How to Choose a Clean Protein Bar

How to Choose a Clean Protein Bar

Protein bars can be a convenient and nutritious breakfast or snack, but with so many brands on the market, how do you choose one?  Many contain questionable ingredients and cheap sources of protein, as well as artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.  

Here are a few of the ingredients you’ll want to avoid:

  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Aspartame
  • Food dyes and colorings
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Hydrogenated oils

So, what should you look for?  I look at 2 things when choosing a protein bar – the ingredients list and nutrition facts.  These tell me everything I need to know! And here’s what I look for when examining these:

1. The Protein Source

The main protein source that I avoid is soy protein isolate.  Most conventionally grown soy is genetically modified, and soy protein isolate is no exception.  It’s cheaply made, highly processed, and can cause hormonal disruption in the body.  Instead, I look for protein from:

  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Brown rice
  • Peas
  • Organic Whey

These are much cleaner options and better utilized by the body.

2. How Much Protein Per Bar

Many “protein” bars contain hardly any protein!  I think bars need at least 10g of protein per bar to be considered adequate.  However, if the bar is more of a snack-size, 5g of protein is a good amount as well.

3. How Much Sugar Per Bar

Many bars that are supposedly healthy contain way too much sugar!  Unless the sugar is from whole dates or fruit, make sure to look for bars that are lower in sugar.  Otherwise, it’s like eating a candy bar!

Here are a few of my favorite brands of protein bars that contain clean ingredients:

Garden of Life Fit Bars

Garden of Life Organic Fit Bars made it to the top of the list because they check off ALL the boxes for a clean protein bar! With a good dose of 14g of plant protein, whole food ingredients and only 1g of sugar, these Vegan and Gluten Free bars taste delicious! Great option for those looking to lose weight.

Go Macro Bar

These delicious bars get their protein from brown rice and peas. While a little higher in natural sugars than other bars, the ingredients of these Vegan bars are much cleaner than most!

The Perfect Bar

Perfect Bars taste like a decadent treat! You’d never know they contain 20+ whole, super food ingredients and 15g of protein! These bars do need to be refrigerated due to the natural oils in them. I typically eat half of one and am satisfied because they are so filling!

Munk Pack Protein Cookie

While these are technically a cookie and not a bar, the 18g of protein help them fit into this category. They have a hefty dose of fiber from gluten free oats and protein from brown rice. These do have a higher sugar content than others, but you could easily eat half a cookie at one time and feel satisfied.

Caveman Bars

These Paleo bars taste like a candy bar and get their protein from nuts and seeds. They are gluten, dairy and soy free, making them an excellent snack for those looking to avoid these ingredients.

Vega Bars

These delicious and plant-based bars are a great alternative to candy bars and other unhealthy snacks! They are full of fiber, veggies, greens, and a good dose of protein, and they taste like a candy bar!

No Cow Bars

These tasty bars provide a whopping 20g of protein from brown rice and peas, 18g of fiber and only 1g of sugar! Great option for those looking to lose weight!

Oatmega Protein Bars

These delicious bars get their protein from grass-fed whey. This clean source of whey protein provides 14g of protein per bar as well as purified fish oil for healthy fat (don’t worry, you can’t taste it!). My favorite flavor is the white chocolate raspberry!

Do you have a favorite clean protein bar?  I’d love to hear!

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