There are tons of different protein bars on the market, and all of the brands claim that their bar is the best. So how do we as the consumers really know which protein bars are the best for us? Here are some tips that I find helpful when choosing a protein bar.
There are a few different key items on the food label that you can be looking for when determining your choice. For a protein bar, you typically want to see a minimum of 8-10g of protein and a maximum of 10-13g of sugar. If a bar doesn’t meet these two criteria, you can probably rule it out. You would be surprised how many of these protein bars are packed with sugar and are essentially a candy bar with protein in it!
If the bar passes the first test for protein and sugar, you can look more closely at exactly what the bar is made out of. You want to look for whole food ingredients and natural sweeteners such as honey, cane sugar, or whole fruit (not juice or concentrate). Be aware of ingredients that end in “ol”, such as maltilol, erythritol, and xylitol. These are artificial sweeteners that companies add to protein bars because they are low in calories, but they are made from chemicals and can be hard on the gastrointestinal system. In my opinion, the artificial sweeteners give the bars a distinct taste that is not very good, so you’re better off for taste and health to go with the natural sweeteners as long as it falls below that 10-13g range!
The last major ingredient to look for is the type of fats in the bar. You want to see the fat coming from healthy fats like nuts and seeds rather than synthetics like vegetable oils.
There are several different bars that meet these recommendations, so then it comes down to personal preference for taste! My personal favorite protein bars are the RXBar (Chocolate Sea Salt and Chocolate Coconut flavors) and the GoMacro bars (all the flavors I’ve tried are good). Both of these bars are made from whole food ingredients, meet the protein and sugar recommendations I listed above, and taste delicious in my opinion!