The Best Healthy Protein Bars

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s no surprise that protein bars have become a popular choice for a quick and convenient snack. But how do you choose the best protein bars for your needs?

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A collage of the best healthy protein bars.

Protein bars are an easy way to get in protein when you’re on the go, short on time, or not particularly hungry, but you know that you need to eat. Healthy protein bars come in a variety of different forms: plant-based, vegan, animal-based, and all sorts of different kinds of protein powders.

Why We Love Protein Bars

  • Whether you’re an athlete in need of post-workout nourishment, a busy professional looking for an on-the-go energy boost, or simply someone trying to maintain a balanced diet, protein bars seem like the perfect solution. So many different individuals can benefit from adding them to their diet.
  • Protein bars are time savers when you don’t have time to make a high-protein dinner, and they even make great road trip snacks. However, with a variety of options available on the market, not all protein bars are created equal. It’s essential to know what to look for when choosing a healthy protein bar that aligns with your dietary and nutritional goals. 

Key factors to consider when selecting a protein bar

Determining what makes a healthy protein bar can depend on your specific health goals and dietary preferences. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best protein bar.

Protein content

The primary reason you’re reaching for a protein bar is to boost your protein intake. However, more protein doesn’t always mean better. What truly matters is the quality of the protein source. 

Look for bars that contain high-quality protein sources such as whey, casein, or plant-based options like pea or hemp protein. These sources are rich in essential amino acids and are easily digestible, ensuring your body can effectively utilize the protein for muscle repair and growth.

Sugar and sweeteners

One common pitfall of protein bars is their sugar content. Some bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar, negating the health benefits of the added protein. 

Opt for bars with minimal added sugars and avoid those with high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and maltodextrin. Natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or stevia are preferable for digestibility. 


Fiber is an often-overlooked component in protein bars, but it helps with digestive health and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied. Seek bars with at least 3 to 5 grams of fiber. Fiber also helps negate spikes in blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion.

Healthy fats

Fats are an essential part of a balanced diet, and they can be found in many protein bars. Look for bars that contain healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds or coconut oil. These fats provide sustained energy and are a great source of fat-soluble vitamins. 

The Best Store-Bought Protein Bars

When it comes to choosing healthy protein bars, taste, personal preference, and whether they contain animal products are huge determining factors. Below you will find a mix of animal-based, vegetarian, and vegan protein bars.


Pemmican bars are free from additives, making them stand out from the crowd of conventional protein bars loaded with preservatives and artificial ingredients. They can be found in specialty stores or online platforms dedicated to traditional foods. Choosing pemmican is an easy upgrade.

“In my opinion, pemmican stands as the ultimate protein bar because it embodies simplicity and purity, combining lean meat, rendered fat and sometimes berries in a natural, nutrient-dense package.”  

— Jessica Haggard, Primal Edge Health

Our Pick
Real Pemmican Pack with Grass-Fed Beef
  • Genuine pemmican made with grass-fed beef and tallow and unsweetened organic cranberries.
  • Lightweight, compact, great tasting, and highly nutritious.
See it on Amazon


Jonesbar is a great protein bar if you’re looking for one that is organic. It’s also gluten-free, kosher parve and with no added sugar. 

“I’m always looking for a whole foods protein bar with simple ingredients and balanced macronutrients. Lately, I’ve been loving the brand, Jonesbar. They have fun flavors, like peanut butter and jelly. Every bar has five ingredients or less, and they’re certified organic. When I don’t have time to make my own, they’re my go-to.” 

— Gina Matsoukas, Running to the Kitchen 

Our Pick
JONESBAR Variety Pack
  • CERTIFIED: These bars are USDA Certified Organic, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, and Soy-Free.
  • Great on the go wherever life takes you.

See it on Amazon


RXBAR is a great protein bar that you can find at many gas stations, supermarkets and online. They’re a great source of both fiber and protein, containing 5 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein per bar. 

I love RXBARs because they’re made from whole foods and have a straightforward ingredient list. Many protein bars are highly processed and are low in fiber. With minimal ingredients, RX bars stand out on top.

Justine Chan, MHSc, RD, CDE, Your Diabetes Dietitian
Our Pick
RXBAR Protein Bars
  • Variety pack includes Chocolate Sea Salt, Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Mixed Berry.

