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February 27, 2023
Protein bars offer a useful way to get your protein in when you're on the go without the hassle of carrying around protein powder and a shaker. They also provide a guilt-free snack option to fill you up between meals. While there is certainly no shortage of choice regarding protein bars, most of them use animal-based protein sources.
If you're vegan, you must dig deep into the market to find a quality plant-based protein bar. At SET FOR SET, we appreciate that our readers lead busy lives, so we've done the heavy lifting for you.
We've identified the seven best vegan protein bars, separated by category, to help you find the best bar to meet your needs. We've also included a vegan protein bar buyer's guide and explored the benefits of plant-based protein bars.
**There may be affiliate links in this post where we might receive a small commission on purchases you make. We only recommend products we think you will find valuable.**
ALOHA Organic Protein Bars provide the ideal balance of taste and texture to deliver a very satisfying protein snack. Better yet, it does so without any preservatives, artificial flavors, or filler ingredients.
Each bar provides you with 14 grams of vegan protein, along with 10 grams of fiber and just 5 grams of sugar. The protein is a blend of organic brown rice protein and organic pumpkin seed protein. ALOHA protein bars are organic, Non-GMO, stevia, soy and gluten-free, and vegan. They're also free of artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, dyes or coloring, and preservatives.
ALOHA Vegan protein bars are available in at least six flavors, including Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. If you're used to your protein bars taking like a mixture of chalk and cardboard, you are in for a treat with these bars. For example, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bar (our favorite) really does taste like a soft baked cookie - except that it's completely healthy.
You can buy these bars in 4 or 12 packs, or you can order a sample pack, which gives you a mix of their most popular flavors.
Barebells Plant-Based Protein Bars provide a solid 15 grams of protein per serving. Each 55-gram bar also delivers 220 calories, 27 grams of carbs, and 10 total grams of fat (4 grams of saturated fat). As a result, this bar may not be the best choice for people who are trying to lose weight. However, when it comes to great taste, these bars are a standout.
Barebells originally produced animal-based protein bars, with this vegan offering being a relatively recent addition. It retains the thick middle, nutty topping, and milk chocolate coating of the original bar but without any animal-based ingredients. As a result, there is no loss in taste or texture from the original bar.
If you've ever dreamed of a candy-like snack that was actually good for you, then the Hazelnut and Nougat Barebells bar is about as close as you're likely to get. The center of the bar is more fibrous than the chewy, dough-like middle of Barebell's animal-based protein bar in the same flavor, but it is still very satisfying.
The outer layer is covered in peanuts and hazelnuts to add a crunchy element that makes you feel like you've had a decent meal. Unlike many protein-based protein bars, you don't experience the earthy texture that can be quite overpowering.
There are at least ten flavors of this protein bar, with new ones being added regularly. You can buy individual flavors in 12-pack boxes or try a range of flavors with a sample box.
Orgain Protein Bars provides you with 10 grams of protein with each bar, with a low energy count of just 150 calories. You also get 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of natural sugars. In addition to being gluten-free, these bars are also vegan, lactose-free, kosher, soy-free, non-GMO, and dairy-free.
You will not find artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in Orgain Protein Bars. This bar is available in the following flavors:
Orgain uses organic pea protein, organic protein crisps, organic ground chia seeds, organic almonds, peanut butter, and organic rice protein in these bars.
That combination produces a surprisingly chewy texture that departs from the chalky image that vegan protein bars have had for a long time.
Each flavor is sweetened with erythritol. This is a sugar alcohol that may cause gastric problems in some people. Other ingredients include organic tapioca syrup and sunflower lecithin.
IQBAR Keto Protein Bars are popular keto-friendly vegan bars that are also good for your brain. That's because it includes six brain-boosting ingredients to improve your focus and memory. Those six ingredients are:
In terms of macronutrients, you get 12g plant-based protein, 2g sugar, 8g fiber, and just 3g net carbs in every bar. Those are near-ideal macros for the ketogenic diet. These high-protein snacks are also vegan, keto-friendly, dairy-free, soy-free, kosher & high in fiber.
