The Top 3 Highest-Rated Protein Bars

I’ll admit it – I’ve fallen victim to trendy, celebrity-endorsed diet fads that promise the golden ticket to increased energy, lean muscle mass or endless fat-burning power. After trying countless gritty protein powders and bloat-inducing nutrition bars (which I combined with strenuous workouts and a balanced diet), I was only left with disappointment. Not only was I nowhere near having the physique of a sculpted athlete, but I had wasted all my allotted snack breaks with chalky, tasteless products that may have rated low on the glycemic index but definitely rated high on the “bleh” scale.

So, I set out to scour the shelves of my local natural foods stores, GNCs and Vitamin Shoppes in hopes of finding tasty, nutritious protein bars that met all of my criteria.

First, they had to be high in protein. Yes, this is easy to find in many of the bars on the market today, but I’m talking about quality protein that is highly digestible, easily absorbed and has a stellar amino acid profile.

Second, they had to be low in carbohydrates and sugar. Many protein bars and powders, high-fiber snack bars, and baked good replacements taste great, but only because they are loaded with refined sugar and simple carbohydrates. The goal was to find protein bars with the lowest amount of net carbs and no added sugar.

Finally, they had to have the right texture. If you’re like me, you’re sensitive to the texture, density and overall “mouth feel” of foods. This is huge, because I am not a fan of airy, crispy snack bars that leave me feeling completely unsatisfied because they’re not dense or “hearty” enough.

After indexing these must-haves in my mind, I began my quest and was pleasantly surprised with what I found:

Protein Bars

1) D’s Naturals No Cow Bars

Around the same time I embarked on this protein pilgrimage, I caught the tail end of a segment on “Good Morning America” touting the delightful creations of 19-year-old Daniel Katz, Founder & CEO of D’s Naturals. After watching in awe as he described his all-natural vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free protein bars that are “ridiculously low sugar” (each bar contains just one gram) and high in protein (protein content ranges from 20-22 grams per bar), I knew I had to check them out. At this time, only four flavors existed, including Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Raspberry Truffle, Blueberry Cobbler, and Mint Cocao Chip, so I stocked up at my local GNC. Mint Cocoa Chip quickly became my favorite, as its flavor profile, texture and bits of crunchy cocao excited my mouth and satisfied my hunger pangs. I couldn’t believe how low in calories and fat they were, and that they actually tasted as sweet as they did. To my delight, the company recently added four more flavors to their collection, which are already gracing the shelves of my pantry. These include Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Banana Bread, Dark Raspberry Truffle, and Lemon Meringue Pie. Give these a try and I bet you’ll fall in love at first bite!

2) Oh Yeah! One Bar

It took me a while to stumble upon this bar, but once I tried the Chocolate Brownie OhYeah! ONE bar, I was hooked. The perfectly rich taste and texture, the soft chocolatey coating and the absence of any artificial aftertaste make this bar rate high on my list. This particular flavor is also one of the lowest in calories and fat among the collection, coming in at just 210 calories and less than 7 grams of fat. I couldn’t believe this bar contained only one gram of sugar, because its flavor profile is incredible! It combines the perfect pairing of sweetness and heartiness in a filling on-the-go meal that satisfies your hunger and your sweet tooth. For those of you who aren’t big on decadent chocolate, the ONE bar comes in a number of other flavors, including Almond Bliss, Lemon Cake, Cinnamon Roll, Birthday Cake, and Peanut Butter Pie, among others. The most recent addition to their collection, Chocolate Birthday Cake, is not only delightfully rich, but is also topped with sprinkles that add an extra bit of crunch and color, making you feel like you’re eating dessert. Each bar is packed with 20-22 grams of a whey protein isolate/milk protein isolate blend, providing quality, hunger-satisfying protein.

3) MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars

Every time I visited a GNC store, the eye-catching packaging of these intense-looking bars would leave me intrigued. I hesitated to try them, however, because I assumed by their size and the crunchy coating advertised on the wrapper that they were high in sugar and carbohydrates. While waiting in line to purchase my other favorites one day, I overheard some fellow health enthusiasts raving about Combat Crunch bars as they dumped handfuls of them onto the service counter. One gal even jumped in the air…literally…as she held the Cinnamon Twist flavor in her hand and exclaimed how excited she was that GNC carried this particular variety. At that point, my curiosity peaked, so I turned to the shelf where they were stocked. I picked up a random flavor and immediately flipped it over to examine the nutrition facts. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only this bar, but all other flavors of Combat Crunch bars, contained just 210 calories and only 5 grams of sugar! The outside coating gives the bar an extra layer of flavor and crunch, while the inside is dense but soft. I enjoyed the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cinnamon Twist flavors the most, but often pick up their other flavors when I want to mix it up. The full line also includes Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies ‘N Cream and White Chocolate Raspberry. Of course, like all of the protein bars and snacks I consume, these are gluten free and high in fiber.

