Looking for a protein fix? We tried more than 100 bars to find out which deliver on taste and nutrition.

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With so many options out on the market, it's overwhelming trying to find a healthy protein bar that actually tastes good and isn't basically a candy bar. We sampled more than 100 bars to find our favorites to share with you and came up with some helpful tips on how to find the healthiest protein bar at the store. Plus, if you don't need the protein boost, we share some snack bars we love.

How to Pick the Healthiest Protein Bars

Follow these guidelines when shopping for protein bars to find the healthiest option.

Check the protein

Aim for at least 10 grams of protein (that's more than an egg!) to satisfy hunger longer and, post-workout, help muscles rebuild and recover.

Decode calories

There's a wide range among bars—from 100 to 400 calories or more. For snacking, stick with bars that have 200 or less, but if you're replacing a meal, going up to 350 calories makes sense.

Scan the Sugars

With flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and salted caramel, many protein bars straddle dessert territory. Most only list total sugar, so check the ingredient list for added sweeteners like sugar and honey (ones like dates are fine). If you see them, opt for a bar with less than 18 grams. If there are no added sweeteners in there, then you don't need to sweat it.

Nutrition Quick Guide:

Calories:

200 or less for a snack;

350 or less for a mini meal

Total sugar: 18g or less

Protein: > 10g

Fiber: > 3g

The Brands We Love

Of all the protein bars we tried, here are our favorites:

Epic Performance Bar Peanut Butter

Dates, nuts and egg whites combine for satisfying chew.

Protein per bar: 12 grams

Photo of an Epic Bar

Lärabar Protein Lemon Blueberry Muffin

Lärabar's new bars have double the protein of the original and mimic flavors of favorite treats, like muffins.

Protein per bar: 11 grams

Photo of a Larabar

RXBar Peanut Butter & Berries

Sweetened with dates (hello, fiber), this bar has no added sugar and tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Protein per bar: 12 grams

Photo of an RX Bar

PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Peanut Butter

This classic flavor combo tastes like candy, without the sugar crash.

Protein per bar: 20 grams

Photo of ProteinPlus PowerBar

Clif Whey Protein Bar Coconut Almond Chocolate

One of Clif's lowest-sugar options still has all the chocolaty, nutty goodness we love.

Protein per bar: 14 grams

Photo of a Clif bar

Snack Bars to Try

The above protein bars are great when you need a little more heft to your snack, but sometimes you're just looking for a bar to fill you up and don't need the protein boost. Making sure our picks had at least 10 grams of protein, eliminated some other snack bar contenders (keep in mind, one large egg only has 6 grams of protein).

KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt: With only 5 grams of added sugar and 6 grams of protein, these nut-based bars make a delicious and healthy snack.

LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Cookie: There's only 3 ingredients—dates, peanuts and sea salt—in this flavor of LÄRABAR and zero grams of added sugar. The peanuts deliver 6 grams of plant-based protein.

Health Warrior Chia Bars: These chia seed bars are on the smaller side, with only 100 calories per bar, so they make a nice light snack. In addition to chia seeds, they're made with nut butter, oats and fruit.

October 2019 EatingWell