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Low Cal Protein Bars

Any suggestions for low cal protein bars with some taste? Changing my diet and needing something to snack on with some taste.

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  1. If you want some with taste, go with Nugo bars from their Dark Chocolate line (the best flavors are Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Mocha and Chocolate Mint). Zing bars (available at Whole Foods) are also pretty good. Both these brands are around 200 calories, however. How many calories and how much protein are you looking for exactly? Finding edible energy bars is nearly impossible, and is even more difficult if you want one that's both low in calories but high in protein

    3 Replies
    1. re: loveballet101

      And I've found that low/no sugar or without sugar alcohols are nearly impossible to find. I've stood and read labels for what seems like hours trying to find something.

      1. re: loveballet101

        Thanks for the input. I was trying to find bars in the 150 calorie range. I think I may need to buy the higher ones and cut them in half! I agree it's been tough.

        1. re: dsomms

          Finding okay tasting bars with 150 calories is possible, but keep in mind they won't have much protein...That being said:
          Kashi GOLEAN CRUNCHY has around 170 calories with 8 g protein
          Luna has around 170/180 with about 9 g protein

          I'd agree that your best bet might simply be cutting larger bars in half!

      2. I have to agree with loveballet101's last sentence. I look at protein bars mainly for their functionality as a meal substitute or supplement, so my taste expectations are pretty low. I've tried many kinds, and of the ones that taste decent to me, Pure Protein has the highest protein grams to calories ratio, with Think Thin in second place (although the name is off-putting to me). Think Thin has the advantage of being less prone than Pure Protein to getting squished when carried in one's purse, gym bag, snowboarding jacket pocket, etc. For both brands I like the peanut butter-based flavors the best.

        1. I like the South Beach Diet Protein bars. They range around 140 calories, 5 grams of fat & 7 grams of sugar. They offer both high fiber versions & high proetin ones. I get the high protein which have 8 grams of protein (may be less than youre looking for) & 3 grams fiber.

          While a little higher in calories 170-190, I also find the Luna Bars for women very filling & tasty.

          1. I had abdominal surgery a few months ago and eat much smaller meals than I used to. As a result, protein bars are a regular part of my diet. I've tried almost all of them. While some are quite tasty (i.e. Luna) they are low on protein. Many are also full of sugar and carbs, which I am avoiding. Pure Protein isn't too bad, but they have maltitol in their "chocolatey coating and chips" and maltitol and sugar alcohols don't sit well with me.

            The best protein bars I have found that combine good taste with good protein and no fillers, is Quest Protein Bars. They have no added sugar and no sugar alcohols (There are 2 grams of sugar from the almonds). Each bar has 20 grams of protein and 230 calories. I limit my consumption to one a day - half a bar twice a day for a snack.

            To my knowledge these bars are only available for purchase online at www.questproteinbar.com. I have ordered them several times with much success. They come in two flavors, Vanilla Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter. The P.B. is very mild, and I prefer the Vanilla Almond ones. I believe a new flavor is being unveiled this spring. You can buy a two-bar sample package to see if you like them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Thank you, Trish for the suggestion. I have problems with both sugar and sugar alcohols, so I'll look into these.

            2. I just go with some beef jerky.

              The Odwalla bar gives you a whopping 16g of protein and but comes in at 230 calories and has plenty of carbs


              3 Replies
              1. re: redfish62

                I was thinking along those lines. I picked up some buffalo jerky from TJ yesterday. A serving has 11g of protein at a cost of 60 calories.

                1. re: ediblover

                  I also snack on almonds, another good protein source.

                  1. re: ediblover

                    I do a very long drive twice a week and I absolutely have to have something to snack on, I get either the Walmart Great Value jerky or the Target store brand jerky ... haven't noticed a difference in quality between those and the name brands, Walmart is $3 for three ounces and Target is $3.28.

                2. I found protein bars to be invaluable in helping me change my diet and achieve my weight loss and fitness goals. Here the ones I relied on most frequently:

                  Clif Bars - My favorite and preferred choice.
                  Luna Bars
                  South Beach Diet
                  Kashi Go Lean Crunch
                  Zone Perfect

                  I found them all to be fairly tasty and to fit within the nutrition profile I was looking for, which was generally low cal and high protein, which is a tough balance to find. I was also looking to limit carbs/sugars as much as possible. I thought all of the bars I list above struck a pretty good balance between taste and calorie, protein and carbohydrate content, but my favorite was definitely Clif Bars, particularly the Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch and Chocolate Chip varieties.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MonMauler


                    If the Clif bars work for you and your health regime that's great. For me they don't work. The chocolate chip flavor for example has 240 calories but with only 10 grams of protein, 23 grams of sugar and 44 carbs. But as I say, different strokes for different folks.

                    1. re: MonMauler

                      I like Clif. The bars mentioned aren't their protein bars, but their energy bars, which explains the enormous amount of carbs. The brand's protein bars are called "Builder's" and pack about 20g of protein per at a cost of 270 calories.

                      1. re: ediblover

                        You run into the same problem, the protein in the Builder's Bar is 80 calories (4 calories per gram) so you are getting 190 calories of stuff other than protein, which is less than a 1/2 ratio. For every 1 protein calorie you are getting more than 2 calories of other than protein.

                        Compare that to Publix brand Fat Free cottage cheese, 16 ounce size:

                        Calories 320
                        Grams of protein 60
                        Calories from protein 240

                        Substantially better than 1/2, for every 1 protein calorie you are getting 1/2 of a calorie from other than protein.

                        I don't think there is a protein bar solution to the problem.

                    2. I used to quite like the Comfort Bar - 180 cal, 15 g protein, and 5 g of fiber. No artificial stuff, and I liked the taste. IIRC, I ate the White Chocolate Cherry Chip (surprising for me, since I generally don't like cherry, but they just have little bits studded in them).

                      1. A lot of people I know make their own. If you make them yourself they're cheap and you know exactly what is in them. You can do low carb, high carb, low cal, high cal, etc. etc. If you're buying a lot, once you make them you will probably never buy one again.

                        Here's a bunch of recipes:


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: la2tokyo

                          I like to make chocolate peanut butter balls by mixing chocolate Unjury protein powder with peanut butter. Nice little protein snack.

                        2. I think Simply bars are pretty good and a lot of protein for the calories.