The Best and Worst Protein Bars, Ranked
From muscle builders to over-glorified candy bars, here's what you should be looking into.
1. Orgain Organic Protein Bars
These gluten-free, totally plant-based bars top our list because they have a good chewy consistency and taste natural — like actual food. The chocolate chip cookie dough has 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of fiber. We say, stock up on the doctor-developed, organic, non-GMO bars, which include chia seeds, nuts, brown-rice protein, tapioca, and natural-sugar-substitute erythritol as a sweetener.
Photo by Adam Sommer
2. KIND Nuts & Spices bars
We love the crunchy, slightly gooey nature of these lower-sugar varieties (not the granola ones), such as our favorite flavor, dark chocolate, nuts, and sea salt. It’s got a lovely chocolate coating on the bottom, with 5 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein, and a whopping 7 grams of fiber.
Photo by Heather Sommer
3. Bulletproof Bars
In flavors such as lemon cookie and café latte, they’re made with organic cashew butter, chicory root fiber, grass-fed collagen protein, vanilla bean, coconut oil, and stevia. Chewy and filling, they have 11-14 grams of protein and a lot of fat, including about 6-7 grams saturated — fine if you’re doing the Paleo/Keto/low-carb/high-fat thing.
4. Lola Probiotic Protein Bars
Recently updated, this original, chewy granola bar was founded by Croton Falls mom Mary Molina. With 12 grams of protein in the dark chocolate-cherry flavor, it’s got twice the amount as yogurt, plus the good stuff for your gut and immune system. We also dig their other high-protein bars — all with easy-to-read, natural ingredients.
Photo by Adam Sommer
The best part of these protein bars is the short, simple ingredient list and good taste. The stats are on par with their competitors, with 12 grams of protein, 13 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber.
6. ALOHA Protein Bar
This delicious, plant-based bar has 18 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in the peanut-butter- chocolate-chip flavor. It’s got a good chew and pleasant sweetness, due to monk-fruit extract, coconut sugar, and agave. It does have 12 grams of natural sugar, but we forgive them — sort of.
7. EXO Cricket Protein Bar
What's the insect-eating fuss about? The cocoa-nut flavor has 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of sugar. True, 20 grams of fat is a lot, but only 4.5 of it is saturated. The ingredient list is one of the most natural-looking ones, and consuming these pests helps the environment, so we’re sold.
8. CLIF BAR Nut Butter Filled
Don’t get the regular CLIF BARS: They’re loaded with double the sugar of these creamy nut ones, such as the chocolate-hazelnut butter, which is a lovely treat. Even so, it’s not a light snack, with 10 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fat in 230 calories.
Quite the sweet treat, these vegan, gluten-free bars are made with just four ingredients — dates, cashews, chocolate chips, and sea salt in the chocolate-chip-cookie-dough flavor — but pack a whopping 16 grams of sugar (just 4 grams less than a Snickers bar.)
10. Quest Bar
These taste pretty artificial and chalky, and that may be due to their wildly pleasing numbers, such as 20 grams of protein and 4 net carbs in the cinnamon roll flavor. If taste and natural ingredients are not factors for you whatsoever, then put Quest Bar at the top of the list. But we care about those things.