The IQBar comes in seven tasty flavors:
Based on customer reviews, these are great-tasting flavors with plenty of satisfying texture and chewiness. They are sweetened with natural sugar allulose.
Clif Builders protein bars provide you with 20 grams of soy-based protein with every chewy bar. They come in a chocolate mint flavor that gives you all the taste and texture of your favorite indulgent chocolate treat but without guilt.
Clif Builders have recently updated the ingredient profile of this bar to remove all gluten-containing ingredients like oats.
They are now made from non-GMO and low-glycemic-index ingredients to deliver a combination of muscle-building amino acids and energy-sustaining vitamins and minerals.
In addition to chocolate mint, Cliff builders vegan protein bars are also available in Cookies and Cream and Vanilla Almond flavors. These bars are a smart choice for people who are looking for a gluten-free, high-protein between-meal snack.
Dang Bar vegan protein bars were created by a couple of brothers of American-Thai origin. They have created a line of healthy products that combine the unique flavors of Asia with more conventional Western ingredients.
Vegan peas are used as a main protein source, being sourced from family farms in Thailand. These bars are also rich sources of healthy fats, which come from coconuts and cocoa butter.
The company meets the most rigorous standards of ethical performance, and all of its farms follow ethical business practices.
To ensure the best texture, all Dang Bars are cold-packed rather than extruded. All of their flavors come from real ingredients, not artificial sweeteners or preservatives. With only one gram of sugar per bar, this is an easy choice for people watching their sugar intake.
No Cow Protein Bars use a blend of Brown Rice Protein and Pea Protein to deliver 20 grams of plant-based protein per bar. There are just 190 calories and 5 grams of total fat in every 60-gram bar, making this a smart choice if weight loss is your goal.
Rather than artificial sweeteners, No Cow Protein bars include a proprietary blend of stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol to create their wide range of flavors. Most of those flavors are pleasing to the taste buds, but some of the more adventurous offerings, like Carrot Cake and Blueberry Cobbler, don't quite nail it.
Our favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, which does an excellent job of replicating the chewiness, taste, and texture of actual baked cookies. However, there is some inconsistency in the texture with the other flavors.
In addition to the vegan-based protein sources, No Cow Protein Bar's ingredients include glycerin, almonds, palm oil, cocoa butter, natural flavor, salt, erythritol, citric acid, water, monk fruit, and stevia extract.
Vegan protein bars are snack bars that are made without any animal-derived ingredients and are a source of protein. They typically contain plant-based ingredients such as soy protein, pea protein, brown rice protein, or hemp protein. Other ingredients often found in vegan protein bars include nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or dates.
Vegan protein bars are a convenient and portable snack option for people who follow a vegan diet or are looking for a plant-based source of protein. They are also often marketed as a healthy snack or meal replacement option for athletes, gym-goers, or people on the go.
Vegan protein bars are more than a convenient snack. There are some real, research-backed benefits of adding plant-based protein bars to your daily eating plan. Here are five main benefits that have been proven by science.
Vegan protein bars can help keep you feeling full for longer. This is because protein is a slow-digesting macronutrient that can help regulate hunger and promote feelings of fullness. In comparison, carbohydrates and fat are quickly digested, which can cause jump in blood sugar and lead to feelings of hunger soon after eating.
Additionally, high-fiber foods, such as protein bars that contain fiber-rich ingredients like oats or nuts, can also help promote feelings of fullness by slowing down digestion and increasing the bulk of food in the stomach.
Researchers have discovered the following reasons why protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer:
Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF): Protein requires more energy to digest and metabolize than carbohydrates or fat, which means that consuming protein can increase metabolism and cause the body to burn more calories.¹
Hormonal response: Consuming protein stimulates the release of hormones such as glucagon, which promotes the breakdown of stored fat and reduces hunger. Protein also stimulates the release of the hormone peptide YY (PYY), which suppresses appetite and increases feelings of fullness.²
Slowed gastric emptying: Protein-rich foods can decelerate the speed at which the stomach empties, which can make you feel full for longer.
