Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss [Dietitian Approved]

Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss [Dietitian Approved]

In our fast-paced lives, finding healthy snacks can be tough, especially when we’re in a rush or want something quick and tasty.

Protein bars are convenient, flavorful, and packed with the nutrients we need. These bars are a great way to get more protein while also giving us a good mix of carbs and fats for energy.

As a dietitian with a busy career and life, I always have a protein bar available. They’re great for a snack on-the-go, post-workout fuel, or even as a meal replacement, in a pinch.

But they are not all created equal. Some are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, while others have way too much fat and not enough protein. That’s why I’ve rounded up a list of high-protein bars that are not only RDN-approved but also delicious and good for weight loss.

Choosing the Right High-Protein Bar

Protein can help you lose or gain weight, so it’s essential to make informed choices to support your weight loss goals. Here are some tips for selecting the right high-protein bars:

The non-negotiables

  • Check Protein Content: Look for options with at least 10-20 grams of protein per serving to ensure that you are getting enough.
  • Watch Calories: High-protein bars should be a calorie-efficient choice. Select bars with less than 250 calories per serving.
  • Keep an Eye on Sugar: Avoid those with excessive added sugars, which can hinder your weight-loss efforts.
  • Read Ingredients: The fewer ingredients, the better. I tend to prefer those with a short list of recognizable ingredients.

You can also review

  • Carbohydrate Content: Your bar can have some carbohydrates unless you follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
  • Fiber: If the one you choose has carbohydrates, it should also have fiber. Choose one with 3 or more grams of fiber.
  • Sugar Alcohols:  Some formulations use sugar alcohols to sweeten them without adding calories. They can cause stomach discomfort in some people, so if that’s the case for you, avoid choices with this ingredient. Look for names like mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol to spot sugar alcohols.

Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss

Now that you know what to look for when selecting a high-protein bar, here are my top picks:

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and while this blog post contains Amazon links, I can find most of these bars in Whole Foods or my local supermarket chain, but I live in a major city. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Simple Ingredients: RxBar

These high-protein bars are my absolute favorites! I really appreciate that they are made with minimal, natural ingredients and provide the right amount of calories. With a base of egg whites and nuts, they have a satisfying chewy texture with 12-15 grams of protein per piece.

Rx protein bar

RxBars have no added sugars, making them an excellent option for those watching their sugar intake.

My two favorite flavors are blueberry and chocolate sea salt. An RX Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bar has 13g of sugar (which comes from natural dates) and 210 calories.

Protein source: egg whites and nuts (like almonds, cashews, and peanuts)

Simple ingredients
No added sugars
Contain fiber
Good value
Less protein than others
Chewy and gummy texture (I like it)

High Fiber: No Cow-Dipped Protein Bars 

No Cow Dipped protein bars are a great option. You can enjoy these treats guilt-free with 20 grams of plant-based protein, only 1 gram of sugar per serving, and 13-14 grams of fiber.

No cow dipped protein bar

They are a winning combination of flavor and nutrition that can support your weight loss journey.

Moreover, they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and low in sugar and carbohydrates, making them suitable for various dietary needs.

The drawback is that they contain sugar alcohols, which in excess can cause an upset stomach.

Flavors range from peanut butter chocolate chip to lemon meringue pie, offering various indulgent options.

Protein source: Plant-based

High in protein
High in fiber
Low sugar content
Low in carbohydrates
Great flavor options
Some people dislike the taste
Unusual consistency
Contain sugar alcohols

Tastes Like a Candy Bar: Barebells Protein Bars

Craving something sweet? Look no further than Barebells brand. These bars not only taste fantastic but also have a soft and chewy texture that’s more like candy than a typical protein snack — perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.

Barebell protein bar

What sets Barebells bars apart is their amazing taste and great protein content, providing a hearty 20 grams of protein each. Even better, they contain just 1 gram of sugar while offering 3 grams of fiber for a healthier treat.

My favorite flavor is cookies and cream, but if you love caramel, give the caramel & cashew variety a try.

Keep in mind that these bars might be pricier than others, and some people might experience stomach discomfort due to the presence of sugar alcohols, commonly used as sweeteners in low-calorie foods.

Protein source: Plant-based

High protein
Low in sugar
Great flavor
More expensive than others
Have sugar alcohols
Long list of ingredients

Popular: Quest Bar

Quest Protein Bars have earned their popularity among health-conscious individuals for good reasons. They provide a tasty way to enjoy a treat while supporting your health goals. Offering a substantial 20 grams of protein each and keeping sugar content to a minimum, they’re a smart choice for muscle recovery and growth.

Quest protein bar

With flavors ranging from classics like chocolate chip cookie dough to unique options like birthday cake, Quest ensures there’s something for every palate.

Plus, it’s also worth noting that these bars are readily available. You can find them at most grocery stores, making it easy to grab one on-the-go or stock up for the week. And with their convenient packaging, they make for a great snack option while traveling.

