The 9 Best Vegan Protein Bars (That Actually Taste Great)

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Up your plant protein intake with these scrumptious vegan bars.

Shopping for vegan protein bars can be challenging, not because there are limited plant-based protein options (we hope that myth is on its way out), but because there are actually so many brands to choose from.

How many grams of protein should you aim for? What about added sugars, the ingredients and sources of protein? The truth is, there are a lot of junk products out there but you can make a healthy, more informed decision if you know what to look for.

What to Look for When Choosing a Vegan Protein Bar

When shopping for protein bars, check the following:

  • The ingredients list:​ Virtual Plant-Based Performance Nutritionist, Cynthia Sass, weighs in on what she advises clients to look for when picking out vegan protein bars: "When evaluating a bar, read the ingredients first. The ingredients list should read like a recipe that you could have made yourself, and the very first ingredient shouldn't be a sweetener like brown rice syrup or tapioca syrup."
  • Grams of protein, carbs and fat:​ "For a decent contribution to your daily protein needs, and to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels for steady energy, ​look for at least 10 grams of protein​, and a nicely balanced level of carbohydrate and fat," shares Sass. When it comes to assessing the carbs and fat content, looking at the grams alone can be tricky — check out the percent Daily Value as well. It's a more balanced bar if there's a fair contribution from both of these macronutrients.

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What to Avoid in a Protein Bar

There are a few things you'll want to avoid when it comes to shopping for protein bars:

  • Additives:​ "When shopping for bars, I advise my clients to avoid artificial sweeteners and other additives, as well as sugar alcohols, highly intense sweeteners and palm oil," Sass explains.
  • Added sugars:​ Try to keep added sugars to a minimum, ​fewer than 13 to 15 grams​ is a good goal but overall, it's most important that you do your best to stay within your daily limits. The American Heart Association recommends people assigned female at birth keep their added sugar intake at 25 grams or less and people assigned male at birth, 36 grams or less.

Tip

Keep in mind, when it comes to healthy eating, the goal is to eat whole foods first. Protein bars can be a lifesaver if you’re traveling, doing a long workout or you’re just in a pinch and need to grab something quick.

The 9 Best Vegan Protein Bars

1. Lärabar Protein Bars

Lärabars are available in six different flavors, and because the bars are predominately sweetened with dates, they’re low in added sugar.

Per serving: 220 calories, 6 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 170 milligrams sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 18 grams sugar, 2 grams added sugar), 11 grams protein

This brand is a purist's dream. Lärabars have long been known and loved for their simple ingredients list and delicious, dessert-like flavors — cherry pie, anyone? Their newer line of plant-based protein bars are still fruit and nut-based like the original but they include pea protein, providing 11 grams per bar.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $6.99 per 4-pack

2. Aloha Bars

Aloha bars come in a variety of different flavors that are stevia-free, in case you're not a fan of the sweetener's taste.

Per serving: 170 calories, 6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 105 milligrams sodium, 20 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 7 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

Aloha bars are packed with fiber (about 12 grams) and protein (about 14 grams), two satiating nutrients, yet the bars still remain relatively low in calories. These bars are unique from most others because they contain a plant-based protein blend — brown rice protein and pumpkin seed protein. They're also made with 100-percent organic ingredients.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $19.50 per 12-pack

3. Mezcla Bars

These are lighter in calories (170 for the Peruvian Cocoa Peanut Butter) but still provide 10 grams of protein, making them perfect for snack time.

Per serving: 170 calories, 6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 105 milligrams sodium, 20 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 7 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

These bars look like a candy bar but their nutritional offerings are far from what you'd find in the confectionery aisle. They come in three standout flavors — Japanese Matcha Vanilla, Mexican Chipotle Hot Chocolate and Peruvian Cocoa Peanut Butter. The protein comes from peas and they include whole grains, too, like amaranth and quinoa.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $25 per 8-pack

4. Amrita Protein Bars

Amrita High-Protein bars are available in eight different flavors and are one of Sass’ top picks.

Per serving: 230 calories, 8 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 75 milligrams sodium, 30 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 8 grams protein

"Amrita's high-protein bars are one of my favorites for taste, texture and whole-food ingredients. Each bar provides a generous 15 grams of plant protein and a healthy balance of date-based carbohydrates and good fat from a variety of seeds," Sass says.

"In addition to being plant-based and soy-free, they're Non-GMO Project verified, and gluten-free, and one bar provides nearly 20 percent of the daily target for iron." Getting enough iron is important for everyone but those on a vegan diet need to be especially diligent.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $24.99 per 12-pack

5. ProBar Live

Choose from flavors such as Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cashew.

Per serving: 330 calories, 25 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 90 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates (5 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

This bar is a dietitian-favorite because it's free of added sugars, provides 10 grams of protein ​and​ contains one billion CFUs of live probiotics. The bars are primarily made with nuts, seeds, and date paste for sweetness but they also contain the bacteria Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086. The bars are on the higher end of the calorie range but it's a nutrient-dense option, making it perfect for when you're in need of something quick, tasty and a little more filling.

Buy it​: ProBar.com; ​Price​: $24.99 per 8-pack

6. Skout Organic Protein Bars

One bar provides 10 grams of protein, a healthy macro balance and 20 percent of the daily need for magnesium.

Per serving: 200 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 150milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

"I love the simplicity of the ingredients in Skout Organic USDA-certified organic bars. The Salted Chocolate is made with just dates, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed powder, cocoa, pumpkin seeds, pink Himalayan salt and chocolate flavor, and it tastes like a delicious treat," Sass says.

For plant-based dieters, it's important to get your protein from a variety of sources like pea, brown rice and in this case, from sunflower and pumpkin seeds. We used to think we had to combine plant proteins to make it a complete protein but we now know that simply eating a wide variety of plants in a day will get the job done.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $29.99 per 12-pack

7. Go Raw Protein Bars

They’re lightly sweetened, providing 5 to 6 grams of added sugar and contain 15 percent of your daily needs of iron.

Per serving: 240 calories, 12 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 75 milligrams sodium, 23 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar, 5 grams added sugar), 12 grams protein

The first ingredient in these bars is sprouted watermelon seeds. Sprouted foods like grains and seeds are typically higher in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber, and they may be easier to digest compared to the traditional, matured version of the food. These bars have limited ingredients, and provide 12 grams of protein from pea protein.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $23.15 per 12-pack

8. Shanti Bar

Some bars provide upwards of 20 percent of the Daily Value for fiber, and they have a nice macro balance.

Per serving: 240 calories, 10 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 75 milligrams sodium, 22 grams carbohydrates (5 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar), 17 grams protein

"Another favorite for ingredient quality and unique flavors is Shanti's line of USDA-certified organic bars, which are also gluten-free and non-GMO Project Verified. They include superfood ingredients like turmeric and mulberries in interesting combinations," Sass says. These range in protein from 10 to 17 grams per bar.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $26.49 per 12-pack

9. Hemp Yeah!

These are a little lower in fiber — about 2 grams per bar — but they’re chock-full of healthy fats.

Per serving: 220 calories, 14 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 95 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 8 grams sugar, 7 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

If the name didn't give it away, hemp seeds are a major ingredient (and source of protein) in these bars, along with sunflower seeds and pea protein. Hemp seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids — in fact, each bar contains 6 grams of omega-3s and omega-6s combined.

Buy it​: Amazon.com; ​Price​: $19.99 per 12-pack

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