Truth be told, I can’t remember what life was like before I ate bars. Was there a time? I know that I definitely fueled myself with Luna Bars all throughout high school and, before that, crunched on Nature Valley bars during my awkward pre-teen years. They’re great. Well, I think they are at least. I know a lot of people will argue that they’re too “processed” and that we should aim to eat only “whole foods” and blah blah blah. Yes, I agree (see my post on that topic here) but I still love bars. I mean, I frequent another type of “bar” and put worse substances in my body sooo….
Nowadays there are literally bars in every flavor with every nutritional profile and made out of every ingredient imaginable. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s prooobably a bar that will fit the bill. I mean, there are even bars legitimately made out of meat…like what?
So, since I’m [obviously] a bar advocate, I thought it was only fitting to share and compare my favorites. To keep this post from turning into a novel, I’m going to focus solely on those marketed as “protein” bars and I’ll have a post next week focusing on “snack” and/or “energy” bars.
Each of the 7 protein bars that I feature will receive an overall rating based on their nutritional profile, ingredients and price. Since I’m horrible at planning (good job, Emily) I actually have no idea which one will come out on top. I guess we’ll all find out together? I’ll also include my favorite flavor of each brand (although for many of them I love multiple) but I may as well have just said “I always like the peanut butter or cookies & cream best” because I’m basic and have a raging sweet tooth.
7 [Protein] Bars I Love:
1.) Quest Bars – Cookies & Cream
Details: Low Sugar. Low Net Carb. // 60 g bar
Ingredients: (for Cookies & Cream) Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Soluble Corn Fiber (Prebiotic Fiber), Almonds, Water, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavors, Erythritol, Palm Oil, Dextrin, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sucralose, Coconut Oil, Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda, Steviol Glycosides (Stevia)
Price: $2.39-2.99 per bar
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Delicious Taste. High Protein. Low Carb. Low Sugar. High Fiber. High Price Range.
2.) ThinkThin Bars – Creamy Peanut Butter
Details: Gluten Free. Low Sugar/Glycemic. Kosher // 60g bar
Ingredients: (for Creamy Peanut Butter) Protein Blend (whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Casein), Coating (Maltitol, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Sodium Caseinate, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Salt), Glycerin, Maltitol, Peanuts, Water, Cocoa Butter, Peanut Flour, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Sea Salt.
Nutrition Facts: 240 Calories(9g Fat, 22g Carb, 20g Protein, 1g Fiber, 300mg Sodium, 0g Sugar*)
Price: $1.69-1.99 per bar
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Low Price Range. High Protein. Gluten Free. Low Sugar. High Sodium. Chalky Aftertaste.
3.) PureFit Bars – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Details: Vegan. Gluten-Free. Kosher. Non-GMO. // 57g bar
Ingredients: (for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) Brown Rice Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, Beet Syrup, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Soy Crisps (Soy Protein Isolate, Tapioca Starch, Salt), Peanuts, Sunflower Oil, Peanut Flour, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin
Nutrition Facts: 230 Calories (7g Fat, 25g Carb, 18g Protein, 1g Fiber, 180mg Sodium, 17g Sugar)
Price: $2.69-2.99 per bar
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Non-GMO. High Protein. Great Ingredients. Delicious Taste. High Sugar. High Price Range.
4.) MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars – Cookies & Cream
Details: Gluten Free. Low Sugar. Low Net Carb. // 63g bar
Ingredients: (for Cookies & Cream) Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (Prebiotic Fiber), Chocolate Cookie Gems (Rice Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Sunflower Oil, Tapioca Starch, Cocoa [Processed With Alkali], Chocolate Liquor, Salt, Baking Soda, and Soy Lecithin), Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Oils (Palm, Palm Kernel Oil), Sugar, Almonds, Water, Soy Protein Isolate, Maltitol, and Cocoa, Contains less than 2% of: Resistant Maltodextrin, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Sucralose, Vanilla, and Tapioca Starch.
Nutrition Facts: 210 Calories (7g Fat, 28g Carb, 20g Protein, 12g Fiber, 459mg Sodium, 5g Sugar*)
Price: $2.50-3.50 per bar
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Delicious Taste. Low Sugar. Low Net Carb. High Protein. High Fiber. High Sodium. High Price Range.
5.) FitCrunch Baked “Snack” Bars – Peanut Butter
Details: Low Sugar // 46g bar
Ingredients: (for Peanut Butter) Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate), Palm Kernel Oil, Dry Roasted Peanuts, Vegetable Glycerin, Maltitol, Sorbitol, Gelatin, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Brown Sugar, Corn Syrup, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Salt, Mono- & Diglycerides, Natural Tocopherols, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Silicon Dioxide, Reduced Mineral Whey Powder, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate, Citric Acid, Whey, Beta-Carotene, Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, and Sucralose.
Nutrition Facts: 190 Calories (8g Fat, 14g Carb, 16g Protein, 1g Fiber, 200mg Sodium, 3g Sugar)
Price: $1.50-1.99 per bar
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Delicious Taste. Low Sugar. Low Carb. Low Price Range. Long Ingredient List. Lower Protein Content.
6.) D’s Naturals No Cow Bars – Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Details: Dairy Free. Soy Free. Gluten Free. Vegan // 60g bar
Ingredients: (for Peanut Butter Cookie Dough) Protein Blend (Brown Rice Protein, Pea Protein), Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Prebiotic Fiber), Roasted Cocoa Nibs, Peanut Butter, Peanut Oil, Peanuts, Cocoa Butter, Peanut Flour, Sea Salt, Erythritol, Almonds, Monk Fruit Extract, Stevia
Nutrition Facts: 170 calories (4.5g Fat, 25g Carb, 20g Protein, 19g Fiber, 200mg Sodium)
Price: $2.50-2.99 per bar
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Great Ingredients. Dairy Free. Delicious Taste. High Protein. No Artificial Sweeteners. High Price Range.
*Disclaimer: Just because a bar claims to have 0-3g of sugar does NOT mean it doesn’t contain sugar alcohols (aka: artificial sweeteners). The long-term effects of consuming sugar alcohols has yet to be determined and whether or not you choose to do so must be a personal choice.
Do you eat protein bars? Which brand/flavor is your favorite?!
Here’s to the joy of [protein] bars…