Increased leptin sensitivity: Leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger and fullness. Consuming protein can increase sensitivity to leptin, which helps to regulate food intake and maintain feelings of fullness.
Vegan protein bars can help with weight management if used the right way. As we've already seen, protein bars do a great job of filling you up. This helps you to maintain a daily negative calorie balance, where you are taking in fewer calories than your body is burning for energy. The extra calories needed for energy will come from stored body fat.
Vegan protein bars can be a convenient way to get a quick protein boost when you're on the go without having to prepare a meal. They can help you stick to your diet plan, even when you don't have time to sit down for a proper meal.
Some vegan protein bars are designed to be low in calories, which can help you control your calorie intake. However, not all protein bars are low in calories, so it's important to read the labels and choose wisely.
It's essential to remember that some protein bars can be high in sugar, fat, and other unhealthy ingredients. So, it's important to choose protein bars that are made with whole ingredients and are low in added sugars and unhealthy fats. Additionally, it's still necessary to eat a balanced diet and get enough nutrients from a variety of foods, not just protein bars.
Protein bars can provide you with a source of energy, but they may not necessarily give you more energy than other snacks. The main function of protein bars is to provide a convenient source of protein, which is an essential macronutrient that your body needs to repair and build tissues. However, protein bars can also contain carbohydrates, which your body can use as fuel. The amount and quality of carbohydrates, as well as the other nutrients in the bar, can impact the amount of energy you get from eating it.
Vegan protein bars can have some impact on digestion, depending on their ingredients and the individual's specific digestive needs and health conditions.
In general, vegan protein bars contain more fiber than their animal-based counterparts. Fiber can aid digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Fiber-rich protein bars can also help regulate blood sugar levels and improve gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria.³
It's important to keep in mind that not all protein bars are created equal. Some protein bars can be high in added sugars and unhealthy fats, which can induce digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Additionally, some people may be intolerant to certain ingredients in protein bars, such as gluten or lactose, which can cause digestive symptoms.
To ensure that a protein bar is helping rather than hindering digestion, it's crucial to choose a bar that contains high-quality, easily digestible proteins and a moderate amount of fiber and to avoid bars that are high in added sugars, unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients. It's also wise to eat protein bars in moderation and to pair them with other nutritious foods and drinks to help support overall digestive health.
Some vegan protein bars can contain healthy fats. The type and amount of fat in a vegan protein bar will depend on the specific product and its ingredients. For example, some vegan protein bars may contain plant-based oils such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil, which are sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Here are some of the key advantages of adding more healthy fats to your diet:
Heart health: Unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Brain health: DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish, is important for brain health and may help improve memory and cognitive function.
Inflammation: Unsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Weight management: Healthy fats are more satisfying than carbs and can help you feel satiated for longer, reducing the overall amount of food you eat and potentially leading to weight loss.
Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: Healthy fats help your body absorb and transport fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.⁴
These are some of the most common side effects associated with vegan protein bars:
Digestive issues: Some people may experience bloating, gas, or diarrhea after consuming vegan protein bars, particularly if they contain a lot of fiber or other ingredients that are difficult to digest.
Allergic reactions: If you have an allergy to one or more of the ingredients in a vegan protein bar, you may experience symptoms such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
Upset stomach: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps after consuming vegan protein bars, particularly if they have a sensitive stomach or if the bars contain high levels of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Interactions with medications: Certain ingredients in vegan protein bars, such as soy or hemp, can interact with certain medications, such as hormonal medications or blood thinners.
While vegan protein bars are generally healthier than animal-based bars, many of them still contain excessive amounts of sugar, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients. Here are five key things to consider when buying plant-based protein bars.
There is a wide range of protein sources used in vegan protein bars. Here's an overview of the benefits of each:
Soy protein: Soy is one of the most popular plant-based protein sources and is widely used in vegan protein bars. It is a complete protein, meaning it holds all the essential amino acids needed by your body.