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack between meetings, a post-workout recharge or a filling meal replacement, each of these protein bars offers a sweet combination of satisfying nutrition and delicious taste. They are the quintessential protein bars for the non-protein-bar type of person who wants a great-tasting snack without any fillers, additives, artificial aftertastes or judgment!

 

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A Sweet Revolution

The protein bar market is completely saturated with high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, fattening varieties that claim to be healthy but are actually comparable to many candy bars. Hidden ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oil packed into many protein bars create a world of confusion for those looking to find a healthy, nutrient-dense meal replacement or workout recovery snack.

As you know by now, I am a HUGE fan of protein bars and find great joy in discovering the gems out there that are low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and contain little to no sugar. My most recent moment of delight came after enjoying the vegan, organic Raw Rev Glo bar in all of its glory.

Raw Revolution Organic Bars

Each of the five flavors bring something different to the table, but my favorite is the Dark Chocolate Cashew & Mint because of its refreshing minty taste, the heavenly chunks of Italian dark chocolate that melt in your mouth and the subtle crunch of organic chia seeds. This bar is also the flavor with the fewest calories of the Glo line with just 170 calories and 9 grams of fat.

All Raw Rev Glo bars are vegan, Kosher, non GMO, dairy free, vegetarian and gluten free, making them ideal additions to any diet. What I love most is the soft texture, which makes it not only delicious to enjoy on its own, but also makes it easy to use in high-protein recipes like my Protein-Packed PB&J Cups!

As you bite into the sweet peanut buttery goodness of the two peanut butter flavors (Creamy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt and Crunchy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt), you’ll fool your tastebuds into thinking they’re enjoying fresh scoops of peanut butter right out of the jar. If the bars are too soft and oily right out of the package for your taste, I recommend popping them into the refrigerator for an hour or so and they’ll become a bit more solid and chewy (just how I like them!)

Raw Rev Glo protein bars satisfy with just the right size, texture and bit of crunch without the high sugar content of similar bars. They are all made with raw, organic ingredients such as hemp protein, virgin coconut oil and sprouted flax seeds, among others, which means you can enjoy every last crumb without a bit of guilt.

Taste the Power of Yogurt

What do you get when you cross a delicious, creamy yogurt with all-natural non-GMO ingredients and 20 grams of protein? A flavorful blast of goodness that only Powerful Yogurt could capture. I’m talkin’ sweet, chewy, creamy, deliciousness in three different flavors that will help you re-charge your workout, satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your diet on track!

Whether you’re craving creamy vanilla yogurt, chocolate coconutty goodness or a classic peanut butter and jelly, you’ll be pleased to find these bars are the tastiest I’ve tried since Quest bars! The size and texture is similar to that of a Balance Bar, but the sugar content is much lower (only 6 grams!), so you can enjoy these snacks guilt free.

Powerful Yogurt Protein Bars

The outer coating is smooth and the inside chewiness leaves a satisfying taste that I just love! My favorite of the three flavors is Yogurt Creme. Peanut Butter and Jelly comes in at a close second and the Chocolate Coconut is divine. I ranked them in this order based on taste, as the Chocolate Coconut is not as sweet or flavorful as the other two.

The bars are all 180-190 calories each, and made with probiotics to support digestive health and aid immune function. To pump up the satisfaction level, I recommend storing the bars in your refrigerator to make them a bit more solid and enhance every bite. This soft, chewy snack is one that I will definitely keep on hand!

The bars are just the tip of the iceberg, though. The nutrition company also makes Powerful Yogurt in seven different flavors; Powerful Yogurt Plus+ in Coconut + Quinoa, Lemon + Chia and Tropical Fruit + Oats; and will be coming out with Powerful Yogurt Protein Drinks! Since you all know how much I LOVE protein bars, I started with those, but I’ll report back once I’ve delved into their other delicious snacks.

Want a head start? Find a store or shop online!

