Monday, July 27, 2015

Protein Bars: How to Choose a Good Quality Protein Bar

Quest Bar
Think Thin
Fiber One
Kind Power Crunch 
Cliff Bars
180 cal
 230 cal
 140 cal
205 cal
270 cal
 Total Fat
Saturated Fat
But contains 
sugar alcohol

Choosing a good protein bar is very important especially when you do not have time to prepare a meal or healthy shake. The worst protein bars are basically no better than a candy bar.The protein bars I will discuss in this post are Quest, Kind Bars, Pure Protein, Think Thin and Cliff Bars. I compare the same flavor, cookies and cream, for all the bars. 

Quest Bar - Cookies and Cream 
Photograph by Jenny 

1. Quest Bars - Cookies and Cream 
Quest bars are my favorite. They have so many different flavors which includes cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, smores, chocolate chip cookie dough, white chocolate raspberry and cinnamon roll. Despite the relatively high sodium content to watch out for, it has 21 grams of protein and is high in fiber. I believe that they are the best choice over the other bars and they taste amazing! You can really taste the oreo pieces. To make the bar even better, you can microwave the quest bar so it softens and tastes like a gooey cake. 

Cookies and Cream Think Thin Bar
Photograph from

2. Think Thin Bars - Cookies and Cream 
Think Thin bars have 230 calories for 20 grams of protein but are lower in sodium content. Overall, I think it is pretty equal to the quest bar, but definitely does not taste as good. It does not taste like cookies and cream at all but has a smooth and chewy texture. It does have more carbs too. 

Fiber One Bar- Cookies and Creme
Picture from

3. Fiber One - Cookies and Cream 
Compared to the other bars on the table above, this bar is higher in fat content, smaller in mass, lower in calorie content and protein. The bar is named "fiber one" but it only has 5g of fiber. It also only has 6g of protein. Luckily, the bar does taste decent overall. 

Kind Power Crunch Cookies and Cream Bar 
Photo from Amazon

4. Kind Power Crunch- Cookies and Cream 
Kind power crunch bars are the highest in fat out of the five bars and contain the most saturated fat. They also are a little smaller than Quest and Think Thin Bars and only have 14g of protein, 1g of fiber and 5g of sugar. In terms of sugar content, cliff and fiber one bars have a lot more sugar. They are very sweet and still can serve as an after workout or in-between meal snack. 

Cliff Bar- Cookies and Cream 
Photograph from

5. Cliff Bars- Cookies and Cream 
Cliff bars are similar to a candy bar. They may taste decent, but I have had this bar and within two hours I am famished. Although it does contain 20 grams of protein, notice the mass and the calories in the table above. 68g and 270 calories just to get 20 grams of protein? It also has more than 20g of sugar. A KitKat candy bar has 20 grams of sugar too. If you look at the ingredients on the nutrition label you will also see a million different ingredients that I honestly cannot even pronounce.  

For me, higher protein bars with at least 20 grams are very satiating and keep me fuller longer. I also look for fiber levels and net carbs. I look for protein bars that have less net carbs than grams of protein. Make sure you look at the whole entire labels which includes protein, carbs, fiber, sugar and even the ingredients.  Net carbs equal the total number of carbs. This does not include fiber.

It is up to you to choose whichever bar you want, but I hope this provides more insight in how to choose a good bar and what you are actually eating. All of these can serve as an in-between snack and a good post-workout treat. Overall, whether or not you rely on these is your decision. The healthiest diet contains real food and does not include protein bars. 

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