Choosing a Clean Protein Bar

Clean Protein Bar

Choosing a Clean Protein Bar

Hunger happens. We know that a whole foods diet is best, but sometimes hunger strikes and we need a solution on-the-go. Whether it’s a snack to hold you over between meals or a quick meal replacement you can fit between appointments, the occasional protein bar does fit within a balanced diet. The trick is to select a bar that fits your needs (snack or meal), contains both protein and healthy fats to fill you up, and doesn’t have artificial fillers. The goal is to pick a bar that fits these components and is made from whole food ingredients that your body can easily convert to sustained energy.

General Tips

  • Look for a bar with 10g of sugar or less with no artificial sweeteners
  • A higher protein content (> 12g) is best for meal-replacement
  • Check the fat content. The higher, the better, for meal replacement
  • Look for whole foods ingredients you recognize.

Below are both vegan and non-vegan protein bars that fit the above criteria. I enjoy many of these products myself, though I haven’t tried all of these brands. There are a ton of varieties out there and of course I can’t eat them all! Use the tips above to try new bars and let me know if you find something tasty that isn’t on my list.

Vegan OptionsChia Bars

Health Warrior Chia Bars (pea/ chia)

Go Macro Bars (rice, pea)

22 Days Nutrition Bars (rice, hemp)

Aloha Protein Bars (pumpkin, pea)

YouBar Vegan Bars (pea, cashew)

Evo Hemp Bars (hemp, nuts)

Epic BarsNon-Vegan Protein Bar Options

Paleo Protein Bars (egg whites)

Exo Protein Bars (cricket flour)

Rx Bars (egg whites)

Epic Bars (various meats) *can be high in sodium


Meat-based protein bars, like Epic, are increasing in popularity at the moment. Here is a great run-down of some different meat-based options that certainly fit into a whole foods diet. While these bars do not contain much sugar, you do have to look closely at sodium content since salt is often used in preserving meat. Like any protein bar, enjoy these in moderation unless you are limiting sodium due to high blood pressure. If you’re curious about meat-based protein bars, check out this fun article that highlights the varying flavors and textures of these products.

Make Your Own!

A cheaper alternative to these products is to make your own protein bar. Sometimes I do this for my son, who is reaching the age of pre-teen perpetual hunger yet has food allergies to things like nuts, coconut, soy, egg and pea. The great thing about creating your own bars is that you can really mix up the ingredients to make something unique to your tastes. If you set aside just a little time over the weekend, you will have bars to enjoy all week long – or, you can freeze them and pull them out as needed. Below is a delicious recipe from guest-blogger Danielle Krueger on Wendy Polisi’s healthy living site. PS – You might really enjoy spending time there, as there are some delicious things going down!


  1. Huey Hilbner

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  2. Curtis Tetreault

    Thanks for this excellent article. One more thing to mention is that most digital cameras are available equipped with some sort of zoom lens that enables more or less of your scene to be included by way of ‘zooming’ in and out. These changes in focus length are reflected in the viewfinder and on big display screen on the back of the camera.

  3. Protein Bars

    I switched over to Rine Bars. For those who are looking for a healthy snacking option and great taste Rine is worth a try. You can even crumble the bars in milk or yoghurt as a breakfast

    • Emily Cerda

      I’d love to learn more about these bars, but I had trouble finding ingredient information on the website. Can you point me to a resource where this information is clearly labeled? For those of us with food allergies, we need complete transparency in what’s in the product. Thanks!

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