The 7 Best Protein Bars to Buy in 2018

Keep your appetite at bay with these handy options

When you’re running around during a busy day at work or are deep in the woods on a strenuous hike, there’s nothing like remembering you packed a satisfying protein bar to eat at the inconvenient moment when hunger strikes. Over the past decade, it feels like the protein bar aisle at the grocery store has exploded and there are more ingredient options and flavor variations then ever before. How do you know which protein bars are the best for you and your family? Below, we decode the best protein bar for every diet, with flavors that will satisfy every palate.

Read on to learn more about the best protein bars you can buy right now.

Best Overall: Chocolate Chip CLIF BAR

If you’re looking for a delicious and filling option to reach for when you’re in a rush or looking to satisfy a sweet tooth between meals, reach for this top-rated CLIF Bar. This chocolate chip flavor, which was created to mimic the flavor of a delicious chocolate chip cookie, is made with better-for-you ingredients like oats, almonds, and dates and is an amazing guilt-free option to give you the energy you need to stay active.

This protein bar has garnered more than 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, with reviewers praising the delicious flavor, incredible texture, and their ability to satisfy hunger even when they were being super active. Clif Bars are also made with zero grams of trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no GMOs, so you know you’re getting the nutrition you need without any unnecessary fillers or bad-for-you ingredients. Plus, it tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. What could be better?

Best Low Carb: THE PRIMAL Paleo Protein Bars by MariGold Bars in Coconut Rage

These paleo protein bars are perfect for when you’re looking for a snack with simple yet nourishing ingredients. These bars are gluten free, grain free, hormone free, lactose free, casein free, and soy free, accommodating a variety of allergies and dietary lifestyles. These delicious and nutritious bars are only made with 2 grams of sugar and only 7 grams of total carbs but packed with 20 grams of the protein your body craves when you’re hungry.

At around $50 for a box of 12, these are some of the most expensive protein bars on this list, but they’re so nutrient dense that they’re worth the splurge. In addition to the Coconut Rage flavor, the bars are available in Macarooned and Chunky Choco Pecan, so there’s a flavor for every taste.

Best for Weight Loss: Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, Cookies and Cream

Since high protein bars can also be high in calories, it can be difficult to make them work for your weight loss regimen. If weight loss is your goal, try one of these cookies and cream-flavored bars from Quest Nutrition, which are perfect when you’re on a diet but looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

This Quest Nutrition bar has only one gram of sugar, 3 grams carbs, and is gluten free and high in fiber. But with 21 grams of protein, you won’t miss any of that other stuff. And despite being completely free of added sugar, this protein bar doesn’t just taste like your favorite cookie, but it actually has chunks of cookie pieces in it, giving it an unmatched texture.

Best Gluten-Free: RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar, Chocolate Sea Salt

When you’re gluten free it’s essential to have snacks on hand for when you need a bite on the move. Most fast food options can be very limited when it comes to gluten free and celiac friendly options, which can be very frustrating. To make sure you get ahead of this and stop hunger before it starts, always be sure to carry one of these Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bars.

These whole food protein bars aren’t made with filler ingredients or hyper-processed proteins, so your body is getting real food ingredients that it craves and can easily digest. In addition to being gluten free, these bars are made with no added sugars, no soy, no dairy, and no GMOs. These delicious, chocolatey bars have earned more than 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon, where reviewers rave that they are a great option for dieters.

Best High Calorie: GoMacro MacroBar, Organic Vegan Protein Bar, Peanut Butter

When you’re looking for a protein bar that will definitely keep you sustained while in the middle of serious exercise, you need an option with enough calories to keep you going. These GoMacro bars are the perfect way to do it. They’re vegan and USDA organic, so you know they’re made with high quality ingredients to keep you fueled.

These bars are also gluten and soy free, so they’re perfect for individuals with gluten and soy allergies. But be wary if you have a nut allergy—these bars come in 14 different variations, and many contain nuts, so double check the packaging before you dig in.

Best Low Fat: ThinWorks Fluffy Vanilla Crisp Low Carb Protein Bars

While a lot of protein bars are packed with hidden calories and hidden fats, these rice crispy-style bars are super lightweight and pack only 7g of fat—which is only 11 percent of the typical daily recommended intake. Thanks to the 15 grams of protein packed into this sweet snack, you’ll feel satiated after eating without feeling stuffed or heavy, making this protein bar the perfect replacement for a smaller meal.

These delicious, sweet vanilla bars are made from high-protein rice crispy treats topped with a vanilla yogurt coating. They’re so yummy that they’ve earned a five-star rating on Amazon, where reviewers rave about their taste. If vanilla isn’t your thing, try one of ThinWorks’ other flavors: Salted Toffee Pretzel, Fluffy Nutter, Chocolate Crisp, Strawberry Shortcake, or Zesty Lemon Crisp. At $14 for a box of seven bars, they are on the pricier end of protein bars, but the splurge is worth it to help you stay on track with your health goals while getting the satisfying texture and flavor of a crave-worthy Rice Krispy treat.

Best Low Sugar: KIND Bars, Nuts and Spices Variety Pack

KIND Bars come in all flavors and varieties, but what stays consistent throughout is that all of the flavors are only made with 5 grams of sugar. The low sugar content means that they’re low on the glycemic index, so you won’t feel that same blood sugar spike and crash that other protein bars might give you. KIND bars are also non-GMO, kosher, low sodium, a good source of fiber, and contain zero trans fats.

This variety pack includes three flavors: Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan. The mix has earned more than 300 five-star reviews on Amazon, with reviewers praising their delicious flavors, satisfying texture, and dependability as a perfect on the go snack.

Disclosure

At Verywell Fit, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.