• Sarah Greenfield, RD

My Top Protein Bar Picks



Finding the best grab-and-go protein bar is always a challenging task. Most brands out there are highly processed, contain ingredients that are beyond my comprehension and are loaded with sugar. While I have my guidelines for how I select bars, there are some exception to the rules depending on how you will use your bar. If you are replacing a breakfast, need some fuel for a workout or are just mindlessly snacking, I have some options for you!

Before we get started I would like to say that I always promote whole food over a bar, but I understand that life gets busy and sometimes you just need a quick option.


1. Epic – They may look a bit weird but these are one of the best protein bar options I have seen. With zero grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein and no funky ingredients, this is great snack option. Think of it more like a really good piece of jerky than a sweet protein bar. Also a great option for anyone with an allergy to nuts. **Great snack food!


2. BulletProof Bar – These do taste a bit sweet to me, but the nutrition facts are right on the money. With only 2 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein, these are a great option. They also contain collagen which is not only good for your skin, its also great for the health of your gut!**Good Breakfast Option


3. RX Bar – clean list of ingredients, great for a pre-workout bar due to its higher amount of sugar, but its all coming from whole, food-based ingredients. **Great Pre or Post Workout Option

4. LaraBar Alt – this protein bar does break some of my rules for how to pick the best bar. I think this is great pre or post workout option when you know you need a little extra fuel. This bar contains 18 grams of sugar from dates and brown rice syrup and pea protein, an easily digestible plant-based protein source. If you are gearing up for a big cardio workout, make sure you eat this at least 1-1.5 hours before your workout. **Great Pre or Post Workout Option


5. Kind Bar – Go for the less than 5g of sugar option – I like the Black Truffle Almond and Sea Salt. While these are not my first picks, they are good if you are stuck without a lot of options. You can buy these in most convenience stores, airports and small food stores. **Good Post Workout or Snack Option

Bars that didn’t make the cut:

  1. ThinkThin – Loaded with fat, dairy, soy and a long list of ingredients that I can’t identify as real food, this bar is a no-go for me.

  2. Macrobars – While they are packaged beautifully, the first ingredient is brown rice syrup which means its the most prevalent ingredient in the entire bar. Yikes!

  3. Luna Protein Bar – Second ingredient is cane sugar, third ingredient is dried cane sugar, thats a lot of processed sugar! It also contains palm kernel oil which I am not a fan of, this is an oil that when processed can have detrimental effects on the health.

  4. Green Superfood – Amazing Grass – third ingredient is organic agave nectar (this is another way to say sugar!), 25 grams of sugar which is the max limit of added sugar you should have in one day.

  5. Quest – I know these are praised in the body building and fitness world, but if you ask me, its a bunch of chemicals all shoved into one bar. NEXT!

How do you know what bar is the best? Below are the tips and guidelines that I use when selecting a new bar.

  • Is sugar one of the first three ingredients? If yes, put it back.

  • Can you recognize all the ingredients as food?

  • At least 7 grams of protein.

  • Less than 10 grams of sugar for a snack bar, less than 15 grams of sugar for a pre-workout bar.

  • Remember you should only be getting a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar in your diet daily.

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Sarah Greenfield RD, CSSD

 

16550 Riverside Drive

PH2a

Studio City CA 91602 

 

sarah@fearlessfig.com  

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