What is the best protein bar to choose? by Cari Culp, RD

Despite our best efforts, let’s face it, we all get stuck in a pinch and need grab-and-go nourishment at times. Although whole food is always the best choice, it never hurts to have a good quality protein bar on hand for those times when life gets chaotic. The question is, with so many options, what is the best protein bar to choose? If you have ever taken a look at the aisle of protein bars in the grocery store you have probably felt a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of options, most of which are not so healthy. There are, however, a handful of options that are good quality and, in a pinch, better than the drive through!
When I evaluate a protein bar for nutritional quality, here is what I am looking for:
1. Ingredients: Only clean ingredients please! I don’t want any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, highly processed sugars and oils or unpronounceable chemical ingredients.
2. Protein: How much does it have and what is the quality? If it is GMO soy, I am passing that up. I am looking for at least 10 grams of good quality protein from whey, nuts, nut butter, seeds, peas, rice, oats and non-GMO soy. 
3. Sugar: How much is added? No more than 15 grams is ideal!
4. How much fiber does it have? Remember, fiber keeps you full, so look for options with 5 grams of fiber or more!
5. Taste! This one is obvious. We all want to enjoy our food, right?! So here are my top choices:

Garden of Life (GOL, Fit or Sport bars) – Evo Hemp BarPerfect Bar (Christie’s favorite!) – Rx Bar – Primal Kitchen – Health Warrior – Chia Seed Superfood Protein Bar – Zing – Oatmega

Keep in mind that some of these options are more appropriate for a meal versus a snack. Keep calories at 200 or below for snacks. I hope you enjoy a few of these options and have another healthy choice for when life gets busy! 

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