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Once upon a time, eating on the go was synonymous with soggy drive-thru burgers and chemical-filled “nutrition” shakes. The food landscape is not what it once was—and healthy eaters on the run no longer have to settle for junk. In fact, eating healthy—anywhere and anytime—has never been easier, thanks in part to a new generation of plant-based protein bars. Made with natural ingredients such as seeds, fruit, nut butters, and various vegan-friendly protein powders, these revamped bites are wholesome, easy on your tummy, and better for your weight loss goals than their chemical-filled ancestors. Plus, these plant-based bars are potentially better than whey-spiked bars because animal-based protein can sometimes cause bloating.
Sound like something you’d like to try? Grab one of these protein-packed picks. They all have sufficient counts of muscle-building protein and no more than 16 grams of sugar—which is truly a hard find when so many plant-based bars rely on fruit, honey, and nectar to make up their bulk and binding.
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KIND Protein From Real Food, Double Dark Chocolate Nut
Coming in at 12 grams of blood-sugar stabilizing protein and a mere eight grams of sugar is this crunchy, just-sweet-enough post-workout snack from KIND. They’re made with a mix of peanuts, almonds, soy protein isolate, and chicory root fiber for a well-rounded bite filled with real ingredients and heart-healthy fats. We tried all four flavors—Double Dark Chocolate Nut, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Toasted Caramel Nut, and White Chocolate Cinnamon Almond—and found them all to be equally delicious.
GoMacro Macrobar, Protein Purity
Though this is one of the higher calorie bars on this list, it manages to keep its sugar count respectably low, which earns it a gold star in our book. Aside from its distinctive nutty and subtly sweet flavor, this bar—which is made with a combination of sprouted brown rice and sunflower seed butter—is a good source of iron, a key nutrient for energy.
Simply Protein Bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate
Simply Protein’s motto is, “The most protein for the least calories” and boy, do they deliver! Each of these sweet bars is packed with 14 grams of protein for just 160 calories. Plus, each one only has one gram of sugar and no artificial sweeteners—it doesn’t get much better than that.
Square Organics, Chocolate Coated Cherry Coconut
This gluten-free, vegan protein bar is packed with flat-belly superfoods like oats and coconut oil, a prime source of cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid. And with 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of healthy, satiating fat, this tropical-inspired bar sure to tide you over until you can sit down to a full meal.
NuGo Slim, Crunchy Peanut Butter
Reese’s Lovers, this peanut butter chocolate soy snack is for you! It’s hard to believe that NuGO’s rich-tasting bar is actually good for you, but it has everything we look for in a good bar: high protein, a hit of fiber, and minimal additives. Reach for one of these instead of heading to the vending machine next time that 4 p.m. craving strikes—your waistline will thank you.
22 Days Nutrition, Fudge Brownie
Organic brown rice is the main source of protein in this delectable, not-so-guilty-pleasure bar. A touch of virgin coconut oil plays a supporting role and helps to make this bar as filling as it is delicious.
Rise, Lemon Cashew
Made with just four whole food ingredients including organic cashews, organic coconut nectar, pea protein, and organic lemon extract, this sweet and tangy bar is a clear nutritional winner. The calories are on the higher side, mainly because of the cashews, but it’s also a larger, dense bar that takes longer to consume. Nosh on this one along with an apple or a pear for a fast and filling on-the-go breakfast.
ProBar Base, Cookie Dough
Filled with 16 grams of plant protein and a sufficient load of three grams of satiating fiber, this might be the ultimate meal-replacement bar. But it gets better: ProBar uses a number of disease-fighting ingredients to create their bar, including flaxseeds, omega-3-rich chia seeds, and flavonoid-rich cocoa. Flavonoids reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and also keep your metabolism going strong, a study in the Journal of Nutritional Science found.
Aloha Organic Protein Bar, Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Say “Aloha” to one of our favorite bars taking the health world by storm, succeeding by creating convenient snacks without convenience store quality ingredients. One scan of the ingredient panel is all it takes to see that they’re legit. Whole food ingredients like cashews, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed protein, and brown rice protein make up the bulk of this bar.
Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Superfood Bar, Cinnamon Spice
Talk about cinnamon, spice, and everything nice! With just eight simple ingredients, this bar uses the stupendous superfood pumpkin seeds as its main source of protein. Not only are they loaded with protein and fiber, but pumpkin seeds are also a top source of magnesium, a mineral that strengthens bones—and this vegan bar is packed with the stuff.
No Cow Bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
It’s time for all other vegan bars to MOOve over! This delicious vegan bar surpassed every expectation of ours—regardless of what flavor you choose. This bar has no artificial sweeteners. In fact, it only has one gram of sugar. This bar is as nutritionally stellar as they come—low in sugar, high in fiber, even higher in protein—a true triple threat.
Raw Rev Glo, Creamy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt
Ever eat nut butter by the spoonful and get frustrated that you just can’t stop? Raw Rev Glo has got you covered. Not only are the bars vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, but each bar includes raw-sprouted superfoods! These bars hold little-to-no sugar, and they have 15 grams of belly-filling fiber! Not to mention its taste and texture resemble peanut butter at its prime!
Garden of Life Organic Sport Protein Bar, Chocolate Mint
In need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Ditch the cookies and the chips. This protein bar may seem high in calories, but rest assured it’s well worth it, especially when you’re trying to get that belly flat. With 20 grams of satiating fiber, this Thin-Mint-cookie-like bar will help you keep those hunger strikes at bay, without feeling like you’re eating too little or giving up the foods you love.
Vega 20g Protein Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter
Created by a former Ironman triathlete, this balanced protein bar is the perfect meal replacement, and will definitely satisfy your sweet cravings. Chocolate combines with peanuts, sea salt, and all the other good stuff—your taste buds will go wild, and your body will thank you for choosing this plant-based bar.
Pegan Thin Protein Bar, Vanilla Cinnamon Twist
This bar gets its main source of protein and fiber from organic pumpkin seed protein and prebiotic resistant tapioca fiber, as well as organic sunflower seed butter—all of which are ingredients we give a double thumbs up to! It boasts a remarkable 20 grams of protein and an even greater 23 grams of fiber! Whether you need breakfast on the go or a snack to hold you over during long office hours, this bar is definitely a great option at just 150 calories.
Orgain Simple Protein Bar, Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
This plant-based protein bar is primarily made of sweet dates, organic peanut flour, and almond butter. You know you’re sinking your teeth into a smooth treat when those are the top ingredients! Organic chia protein and almonds also contribute to the 12 grams of protein in this bar.
good! snacks, Lemon Protein Bar
The 15 grams of protein in this bar comes from a combination of fava bean protein and brown rice protein. There are four flavors to pick and choose from: Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, and Lemon. While they’re all tasty, our favorite is the lemon variety!
Sunwarrior Sol Good Protein Bar, Salted Caramel
This vegan protein bar is packing protein and fiber! Whole grain brown rice, yellow peas, quinoa, and sunflower butter all work together to accumulate a whopping 19 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber in just one bar. The sugar content is kept super low at just 3 grams per bar because it’s sweetened with stevia.
Clif Builder’s Protein Bar, Cinnamon Nut Swirl
Clif Builder’s protein bar, Cinnamon Nut Swirl flavor, is loaded in protein at 20 grams! The only pitfall to this bar is that it’s high in sugar and low in fiber. The reason why it’s so high in the sweet stuff is because it’s sweetened with not one, or even two, but three syrups: beet syrup, organic brown rice syrup, and organic dried cane syrup. Nonetheless, it is still a quality plant-based protein bar and deserves to be featured on this list—and eaten in moderation.
Amrita Chocolate Chip Coconut High Protein Bar
This bar is rich in healthful ingredients including dates, sunflower seed butter, popped quinoa, and chia seeds. It’s no wonder why it houses 15 grams of muscle-building protein! Vegan chocolate chips and shreds of coconut give this particular flavor its sweetness, too. Amrita was actually created because of the founder’s son’s severe gastrointestinal issues, so not a trace of major food allergens including gluten, soy, dairy, or nuts can be found in their products.