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Low carb isn’t the same as healthy, neither is gluten-free. Low carb, no gluten bars can be highly processed, having nothing to do with wholesome nutrition.
Where do you find awesome wholesome protein bars? Those that have natural ingredients instead of being loaded with sugar, soy and sugar alcohols, ready to satisfy mind and body?
I’ve tried dozens of bars and spent thousands (I kid you not) in the last few years to give you my no-nonsense, awesome wholesome delicious and nutrititious bars made from real whole good ingredients and other superfoods, so here’s my list.
- Perfect Foods Bar protein bar
- Rise Bar protein bar
- RxBar protein bar
- GoMacro protein bar
- SquareBar protein bar
- 22 Days Nutrition protein bar
- Raw Revolution Glo protein bar
- Vegan Sport protein bar
- Greens+ protein bar
- Zing protein bar
1. Perfect Foods Bar ⇧
Ingredients: Peanut butter, organic honey, nonfat milk powder, organic rice protein, dried whole egg powder, organic flax seed oil, organic sunflower seed oil, organic olive oil, organic pumpkin seed oil, dried whole food powders (organic flax seed, organic rose-hip, organic orange, organic lemon, organic papaya, organic tomato, organic apple, cherry, red bell pepper, organic alfalfa, organic celery, organic kelp, organic dulse, organic carrot, organic spinach).
Nutrition: Cal. 310, Protein 17g, Sugars 17g, Carb 26g, Fat 17g
Calling it perfect can be unoriginal and grandiose, but is it really? It’s easy to be bombarded with claims that certain products do these days, but there is more to this bar than meets the eye.
Perfect Foods Bar is a family owned company. Their mottos is “Simple Ingredients. Real Food”. You don’t need a degree in chemistry to pronounce their ingredients, meaning that a long list of ingredients could mean unhealthy added chemicals that a lot of protein bars have.
Take a look at Perfect Food’s list of ingredients on their protein bars and you’ll see organic foods like peanut butter, honey and healthy oils. And it’s as delicious as it’s healthy.
There are 5 flavors, Peanut Butter, Fruit & Nut, Carob Chip, Almond Butter and Cranberry Crunch: Lite (35% fewer calories than the Peanut Butter flavor).
The peanut butter flavor, their original bar, has 18 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs and 17 grams of fat, 10 of which are monounsaturated fat (healthy). Pretty high caloric for a 71g bar.
Perfect Bar quick facts
18g of Whole Food Protein
30 different high nutrient foods
No Preservatives, additives, salt, coatings, refined sugar or synthetic additives
The Perfect Bar is on Amazon, but it’s expensive, I recommend instead you buy it on your local grocery store. Check their map to find a store. You’ll find the Perfect Bar in the refrigerated section. If you bought it on Amazon you could get burned as sometimes their logistics and storing are terrible.
2. Rise Bar ⇧
Ingredients: Almonds, honey, whey protein isolate
Nutrition: Cal. 280, Protein 20g, Sugars 13g, Carb 20g, Fat 16g
With just 3 ingredients, Rise Bar has 20 grams of protein (from whey protein isolate). It can get you by a long workout and keep your cravings at bay, as it sweet as it is healthy.
Super clean ingredients, lovely taste and a very nice texture that doesn’t stick to your teeth. No artificial flavors, no weird chemicals, and no artificial sweeteners.
Some people (those that remember it), match the Almond Honey to the old fashioned But-O-Honey bar. It’s a sweet bar, but not overly sweet (sweetness comes from honey). It has a surprising high level of potassium and very low on sodium, unlike other bars that insist on being salty.
3. RxBar ⇧
Ingredients: Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Figs, Blueberries (Apple Juice Concentrate), Natural Blueberry Flavor.
Nutrition: Cal. 210, Protein 12g, Sugars 17g, Carb 25g, Fat 6g.
Only 6 ingredients in a bar that you can pronounce. A healthy, natural bar with 12g of protein. It has a higher sodium (115mg) than typically seen in wholesome nutritional bars, but it’s offet by the level of potassium (290mg).
The RxBar isn’t a meal substitute, it’s more like a snack you want to indulge during the day, as the bar isn’t that big at 52g. What’s great about the RxBar is that it fits into a lot of strict diets and people with intolerances, so you can still have a healthy protein bar and enjoy it.
These bars have a good chew feeling to them. The bluberry tastes like a blueberry muffin. Delicious, filling and natural.
RxBar quick facts
100% real food
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4. GoMacro Bar ⇧
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Protein Blend (Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Pea Protein), Organic Puffed Brown Rice, Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Chips (Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Peanuts. Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and other nuts. May contain pit or nutshell fragments.
