switch up their normal protein bars, especially those following a Paleo, Keto, or lower carbohydrate diet. These bars have healthy fats, skin boosting collagen and sufficient protein to curb cravings any time of day. Some of my favorite flavors are chocolate chip, fudge brownie, and vanilla shortbread!
Perfect Bar - Every Perfect Bar is gluten free and soy free; some flavors have egg white protein while others have plant based, hemp protein. My favorites are the Almond Coconut and Dark Chocolate Almond! (PSA they also just released their seasonal Pumpkin Pie flavor...)
RX Bar - Chances are you've seen these in a local pharmacy, grocery store, or airport. I've been hooked on RX Bars for years, and the good news is that they have become much more accessible no matter where you are! These bars are free of dairy, soy, gluten and added sugar. They contain egg white protein and whole food ingredients like dried fruit and nuts.
Lara Bar - Fruit and nut bars never tasted so good! My favorite flavor is Apple Cinnamon, which is also Whole 30 Compliant. These might not be necessarily high in protein, but they are great snack bars. There are many delicious flavors to choose from, all of which are vegan and gluten free.
No Cow - These high protein, high fiber, low sugar, vegan bars can satisfy foodies across the board! They use a brown rice and pea protein blend that is entirely free of GMO's and dairy. My favorite is Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
Sunwarrior - Between Salted Caramel, Coconut Cashew, Cinnamon Roll and Blueberry Blast, you really can't go wrong with any of these flavors! All bars are organic, gluten free and vegan.
Julian Bakery - Whether you are vegan, paleo, primal or keto, they have a bar for you! I love their "Pegan" line of bars that contain plant based watermelon seed protein and are sweetened with monk fruit extract. In general, most of their bars are under 200 calories, have fewer than 5 net carbs and at least 15 grams of protein.