These Set the Bar on Nutrition

Thanks to 22 Days Nutrition, I had a field day taste-testing the amazing protein bars that this exceptional company produces. What I discovered was a tantalizing variety of flavors that made my taste buds dance and my tummy fill with joy! I was thoroughly impressed and pleasantly surprised by the delectable combinations of flavors the bars included. Anything and everything you could possibly crave – from pumpkin seeds and Goji berries to pineapple and chocolate chips – these bars have your hankerings covered.

When it comes to snacks – and bars in particular – some of us our more sweet, chocolatey, savory fans, while others are salty, nutty, crunchy fans. The genius team at 22 Days Nutrition made sure to cater to everyone’s tastes by creatively combining an amazing assortment of flavors into one protein-packed snack!

22 Days Nutrition bars

The flavor list is impressive. Just to name a few, you can pucker up to sweet cherries in a Cherry Chocolate Bliss bar, kickstart your morning with a Daily Mocha Mantra bar (my second fave!) or nestle into your weekend with a Pineapple Chocolate Chip Wonder bar. So, where do I begin!?

Well, first of all, I couldn’t give you a fair review if I didn’t name my Number One favorite bar that’s produced by this company. So, without further ado…wait until you sink your teeth into the PB + Chocolate Chip Nirvana bar! This gold-wrapped meal replacement bar is hands-down my favorite of the bunch. The texture is soft and chewy (which you know I love), the mini chocolate chips give it that extra special chocolatey bliss, and the hint of peanut butter aftertaste is enough to leave you wanting just one more bite.

PB Chocolate Chip Nirvana barThis particular bar contains 20 grams of organic brown rice protein, healthy amino acids for post-workout recovery benefits, and very little sugar. The bar is soy-free, gluten-free and non GMO, making it an ideal option for any dietary lifestyle.

 

I could go on and on (and on!) about these tasty treats, but I better leave the rest up to you before I spoil the fun! Give them a try and let me know what you think! They are available at most natural food stores and online.

 

The Quest is Over…

…for the ideal protein bar, that is! In my recent post, “Top 5 Bars (The Healthy Kind!),” I shared with you my top five favorite protein bars. These particular five met all the criteria that I seek out when looking for the best protein bar to satisfy 8am hunger pangs: low in carbohydrates, free of gluten and minimal sugar levels. When sharing this review, I had just placed my first online order for the one bar that I had heard so much about from fellow health nuts, but had yet to try – the Quest Protein Bar. Since then, I received my shipment and fell in love! So much, in fact, that I not only immediately shared my excitement and satisfaction with the Edible Epiphanies community, but I’m also dedicating today’s post entirely to the almighty Quest Protein Bar! If you haven’t heard of it, seen it, ordered it, tried it or cared about it, start NOW.

Quest Protein Bar

I received the 12-bar sampler box and have spent every day trying a new variety, but have yet to try every flavor Quest produces. The excitement each morning of getting to taste a new variety is comparable to a child’s enthusiasm on Christmas morning (they are just that good!)

So far, I have tried Cookies & Cream – which, in any type of food, is always my favorite flavor, so I may be a bit biased here (Arctic Zero, anyone?) – as well as Double Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Peanut Butter and a few others. I can already confidently say that Quest Protein Bars are hard to beat.

Cookies & Cream Quest Protein Bar

When I review a product – especially a protein bar – I take every possible feature into consideration – the taste, texture, nutrition facts, satiety level, and aftertaste. In every category, the Quest Protein Bar hit the mark. The texture is similar to that of a PowerBar (chewy and dense); the complexity of the flavors is incredible, especially in the Cookies & Cream bar, as the bar is chock full of creamy chunks that taste like the inside of an Oreo cookie. The fact that they are gluten free, low in sugar, low in carbohydrates, and high in protein is what attracted me to them in the first place, so these features go without saying.

What makes the Quest Protein Bar truly top my list is the fact that you are left completely satisfied after savoring one in the morning with a cup of coffee. Its fiber and protein content easily hold you over until your next meal.

The icing on the deliciously sweet and satisfying Cinnamon Roll (also one of my favorite flavors) is their stellar customer service throughout the order process. From the moment I became interested in trying the bars to the moment I received my first package in the mail, I was 100 percent confident in the company’s mission to support healthy living. It is clear that they are truly passionate about providing the highest quality products to people who are dedicated to leading healthy lifestyles, which is why Edible Epiphanies loves them so much!

Quest Protein Bar

I highly recommend the Quest Protein Bars and encourage anyone who feels the same to share your experience in the comments section below!