When you need an on-the-go snack, protein bars can provide a healthy and convenient option. But the large variety of protein bars on the market can be overwhelming. We’ve reviewed every protein bar on the market so you don’t have to! Check out our comprehensive comparison chart of nutrition facts for each protein bar on the market, as well as our picks for the best healthy protein bars you can buy at the grocery store.
How is one protein bar different from the next?
Balanced protein bar vs. protein only
There are a variety of protein bars on the market to suit your snacking needs. If you’re looking for a balanced snack, aim for a bar with a carbohydrate, fibre, and fat source as well. If you’re looking for a bar to help contribute only your protein intake for the day, stick to a bar that has protein as the main macronutrient. Note: this will likely be a less filling and satiating option.
Sugar-sweetened vs. Non-caloric Sweetener
Protein bars are flavoured with either sugar or non-caloric sweeteners. Whether or not non-caloric sweeteners are a better option than sugar remains controversial. There is debate as to the impact of these sweeteners on our hunger & satiety cues, whether or not we overcompensate with more calories or sweet foods later in the day after eating non-caloric sweeteners, and the impact on gut microflora and weight.
Whether you choose sugar-sweetened or non-caloric sweetener may depend on your overall health and nutrition goals. In general, I suggest reducing your overall intake of both added sugar and non-caloric sweeteners. Opt for a lower sugar-sweetened option or a bar with only one non-caloric sweetener in the ingredient list.
Some protein bars have a very long list of ingredients and tend to be more processed, while others contain a shorter list with more whole-food ingredients (ie. ingredients that you would likely use if you were making a protein bar at home). Consider the quality of ingredients used when looking at the nutrition information on each label.
From soy to whey to egg whites, there are a variety of protein sources available depending on the protein bar that you choose. When comparing products, keep in mind that the majority of protein in your diet should come from whole food sources and not protein bars or other supplements. Getting a variety of protein sources in your diet is best, so this could be an opportunity to try a protein bar with a different protein source than you typically include in your diet.
Best Protein Bars you can Buy at the Grocery Store
The protein bars included in this review were classified as bars that contain less than 250 calories per bar, contain at least 10g protein per bar, and are marketed as a protein bar. These bars are available in Ontario, Canada at most grocery stores.
This balanced, whole food protein bar is perfect for on the go snacking.
This light-tasting protein bar has only 1g of sugar and uses no artificial sweeteners.
This vegan protein bar is also high in fibre. It contains lower sugar and is sweetened with stevia.
President’s Choice Protein Granola Bar
These protein bars are budget friendly and contain lower sugar with no artificial sweeteners.
Lara Bar Protein
These protein bars contain less than 6 ingredients and are a less processed option.
Hemp Yeah! Protein Bars
This plant-based protein bar is a source of omega-3 fats from hemp seeds.
YoFit Probiotic Bar
This allergen-friendly protein bar is free of all priority allergens.
Want to know how your favourite protein bar compares to others? Check out our Protein Bar Nutrition Facts Comparison Chart here!