Pea protein: Protein derived from peas is a high-quality plant-based protein that is easily digestible and free of many common allergens, such as soy and dairy.
Brown rice protein: Brown rice protein is a good source of plant-based protein that is also low in allergens and easy to digest.
Hemp protein: Hemp protein is a good source of plant-based protein that is high in essential fatty acids and fiber.
Chickpea protein: Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, as well as fiber and other essential nutrients.
Almond protein: Almond protein is a good source of plant-based protein that is also high in healthy fats and fiber.
When looking for a healthy vegan protein bar, it's best to avoid ingredients that are high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, artificial ingredients, and preservatives. Some common unhealthy ingredients to look out for include:
Choose a vegan protein bar with a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. In addition, opt for bars that use natural ingredients such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and whole grains. Check the label to ensure the bar is low in sodium, contains adequate fiber, and has a low glycemic index.
The key to a healthy vegan protein bar is choosing one with simple, whole-food ingredients and avoiding those with a long list of additives and preservatives.
Vegan protein bars traditionally have a reputation for tasting like cardboard. Fortunately, the market has evolved, and it is possible to get a bar that is pleasing to your taste buds.
To ensure that you're getting a nice-tasting vegan protein bar, check that the bar contains high-quality plant-based protein sources, such as soy protein, pea protein, or brown rice protein. Also, look for bars that use natural sweeteners like dates or honey instead of artificial sweeteners.
Look for vegan protein bars with a good balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats: A bar that provides a good balance of macronutrients will not only be more filling but also taste better.
Vegan protein powders tend to be pricier than animal-based versions. This is due to several factors, such as the cost of plant-based ingredients, the processing required to make plant-based ingredients more protein-rich, and the growing demand for vegan products, which can drive up prices.
The price difference between vegan and animal-based bars can vary greatly depending on the brand, ingredients, and location. It's always smart to compare prices and read the ingredients list to find the best option for you.
By reading online reviews of vegan protein bars, you'll be able to get insights that can't be derived from reading the product label. These include the taste, texture, digestibility, actual ability to fill you up, and the level of energy that it produces.
Taste is a subjective thing, so it is impossible to state categorically what the best-tasting vegan protein bar is. However, one brand that stands out in terms of taste with online reviewers is Barebells Plant-Based Protein Bars.
The following plant-based sources of protein are suitable for vegans:
Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and soybeans are all excellent sources of protein.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are good sources of plant-based protein.
Grains: Quinoa, bulgur, barley, and farro are high in protein and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Vegetables: Some vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts, also contain small amounts of protein.
Soy products: Tofu, tempeh, and soy milk are all good sources of protein for vegans.
Vegan protein can provides a number of health benefits to your body, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting a healthy immune system, promoting heart health, improving bone health, and helping with weight management.
Whether vegan bars are healthy depends on the specific bar and its ingredients. Some vegan bars can be a healthy and convenient snack option, while others may be high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and artificial ingredients.
When evaluating the healthiness of a vegan bar, look for bars made with whole food ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dried fruit. Avoid bars with long ingredient lists, especially those with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and added sugars.
Check the calorie, fat, sugar, and protein content of the bar. Ideally, a healthy vegan bar should be low in added sugars, high in fiber, and provide a good source of protein. Make sure the bar provides a good source of plant-based protein. Some common sources include soy, pea protein, and nuts.
Be mindful, too, of the serving size, as some bars can be high in calories and nutrients even if they are made with healthy ingredients.
Vegan protein bars offer a convenient way to get your protein in on the go. But not all vegan bars are equal. In this article, we've highlighted the seven best vegan protein bars to meet your every need. The best vegan protein bars on the current market are ALOHA Organic Protein Bars, providing you with 14 grams of vegan protein, along with 10 grams of fiber and just 5 grams of sugar. It tastes great, is full of flavor and texture, and fills you up fast.
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September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
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