Our Top 5 Protein Bar Picks 2023
Protein bars are convenient and portable, an easy option for a snack or even a meal in a pinch. There’s been an explosion of new varieties on shelves, but not all are as nutritious as they appear.
Here’s the rundown of my top five picks – all are good sources of protein with zero or low added sugar and no artificial sweeteners or colors.
The 411 on protein bar labels
- Protein: 20 grams protein is equivalent to 3 ounces lean meat; 7 grams is approximately one egg worth of protein
- Sugar: Look for bars as close to zero added sugar as possible, and with more protein than sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners: Avoid artificial sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium
- Fiber: Usually less important, as many are “isolated” fibers without the full benefits of real, whole-food fiber
Better protein bar options
CanDo Keto Krisp bar | Gluten-free, dairy-free options available
- 190 calories, 16 grams carbohydrate (4 grams net carbs), 9 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 11 grams protein
- Made with almonds, chicory root fiber, soy protein, almond protein, sweetened with erythritol and/or stevia
Love Good Fats bar | Gluten-free, Soy Free, no sugar alcohols
- 190 calories, 14 grams carbohydrate (5 grams net carbs), 9 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar (2 grams added sugar), 7 grams protein
- Made with fats blend (almond butter, palm and coconut oil), whole grain brown rice protein, semi-sweet chocolate chips, soluble corn fiber, chicory root fiber.
NuGo Slim bar | Gluten-free and vegan options available
- 180 calories, 17 grams carbohydrate (9 grams net carbs), 6 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar (3 grams added sugar), 16 grams protein
- Made with protein blend (soy and rice protein), dark chocolate, inulin (vegetable fiber), sweetened with small amount of cane sugar
Bulletproof Collagen Protein bar | Gluten-free, dairy-free
- 190 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate (4 grams net carbs), 8 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 11 grams protein
- Made with cashew butter, hydrolyzed collagen, inulin, MCT oil powder (a supplement made from a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides), sweetened with stevia
No Cow bar [dipped or regular] | Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan
- 200 calories, 25 grams carbohydrate (4 grams net carbs), 15 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar (0 added sugar), 21 grams protein
- Made with vegan protein blend (brown rice, pea protein), soluble corn fiber, sweetened with erythritol, stevia, monk fruit.
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Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples, nor is she paid to recommend items. This originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get FUELED with Molly” segment