Nutrition: Cal. 290, Protein 12g, Sugars 15g, Carb 38g, Fat 11g
GoMacro Bar has a worthwhile interesting story. Founded in 2003 by two women, one of them diagnosed with breast cancer. She dedicated herself to a wholesome macrobiotic diet and runs the GoMacro as a family owned business in a small rural community.
It’s hard to top the list of whole food organic ingredients. This is perfect for people who might be on a strict diet and want access to a lovely bar, all natural, organic, gluten free, vegan and macrobiotic.
It also tastes great, a reminder that not all healthy things aren’t delicious.
GoMacro bar quick facts
18g of Whole Food Protein
12g protein (brown rice, pea)
No salt, no refined sugar, no weird ingredients
Organic, fair trade ingredients
5. Squarebar Organic ⇧
Ingredients: Organic coconut nectar, organic whole grain brown rice protein, organic dark chocolate (organic dehydrated coconut nectar, organic cocoa liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder, sunflower lecithin), organic coconut oil, organic gluten free oats, organic almonds, organic cocoa liquor, sunflower lecithin, organic cinnamon, sea salt.
Nutrition: Cal. 210, Protein 12g, Sugars 14g, Carb 21g, Fat 10g.
A soy free, dairy free, corn free, gluten free, non-gmo protein bar. It’s relatively low carb, with pure ingredients, and a resonably good amount of protein, considering it’s vegan-type and plant based.
These bars have a nice flavor and a soft texture to it. It’s like a candy bar but with organic ingredients. It’s a bit sweet, but not too much (think a healthy Reese’s).
Only complaint is that this is a tiny treat, the bar is healthy and a treat, but it’s small in comparison with other bars.
Squarebar Organic quick facts
No Refined Sugar
Non GMO Project Verified
Ingredients Matter Most
Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Soy Free
Nutrient Dense, Whole Food + Plant based
Certified Organic by Ecocert
6. 22 Days Nutrition Bar ⇧
Ingredients: Organic Rice Protein, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Dates, Organic Inulin, Organic Dark Chocolate Chips – Non-Dairy (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Vanilla), Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Flax.
Nutrition: Cal. 280, Protein 20g, Sugars 17g, Carb 36g.
20g of protein is very good for a plant and nut base bar. These are excellent for vegan athletes and bodybuilders, as most other vegan bars have 15 grams at most. Compared with other vegan bars, it’s also less expensive.
The 22 Days bar does have quite a bit of sugar in it, although it’s a big 75g bar. If you’re used to dark chocolate in the +80% range, you might find this bar a bit too sweet, but not deadly sweeth.
ote that in 2015, the formula changed a bit. You now have tapioca syrup, and instead of peanut butter, you have peanut.
This bar is for those that prefer their protein bars to be healthy snacks, not candy.
22 Days Nutrition protein bar quick facts
20G of Protein
7. Raw Revolution Glo bar ⇧
Ingredients: Raw Rev Superfood Blend (Peanuts, Pea Protein, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Raw Organic Hemp Protein, Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Raw Organic Chia Seeds, Raw Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds, Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (Prebiotic Fiber from Tapioca), Sea Salt.
Nutrition: Cal. 180, Protein 15g, Sugars 2g, Carb 17g, Fat 11g
The Raw Rev Glo bar is vegan and raw. Out of the wrapper, the texture doesn’t look amazing, but fortunately it has a pleasant taste.
Unlike many other bars on the market, the raw rev glo has a balanced macronutrient composition, staying relatively low carb at 17g with just 2g of sugar (possible only by using isomalto-oligosaccharides) and a high 14g of fiber.
Made with raw ingredients, it’s also good for people on restrictive diets as it’s free from all well known restrictions and suitable for vegetarians, lactose intolerant, celiacs and kosher.
Raw Rev Glo quick facts
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8. Vega Sport bar ⇧
Ingredients: Complete protein blend (organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, pea protein), dark chocolate coating (organic cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, sunflower lecithin), organic tapioca syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic dates, chocolate liquor, dried coconut, vega saviseed (sacha inchi) oil, inulin (from chicory root), cocoa powder, organic agave syrup, natural toasted coconut flavor, organic vanilla extract, sunflower lecithin.
Nutrition: Cal. 250, Protein 15g, Sugars 19g, Carb 29g, Fat 9g.
The Vega Sport is 15g plant-based protein bar designed for post-workout, as it has BCAAs and glutamine to aid recovery. Vega also has a Vega One Bar, that has slight less protein (12-13g) and acts as a meal replacement (I recommend you get the chocolate cherry almond).
