healthy snack bars

Healthy protein bars: What to look for

When you’re in a rush, one option that you may turn to is a protein bar. They can be a great snack that is full of protein and fiber, or they can be high in sugar and carbohydrates.

When choosing a protein bar, it’s important to choose wisely. Here are some suggestions for what to look for.

Made of Whole Ingredients

Read the ingredient list and look for whole, natural foods like fruit, nuts and seeds. Avoid any ingredients that are chemically altered or super processed. Many bars contain a high amount of synthetic fibers and sugar alcohols—which can cause GI upset in many people. If you can’t pronounce or recognize any of the ingredients, put it back.

High in Protein

A good protein bar has protein from nuts, seeds and whey or soy isolate. Look for bars with 8g of protein or higher per serving. To add even more of a protein punch to your snack, pair with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or a hard-boiled egg.

Lower in Carbohydrates & Sugar

You probably don’t want to go over about 30 grams of carbohydrate per bar, and this may even be too high depending on your health goals. The carbohydrates in the bar should be from healthy complex carbs like dried fruits, brown rice and oats. When reading the label, aim for 5 grams of added sugar or less per serving.

Try One with Super Foods

It never hurts to have a few extra “boosts” in your protein bar. Ingredients to look for are chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao, or dried blueberries. These will add flavor and nutrition to your bar in just a few bites!

About the author

Emily Hein
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Emily works as a Clinical and Outpatient Dietitian at The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano. She has a strong passion for cooking, hot yoga, and believes that moderation and enjoyable physical activity are the keys to a healthy life.

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2 thoughts on “Healthy protein bars: What to look for”

  1. Margie Ann Hatch

    I am retired and I moved to Ga the 1st of June to be with my granddaughter who
    has Pradre Willy and cannot be alone. I am looking for a good Dr of Diabetis and Thyroid
    to help health issues and they use Baylor as their hospital.

    1. Hi Margie, although we cannot promote one individual physician, we would recommend you try using our physician finder tool on our website, here, http://bit.ly/findphysician, where you can search by specialty. Or, you may call 1.800.4BAYLOR to speak with someone who can point you in the right direction to find a specialist. Thanks!

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Healthy protein bars: What to look for