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You’ve probably noticed all the different types of protein bars at the grocery store. Protein bars are becoming an increasingly popular way to add protein to your diet. The high amount of protein that most protein bars boast seems healthy, but this isn’t always the case. Although all protein bars may sound good on the label, it can be hard to know what supplement manufacturer to choose. Here’s a guide to the good and the bad of protein bars, focusing on the bars that will have the optimal benefit on your diet.

The good

KIND bars

KIND bars range from 150 to 230 calories and contain high amounts of protein. They also come in a variety of flavors, like caramel almond and sea salt. If you’re looking for something less sweet, try honey smoked BBQ. These bars contain 5 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber — perfect for a snack to fight midday hunger. KIND bars are one of the best protein bars on the market because most of their flavors contain nuts rich in the amino acid L-arginine, which aids in building lean muscle and reducing stomach fat. KIND bars also contain minerals essential for a healthy metabolism, further promoting weight loss.


SimplyProtein bars contain 15 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar. They’ll keep you full and fight cravings between meals. Each bar is only 130 to 150 calories, making them one of the lower calorie bars on the list. They also offer great flavors, like maple pecan and apple cinnamon whey. In addition to protein bars, SimplyProtein makes other protein-packed products, such as trail mix.


RXBAR offers gluten-free protein bars. Since most on-the-go snacks are unavailable for those with dietary restrictions, RXbars are non-negotiable if you’re gluten-free. These bars list all the ingredients on the front of the wrapper, so you can be assured there are no added sugars, soy, dairy, GMOs, or preservatives. They contain 12 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of added sugar, with most of their sugar content coming from nuts and dates. Their most popular flavor, chocolate sea salt, is 210 calories. They’re an ideal pre- or post-gym snack.

The bad


Each ThinkThin bar has 24 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of protein, and 250 calories. The high amount of protein seems appealing, but these bars cause more harm than good. In place of sugar, ThinkThin uses 12 grams of sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols have been associated with abdominal pain and excessive internal gas — something you don’t want hitting you when you’re on the treadmill. Be mindful while shopping and check labels to steer clear of sugar alcohols.

Nature Valley

Everyone loves the taste of Nature Valley bars, but they’re not as healthy as they’re made out to be. Each bar has 10 grams of protein, 14 grams of sugar, and 190 calories. Nature Valley bars contain more filler ingredients, like soy protein and palm oil, than whole foods. Remember to skip artificial ingredients in favor of healthier, unprocessed ingredients.


Larabars contain 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and a whopping 15 grams of sugar per serving. They’re also slightly higher in calories, at around 200 per bar. While Larabars offer tempting flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough and cappuccino, it’s best to stay away. Make sure to keep an eye out for high sugar content while you’re shopping.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, remember to read each box, being mindful of the protein and sugar content, as well as the ingredients, in each serving. This isn’t an exhaustive list of the best and worst protein bars, and a ton more options are available to you. Making more healthy and balanced snack choices will help you lose weight and feel better.