Sugar content is a little high compared with other bars, although they come from natural ingredients. This bar was designed for post-workout, hence the higher protein and carbohydrate ratio, but you can also use it for long workout or as a snack.
It’s probably one of the best tasting protein bars you’ll ever try, at least the vegan variety. It’s a wholesome, plant-based protein bar (brown rice and pea protein). This is great for vegans and dairy intolerants that want wholesome protein bar.
Vega Sport Protein Bar quick facts
15 g Protein
2.5 g BCAAs
2 g Glutamine
1 g Omega-3
9. Greens+ Bar ⇧
Ingredients: Protein Blend [organic peanuts, whey protein isolate], organic agave syrup, organic dark chocolate [organic chocolate liquor, organic cane syrup, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin (emulsifier), organic vanilla], *Greens+ Superfoods, organic quinoa sprout powder, sunflower lecithin.
*Greens+ Superfoods: Superfood Multivitamin Blend [sunflower lecithin (non-gmo), organic wheatgrass, organic barley grass, organic alfalfa grass, Spanish bee pollen, royal jelly, organic vitamin B-complex (guava, holy basil, lemon extracts), organic red beet juice, natural vitamin D3, natural vitamin E], Sea Vegetable MultiMineral Blend [Earthrise Spirulina, AlgaeCal plant calcium, Japanese chlorella, organic fulvic acid, dunaliella salina algae, organic Nova Scotia dulse], High-ORAC Antioxidant Fruit Extracts [organic AppleBoost, camu camu berry juice, full spectrum grape seed andskin, European bilberry], Standardized Herbal Extracts [milk thistle seed, Siberian eleuthero root, astragalus root, licorice root, Japanese green tea].
Nutrition: Cal. 260, Protein 15g, Sugars 19g, Carb 25g, Fat 13g.
Greens Plus is a protein bar with 15 grams of protein that tastes nice and gives you a huge range of greens. You’ll feel healthier just by looking at the ingredients: low sodium, high potassium, and a ton of vitamins and minerals. It’s almost like a multi-vitamin in itself.
If you’re a sweet tooth you won’t like the bar as it will probably not be sweet enough for you, even though sugar content is high (19g).
It’s soft, chewy and doesn’t taste chalky like some other bars. It’s quite filling and can be taken throghout the day as you wish. Two of these bars can be had as a meal replacement, easily.
Note that this bar is “green” but not vegan, as it contains milk, soy, wheatgrass, bee pollen and royal jelly. Despite the wheatgrass, green+ bars are certified gluten free, so all good on that end.
Greens Plus Protein Bar quick facts
Gluten & GMO-free
15g of protein per bar
Green superfood and protein blend
Ecocert; Certified Orgaic by Ecocertico
10. Zing bar ⇧
Ingredients: ORGANIC Dark Chocolate (ORGANIC Cane Sugar, ORGANIC Cocoa Liquor, ORGANIC Cocoa Butter, ORGANIC Vanilla, Sunflower Lecithin, Milk), Rice Protein Concentrate, ORGANIC Agave Syrup, ORGANIC Tapioca Syrup, Sunflower Seed Butter, ORGANIC Quinoa Crisps (ORGANIC Quinoa), Chicory Root Fiber, Pea Protein Isolate, Arabic Gum, Pea Protein Crisps (Pea Protein, Pea Starch, Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate), ORGANIC Sunflower Oil, ORGANIC Brown Rice Crisps (ORGANIC Brown Rice, ORGANIC Brown Rice Syrup, Sea Salt), Natural Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Natural Peppermint Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E).
Nutrition: Cal. 210, Protein 10g, Sugars 14g, Carb 25g, Fat 9g.
This bar might surprise you. Not only is corn, soy, and gluten free (also diary/whey/casein free, see this), as it is very tasting bar packed with a variety of different greens.
Zing bars are packed with healthy ingredients, and to top it off, they have a bit of candy bar taste to them. They are a bit expensive, but they’re a good choice if you’re looking for a healthy, tasty, protein bar.
Speaking of which, Zing has an interesting image here showing their bars by protein source (brown rice, pea and whey).
Zing Bar quick facts
Corn & Corn syrup free
No trans fats
Low glycemic ingredients
No preservatives, synthetic vitamins or minerals
100% natural, organic on key ingredients
Balance of carbs, protein, fats & fiber
A good place to do some digging on healthy nutritional and protein bars is Fooducate. There you’ll find products assigned an A-D scoring. Rise Lemon Cashew bar is a B+ for instance, and on the sidebar you can check for other bars, snacks, and their scores. I don’t agree with all of them though. An example is this Simply Bar Lemon protein bar, listed as B+, but using Soy as protein. Soy is an inferior protein source.