Protein source: Whey protein isolate

High protein
Low in sugar
Wide variety of flavors available
Readily available at grocery stores
Contain sugar alcohol and artificial sweeteners

Protein Bar for a Healthy Gut: Odyssey Snacks Prebiotic Protein Bars

Odyssey Snacks Prebiotic Protein Bars are a tasty and nutritious option. These bars are made from organic ingredients and enriched with prebiotics, which are essential for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are special fibers that support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, improving digestion and overall health.

The main sources of prebiotics in these bars are chicory root fiber and tapioca fiber.

On top of that, these deliver a substantial 13-16 grams of protein, depending on the flavor you choose. The protein source varies, with some containing whey protein and milk protein isolate, while others opt for pea protein.

While there is some sugar in these, they do not contain sugar alcohols, making them a balanced and wholesome choice for those seeking a nutritious snack.

Contains prebiotics for gut health
Provides a good amount of fiber
Inconsistent texture

Organic and Vegan: ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Bars

ALOHA bars offer a delightful fusion of flavor and nutrition, meticulously crafted to cater to health-conscious consumers.

Aloha protein bar

This option stands out for being made with organic ingredients.

Each piece contains approximately 14 grams of protein.

These protein bars are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and adhere to kosher standards. They are also soy-free, dairy-free, and don’t contain stevia or erythritol, making them a versatile choice suitable for a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions.

ALOHA takes pride in its commitment to using natural sweeteners, ensuring a genuinely satisfying sweetness without the need for any artificial additives.

Suitable for a variety or dietary preferences and restrictions
Free from any artificial additives
High in fiber
Not to everyone’s taste

Most Unique Ingredients: Save the Rainforest Bar

A bar with ingredients such as turmeric and probiotics — yes, please!

Save the rainforest protein bar

Save the Rainforest Bars are made with unusual ingredients for similar snacks, like turmeric, making them stand out from others on the market. These anti-inflammatory spices not only add a delicious flavor but also bring added health benefits.

In addition to the superfood ingredients, these bars have 15 grams of plant-based protein. The rest of the ingredients are all-natural, with no artificial sweeteners or additives.

One of my favorite things about Save the Rainforest Bars is the brand’s commitment to saving the rainforest, with 5% of their profits destined for such a mission. They are made with organic ingredients and come in efficient packaging, making them a great choice for the environment-conscious consumer.

The drawback is the 9 grams of added sugar.

Protein source: Plant-based

All-natural and sustainable
Anti-inflammatory ingredients
Clean label
Added sugars

Best Savory and Unique: EPIC Protein Bars, Chicken Sriracha Flavor

Let’s switch things up a bit and dive into the savory side of protein bars with EPIC. For those who crave a break from the usual sweetness, EPIC chicken flavor are the perfect choice. These are crafted from 100% natural chicken and a medley of spices, including the fiery kick of sriracha, to tantalize your taste buds. With a substantial 11 grams of protein each, they promise a filling and satisfying snack.

EPIC takes pride in its commitment to high-quality ingredients. While they may be a bit of an acquired taste, they’re definitely worth a try.

In addition to being gluten-free and paleo-friendly, these bars are low in carbohydrates, containing only 3 grams per piece. So, if you’re looking for a savory protein-packed option that’s a departure from the ordinary, EPIC has got you covered.

Other varieties are available, such as bison and grass-fed beef. Surprisingly, the protein content is lower.

Good quality ingredients
Low in carbohydrates
Has an aftertaste

The Diverse Flavors From Around the World: Mezcla

Mezcla protein bar

Inclusion was a must! These bars boast a delightful lightness, with a texture that’s wonderfully soft and chewy.

And speaking of flavors, one standout is the Mexican hot chocolate, which immediately caught my attention and truly lived up to the hype.

What sets these bars apart is their commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients from across the world, and their flavors truly embody this philosophy.

Bars are around 10 grams of protein and 170 calories, and while I usually recommend bars above 12, I included them because of the low amount of calories per bar.

These bars contain approximately 10 grams of protein and 170 calories each. Typically, I suggest bars with a higher protein content, preferably above 12 grams. However, I made an exception in this case due to the appealingly low calorie count per bar.

Exciting flavors
Quality ingredients
Great texture
Low protein

My Expert Opinion

In my opinion, protein bars are a convenient and versatile snack option that can play a valuable role in a balanced diet. They offer a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake, making them ideal for anyone looking to curb hunger between meals or add nutrients to their diet.

For people on GLP-1 meds (such as Wegovy®, Zepbound®, or Semaglutide) bars are an option for days when is hard to eat.

However, it’s important to be mindful when choosing, as not all of them are created equal. Some can be high in sugar or artificial additives, which may not align with your nutritional goals.

Overall, when selected wisely, protein bars can be a handy tool in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. I always keep one with me!

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