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Are Protein Bars A Good Option For Healthy Weight Loss?

Written By Katie Di Lauro • 1 min read

With the busyness of life, making the time to prepare a balanced meal can be hard. And, eating a complete meal on-the-go can be even more challenging. In an attempt to curb hunger cues many people turn to protein bars to replace a skipped meal. A question we get often is, “Are protein bars a good option for snacks and meal-replacements?
The short answer is—Yes! Protein bars can be a simple, ready-to-eat, nutritious snack. A bar with a decent amount of protein and high quality ingredients can be a practical solution. The main problem we’ve discovered is that most bars are high in sugar. As well as additives and preservatives. In fact, a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar (23g Sugar) has almost the same amount of added sugar as a Snickers Bar (27g Sugar)!
So, how do you find the right protein bar to keep us on track with our nutrition goals?
When choosing a bar we want to stick to:
  • Lower sugar options (less than 10 grams added sugar).
  • Higher fiber options (at least 5 g per bar). 
  • Determine whether it is a snack or a full meal replacement. For a snack bar it should be around 10 grams of protein per serving, and for a full meal at least 15 grams.
  • Check the ingredients for allergy or dietary needs, for example dairy-free or nut-free.
Are there any protein bars that we recommend? You bet! Here are some recommendations for both snacking and meal-replacement. Dietary notes indicated as follows: dairy free (DF), gluten free (GF), vegan (V), and nut free (NF). All macronutrients and allergens may vary depending on flavor.

The Bottom Line

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to protein bars. The right protein bar for you depends on your goals. In general, pick one with a short ingredient list. It’s even better if it’s made using more whole foods than processed ingredients!
Written by Delaney Smith
PFC Nutrition Educator and Dietary Coordinator
Certified Nutrition Coach
Candidate for MA in Applied Nutrition and Dietetics

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