See it on Amazon

GoMacro MacroBar

If you’re looking for a delicious organic vegan protein bar, GoMacro MacroBar is for you. It’s also non-GMO and gluten-free. 

While many protein bars use ingredients like sugar alcohols or inulin to keep carbohydrates low and/or add fiber, these can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort for some. GoMacro bars avoid these ingredients, making them easier to digest, especially for those with IBS.

Kristin Draayer, MS, RDN, Nutrition by Kristin
Our Pick
GoMacro Variety Pack
  • 12 Flavors including 3 new flavors.
  • This product has sustainability features recognized by trusted certifications.
See it on Amazon

Clif Builders 

Clif Builders protein bars are gluten-free, low-glycemic, and have 20 grams of plant-based protein. They are delicious and come in a variety of flavors. 

Clif Builders Protein bars offer 20 grams of protein for repairing muscle along with enough carbohydrates for replenishing energy stores after a vigorous workout. What sets this protein bar apart from others is they are sustainably made using wholesome ingredients such as oats, almonds, cocoa, nuts and dried fruit like dates.

Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD author of The Nourished Brain
Our Pick
Clif Bar - Builders Protein Bar Variety Pack
  • 20g of high-quality, complete protein with essential amino acids to help build and repair muscle.
  • Non-GMO ingredient sources to help create a more sustainable food system.

See it on Amazon


Kize energy bars have six to eight ingredients, contain simple and real foods, are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and are made in the USA. They have 10 grams of protein and have a keto variety as well.

Our Pick
KiZE Energy Bar Best Sellers Variety Pack
  • Made with only 4-8 real food ingredients and from in-house freshly made nut-butters.

See it on Amazon


KIND protein bars aren’t your traditional protein bars. These bars have 12 grams of protein and pack a crunch from the nuts and legumes.

I’m a huge fan of KIND protein bars because they offer a delicious natural crunch made from wholesome ingredients like nuts and honey. Unlike other bars in the market, they are free from sugar alcohols and contain low added sugars, making them a suitable choice for those who struggle with gastrointestinal discomfort from sugar alcohols. With 12 grams of plant protein and 5 to 6 grams of fiber, they are a satisfying protein bar option.

Jillian Sampaio, RDN
Our Pick
KIND Protein Bars
  • These bars are gluten-free with 12 grams of plant protein and are a great source of healthy fiber.
See it on Amazon


Aloha protein bars are not only vegan, but they are low carb and paleo. They don’t contain stevia, which many individuals tend to find taste bitter. 

Each bar packs in 14 grams of plant-based protein and is made with nutrient-dense ingredients. Not only are these bars organic, but they’re also non-GMO and free from gluten, dairy, and soy. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

Julie Balsamo, MS, RDN, Nutrition by Julie
Our Pick
ALOHA Organic Plant Based Protein Bars
  • Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Stevia-Free, High Fiber and Paleo Friendly.
See it on Amazon

Homemade Protein Snacks

Protein Fudge Bars

Enjoy as a post-workout snack or a guilt-free dessertEither way, this Protein Fudge recipe is a versatile and yummy way to incorporate more protein into your diet.

Slices of protein fudge on a counter.

Protein Cookie Dough Balls

These healthy Protein Cookie Dough Balls are soft, sweet, and ready in under 30 minutes! They are nutritious bite-sized treats that combine the yummy flavors of cookie dough with the benefits of protein-packed ingredients

A close-up of protein cookie dough balls.

Protein Granola

This Protein Granola is a great way to fuel your body while keeping you full and satisfied. Made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and clean protein powder, this recipe provides you with a healthy source of energy.

A bowl of protein granola.

When looking for a healthy protein bar, remember that no single bar will perfectly meet everyone’s needs. Your choice should align with your specific dietary preferences, fitness goals, and any dietary restrictions you may have. 

By prioritizing high-quality protein sources, keeping an eye on sugar content, seeking fiber-rich options and embracing healthy fats, you can make an informed choice that enhances your overall well-being.

The next time you’re on the hunt for a convenient snack, you’re ready with the knowledge to choose a protein bar that not only tastes good but also supports your health and fitness journey. Your body will thank you for it.

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

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